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Born in 1991 in Miami Beach, Florida, producer/DJ m.O.N.R.O.E. (aka Jordan Postrel) turned to production and DJing full time at the age of 18. His first release, the ‘Don’t Flex’ EP, was on Steve Lawler’s VIVa MUSiC, and co-produced with DVB label boss Daniel Dubb. After signing with Get Physical in 2015, he released a string of EP’s, and compilation mixes, as well as releases with Saved Records, ln Motion Music, Desert Hearts, Little Helpers, Kindisch, Akbal, Cyclic, and The Martinez Brothers’ own Cuttin’ Headz.
In anticipation of his presentation for Ballantine’s x Beatport – ‘True Music’, we sit down with m.O.N.R.O.E. to catch up on current affairs, what he’s been up to with the DISTRIKT brand, discuss livestreams, and the future of music.
Electronic Groove: Hi Jordan! It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. How have you’ve been?
m.O.N.R.O.E.: It’s all good! The pleasure is mine. Thank you for having me over!
Electronic Groove: We see you are launching on a major tour in July/August, what events are you most excited about? Are there new places you have not experienced yet on this tour?
m.O.N.R.O.E.: It’s hard to say what I’m most excited about…Not touring for a whole year so, everything is pretty exciting at the moment. I did a live stream at Floyd Miami, which is one of my favorite clubs for Beatport & Ballantine’s that’s airing on July 22nd. This weekend I’m playing at Lost River Disco in Idaho. They offered to bring me out a day early to go Fly Fishing cause they know I love fishing which I thought was super nice of them and so cool. I’ve never played for Dialogue in LA before, so I am looking forward to that, it’s a great party. We just did our first DISTRIKT party in New York this year that kicked off my tour and it was a lot of fun. I am also excited to play Dallas (RBC Deep Ellum) and Reno (House Party) for the 1st Time!
Electronic Groove: You work with many different types of artists/labels so what projects are taking up your time right now? Specifically what house/techno projects are you working on?
m.O.N.R.O.E.: I’ve been putting most of my time recently into developing Distrikt’s record label, which we will be launching in the next several months. I also have a release coming out on Get Physical later next month, as they are like my ‘mother’ label that helped jumpstart my career in electronic music and a few other labels. I’m focusing on vinyl releases this year, so keep an eye out as it will be coming soon to a record shop near you.
Electronic Groove: What do you love and not love about the dance music scene? What direction do you hope it heads in?
m.O.N.R.O.E.: There are so many things that I love about the dance music culture and things I’ve grown to dislike about the dance music scene. One thing that’s interesting about this field of work, it’s not like you go to college and you come out to find a good job. I know countless artists who are amazing at what they do and have worked for years on end with great releases and they still don’t get the recognition or credibility they deserve. It’s unfortunate to see, especially this year with covid taking such a toll on our industry. With social media being so dominant in the way people perceive the credibility & authenticity of an artist makes it too easy to fake talent and manufactured superstars. The other side of it to a certain degree is some big DJs / promoters don’t really care about the artist who makes music and they rather put on friends to play for them and others just have the right contacts. This makes it hard for artists to break through and get the exposure/support they need. It’s totally backward and it’s not really about the music sometimes. It’s more about do we click, and can we party together. which is not the reason why I got involved with music. It’s fun to party but music should always come first and everything else second if you’re in this line of work. Since I started working with DISTRIKT on events & the label It’s our job as ‘curators’ to see through this, spot talent, and not get soaked into false perception. That’s the direction I hope for our scene. Follow the music, not the money. As much as these things bother me, I’m willing to deal with them because doing music is something I truly love. Honestly, it is something I can do every single day and never be bored even if I’m alone in a studio. Being able to play what you make for people and see them enjoy it is the reason I got into this business. I love traveling around the world to see my friends in different places all coming for one common interest, music. I feel blessed I’m fortunate enough to have this opportunity to do this for a living. One thing I’ve learned every industry has a dark side and a very positive side to it, it’s best to stay focused on the positive things and your craft.
