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Conversations with the Inspiring Alyssa Johnson aka Mary Droppinz

Today we’d like to introduce you to  Alyssa Johnson aka Mary Droppinz.

So, before we jump into specific questions about what you do, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started DJing six years ago when I moved to California from Nebraska. Music has always been apart of my life at home but it wasn’t until I went to my first underground party in 2013 that it became my lifestyle. I grew up watching my dad play on the drums every night after work so practicing music was a nightly routine. The instrument I played was piano but always considered it a hobby. When I realized that you could turn music into a profession by being a DJ, I never looked back. It’s become my outlet and my way of getting to know myself. I started out in LA at an ad agency, TBWA\Chiat\Day and that is where I actually had my first gig. I was in the culture club and we were planning our summer party and one of my colleagues asked me if I would DJ knowing that was something I was doing at home for fun. I laughed and said why not, let’s make a flyer and put Mary Droppinz as the DJ to hopefully make my co-workers laugh. The response I received from that ultimately sent me on my musical journey. I left the ad industry to pursue music full-time. As you know it’s not all glamorous when you start out, so I needed to continue to work but I wanted to stay within the industry so I started working in Marketing at Native Instruments. That by far was the best job I’ve ever had. I continued on my path in music marketing with Desert Hearts earlier this summer to create more of a work from home lifestyle. It is also my favorite festival I’ve ever been to so it was easy to want to integrate deeper within the community. This year, my main focus has been music production. I absolutely love creating my own beats and playing with all my toys in my home studio. I even enrolled in school at IO Academy in Hollywood and I am so happy that I did. All of this sounds like a beautiful progression of my twenties but it wasn’t the easiest road…

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It’s been a bumpy road but not in the sense that I wasn’t welcomed by the Southern California house and techno scene, but because I had gone through a major shift in my life that I did not ever anticipate and have only started sharing about it now because it rocked me so hard. I moved out here because I was in an 8-year relationship with someone whom I married while in Nebraska. I wouldn’t be where I am today had I not gone through that and I wouldn’t even be living in LA if it wasn’t for my ex but I learned a lot going through that divorce years ago. It shaped me into the woman I am today and completely ripped my heart out. I’ve just poured all of it into my music, it was the only thing that made sense and still is the only thing that does make sense. This has been my biggest challenge in life and through music, I have made some sense of my love and also released a lot of my own shame. To be able to share my creativity and rhythm with the crowd makes me feel whole, it gives me purpose, and I have seen the effect it has had on my supporters. I will always use this outlet to share my light and make someone feel a bit brighter when they leave the space. I have only scratched the surface on my own productions and writing, it’s just barely all coming out so I am anxious to see what the future holds on where the songs in my head really go.

My advice to any woman out there starting their journey in music is to make this a spiritual thing, don’t be ashamed of who you are, and don’t take yourself too seriously. I truly attribute any success I’ve had to me simply having fun. Only recently I started taking myself seriously and now I feel new anxieties and stress becoming apart my day so I am working on a lot of self-care acts to alleviate that because it completely rips the fun right out of it! At the end of the day, we are performers, creators, leaders, dancers, channels, and silly ass looking people twisting nobs and messing with the magic of sound!

What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of? What sets you apart from others?
I am a DJ, Producer, and Marketing Lady! I am known for my ethereal sets full of eclectic underground sounds including acid house, techno, breakbeat, and classic HOUSE music! I am most proud of my open heart and hard work. I am self-made <3 what sets me apart from others is my vulnerability, my smile, and my rose-colored glasses, all held together by my midwestern manners and values. I am proud to be a woman! Catch me at one of my upcoming shows I promise you won’t regret it. 😉 Haha, I feel like I just gave an elevator speech!

Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
Stay in touch with your network, don’t forget where you came from, and put yourself out there. Also, read vibes, be aware of when you are overstepping boundaries and gut check if the time is right! Basically, support each other, I see it always come back tenfold. If you can help someone out – DO IT!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Modern Paparazzo, Jar.Photo, Gnarwreck, Priscilla J, Harper Digital Media, Christian VILLAREALism, Stephanie Johnson

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