Her name is about to be on the lips of everyone attending EDC Las Vegas this weekend. Who might this be? Mack Bartsch, better known as spaceprodigi, will take the stage at kineticFIELD on day 3 at 7 p.m. to mesmerize the crowd with her analog synth and her blended beats.
EDC's kineticFIELD is quite an accomplishment for any DJ, a highlight for a career. For spaceprodigi, who is a mere 17 years of age, it will serve as her debut on the festival scene. Talk about one way to start a career! She's simply astounding and her sound will mesmerize and move people this coming weekend.
AXS had the opportunity to catch up with the wunderkind before EDC gets underway. She shares her excitement, passions and influences that have helped get her to this place.
AXS: At 17 you're bursting on the scene with a great stage name and sound. How did you go about choosing your name?
spaceprodigi: I have always been a huge roller coaster enthusiast, but ever since I was about 6 years old, I've had a major obsession with the classic coaster at Disney World, Space Mountain. At that age, the look of the massive spaceship structure of the building, the sound of the pretty on-ride synth music, and the darkness all intrigued me; it really felt like you were in freaking outer space! I knew every fact about that ride and have ridden it at least 100 times since then. So, when I was 13 and started producing electronic music, I was trying to figure out what I wanted my name to be and so I told my mom “What about spaceprodigi?”
AXS: It's a great name that catches the ear, especially when your debut festival show is at EDC. You're 17 and tapped to play kineticFIELD this year. Take us through all the emotions and excitement from beginning to end when you first heard.
s: When I first heard I was playing on Kinetic, I freaked out! I was like, "Oh my gosh, I get to play in front of a big crowd!" I was shocked, scared and excited at the same time and I wouldn’t have ever dreamed that I would be playing on one of the biggest stages of electronic dance music for my first festival.
AXS: How have you gone about preparing for this year's set and in what ways does the crowd play a part in the formation of that set as you play before them?
s: Well, since this is my first real show, I’ve spent the last few months making a lot of new music and working on my live show setup.
I’ve been crafting a live set that is full of energy as well as emotions so that the crowd can really feel what I’m feeling when I make the music. So, I want to show my versatility by including tracks ranging from energetic bangers to more chilled out trance vibes. My show setup is a little different; I use Ableton on my laptop, which sends stems of my music to my Pioneer mixer, then I can manipulate those stems with my FX units. The setup offers a lot of flexibility and eventually I will add a few live analog synths to the show.
AXS: You've already done so much...podcasting, producing, teaching. How do you do it all and what aspect do you like the best?
s: Producing, mixing, and mastering music with analog gear is very time consuming, and that’s my only focus right now. So, I’ve made a lot of changes in my life to produce music; I recently switched over to online schooling at UT High School, which allows me to complete my school in less time with more flexibility. I spend the majority of my day locked up in my studio.
AXS: Who are some of the biggest influences on your music, and how are you continuing to develop that music as you grow? How do events like EDC and other festivals become formative in that shaping?
s: My biggest influence is deadmau5, who is the reason why I started producing electronic music. Joel (deadmau5) has inspired me to create using analog synths as well as taking the time to learn how to mix and master my music with hardware gear. Other big influences are Eric Prydz, Tiësto, Martin Garrix, Zedd, Daft Punk and some rock bands such as Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, My Chemical Romance and Blink-182. As for my music, I’ve been continuing to develop my own sound, which is a combo of edgy, energy and pretty.
AXS: What's next for you? Are you working full time in music, going to school or focusing on developing your skills as a producer?
s: I’m working on producing more music, getting it released, and finding the perfect label for me. Also, I won’t be going to school and plan on continuing on doing more shows and festivals while I grow as an artist. My dream is to have my own live show and tour, as well as being a headliner of major festivals.
Make sure to catch spaceprodigi this weekend on Day 3 of EDC Las Vegas at kineticFIELD, 7 p.m. In the meanwhile, watch as she works her synth and take a listen to her SoundCloud channel.