“With social media being so dominant in the way people perceive the credibility & authenticity of an artist, it makes it too easy to fake talent and manufactured superstars”
Electronic Groove: When you are not diligently working in the studio what sort of things do you enjoy and are there any causes you are passionate about?
m.O.N.R.O.E.: When I’m not in a studio or djing, I spend a lot of my time on the water. Fishing is my therapy outside of music and I love ocean conservation. Spending every day in a studio can make me creatively dull. Just like a lumberjack needs to step away to sharpen his ax to cut down a tree, we need to step away to clear our minds. We need time away from things that we spend every waking hour on in order to hear them with fresh ears.
Electronic Groove: You have lived in a variety of places but live in Miami full time right now so what is it about Miami that keeps you here for the time being?
m.O.N.R.O.E.: There are many reasons why I stay in Miami. My brother and I both have nice studios and we enjoy bouncing ideas back and forth. My family is all here and I try to stay close to them. My dad‘s getting older so I want to be around as much as possible. I like Miami for artistic reasons, because it’s in the middle of everything as you can travel to almost anywhere between 2 to 6 hours. It’s like the center of the World in some ways. I can’t forget one of the most important reasons of all, I hate cold weather! I am way too much of a Miami boy.
Electronic Groove: Burning Man seems to be one of your favorite places and you seem to have a tight relationship with the DISTRIKT camp burgeoning. You kicked off your tour with a DISTRIKT fundraising gig in NY. How exactly did you get involved with this collective and why? What are your plans with them for the future?
m.O.N.R.O.E.: Well, that’s a bit of a complicated story to tell. I don’t want to get into a lot of detail over that, but, long story short, I was working with a camp which I left due to some drama and coincidentally it happened to be at the same time, and I would say even ‘perfect time’, that I met the DISTRIKT crew. We clicked right away. Ben Seagren and Kramer were super cool and took me in and became like my ‘Burner Uncles’. Literally, they are amazing. After a year and a half of planning, we’re about to launch the record label now. I can’t say who we have releasing with us just yet, but I can tell you there’s a lot of well-known artists on the label. I can’t wait to share it all with everyone. We have tons of events in the pipeline, nationally and internationally, to showcase the artists releasing with us. This is our way of giving back to the artist community by supporting the arts and giving them the promotion/exposure that they deserve.
Electronic Groove: Given what has happened to the world over the last 18+months, how did the Pandemic affect your life personally and as an artist? Did you stay inspired or were you able to create? Did you learn anything from this challenging experience about yourself?
m.O.N.R.O.E.: Well for lack of a better word, at first it was complete shit for me. I saw all my shows and all my plans just disappear within a couple of days. I didn’t know what to do with all my time besides just plant myself in my studio and make tons of music, but I also had to figure out ways to make money.
I ventured into trying to start a sample company which I did not realize was so hard to launch and I’m slowly working on that, what took the most off for me was production work. I started producing for other artists in different genres, more listening base radio music but I wasn’t doing this as an artist for myself nor putting my name on it. I wanted to try out the idea of being an actual producer for an artist, much like Max Martin, Mike Dean, or Andy Chatterley. I thought it was a kind of a cool idea to produce commercial stuff for the masses as a producer and still do my own independent underground projects as an artist. I’m not gonna lie, doing this was the most rewarding musical experience for me.
“I wanted to try out the idea of being an actual producer for an artist, much like Max Martin, Mike Dean, or Andy Chatterley”
Electronic Groove: What producers/acts/musicians/artists inspire you (non-electronic or electronic)? When did you first realize your love for electronic music?
m.O.N.R.O.E.: I was 12 years old, listening to Daft Punk when I was living in France was the first time I started really liking Electronic music. The first time I went to a rave – how old I was, I will not say – was when I decided I want to do music for life. There are too many artists that inspire me at this point to get into that question, I don’t know where to start.
Electronic Groove: You are doing the True Music Livestream for Beatport x Ballantine’s, what are your thoughts about livestreaming and Twitch? Do you see a benefit for artists engaging in the streaming experience?
m.O.N.R.O.E.: I’ve liked livestreams during the pandemic and was fortunate to do one for Space Miami, Desert Hearts, and DISTRIKT, just to name a few. I felt like the livestreams were good for people because they allowed them to interact during the lockdown. It really helped people get through this pandemic. As an artist, it gives you exposure to a global audience that cannot necessarily come see you in the places you play. Fans everywhere matter just as much as the ones in the club.