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Desert Hearts: Embracing Love, Acceptance, and the Power of Music



Desert Hearts is much more than just a music collective; it is a movement that embodies love, acceptance, and the transformative power of music. With a focus on creating immersive experiences and fostering a sense of community, Desert Hearts has established itself as a beacon in the electronic music scene. This blog post delves into the heart of Desert Hearts through an exclusive Q&A with its founding members, exploring their creative processes, challenges, and vision for the future.


A Deep Dive into Desert Hearts: An Exclusive Q&A


Q: Desert Hearts has established itself as more than just a music collective but as a movement centered around love, acceptance, and the transformative power of music. How do you ensure these values are reflected in every aspect of your events and releases?

Mikey Lion: "Honestly, I believe it stems from the energy and intention that we put into our events. We started Desert Hearts with the mission to spread as much love and positive energy as possible. We educate our community about the intentions of our events, and they bring the reciprocal energy that makes our parties so radiant. House, Techno & Love has been our motto from the beginning, and the vibe we put forward is spiritual in nature. When we curate or play events, we’re always putting the vibe first. That’s why our parties rock."


Q: The collective dynamic within Desert Hearts is unique, with each founding member bringing their own musical style and vision to the table. How do you collaborate on creative decisions, and what challenges have you faced in maintaining a cohesive vision?

Matthew Marabella: "Myself, Mikey, and Porky have known each other since childhood so luckily our creative and collaborative vision has been pretty aligned throughout - Lee we met after college and it was magical how well we connected on things with him as well, especially our vision. We vote on new ideas, lineups, festival & event vision, and all things Desert Hearts. Having 4 partners who are all creative gives us a lot of opportunity to come up with ideas and flush them out together as a collaborative mind. This obviously can have speed bumps along the way since humans inevitably disagree, but I think that’s an important part of the collaborative process. When we disagree it often leads us in a direction towards an entirely new solution that we love. In the end we always arrive somewhere that feels good for everyone involved in the decisions and visions. Collaboration is integral in a community-based project like ours."


Q: Your festivals and events are renowned for their immersive experience and sense of community. Can you share the process behind curating the lineup and creating the atmosphere that defines Desert Hearts gatherings?

Lee Reynolds: "When we started Desert Hearts back in 2012 we were frustrated with the way festivals programmed their line ups, there didn’t seem to be any flow and the music was all over the place, so we’ve always put a lot of thought into the set times and DJs we book. We like it funkier during the day and a bit more dark and banging at night. Having the party run for 72 hours non-stop means we really have to think about what time slots best suit each artist and who should play before and after them to keep the rhythm of the party going. Sunset and sunrise for instance are special moments for us so we really try to make sure we book people that bring the vibe. When the dance floor is packed all weekend we know we did our job right, and I’m super excited about what we have lined up for everyone this year. Having amazing music is the most important thing for us but we also pride ourselves on creating a magical environment so people can have the best possible experience. There’s always lots of art installations, live painters, performers and everyone always brings their A game. We’ve built an incredible team over the years and partnering up with the Walter crew this year is going to take it to a whole new level.. be prepared to have your mind blown!"


Q: The Desert Hearts record label has been a platform for showcasing emerging talent in the house and techno scenes. What do you look for in artists or tracks when considering them for release, and how do you support their growth within the industry?

Mikey Lion/Matthew Marabella:

Mikey: "I’m always looking for tracks with a unique vibe that aren’t cookie-cutter beats. My rule is I have to be able to play them in my sets. For me, it’s also not entirely about the music. I also need to feel good about the artists I’m supporting and make sure they are all in as an artist and doing it for the right reasons. Douchebags with great music will never be a good fit on Desert Hearts because the goal is to support artists by bringing them to parties with us, and I want my artists to bring the right vibe."


Q: With the electronic music scene continually evolving, how do you see Desert Hearts adapting and innovating in the coming years, both musically and in terms of community engagement?

Porky: "With the electronic music scene drastically changing in recent years, Desert Hearts along with the many other festivals have had to adapt and face many challenges. Despite constant venue changes, inflated costs, new audience demographics and so on- Nothing can stop the ever-evolving Desert Hearts (& Elements too!) Community has always been everything to us & I’m looking forward to bringing it back to the roots this year at our new location in Flagstaff, AZ. Did I mention yet that we’re combining forces with the amazing Walter community to produce the best DH yet?!"


Looking Forward: The Ever-Evolving Spirit of Desert Hearts

Desert Hearts continues to stand as a testament to the power of love, community, and the transformative nature of music. With a commitment to creating immersive experiences, fostering emerging talent, and adapting to the evolving landscape of electronic music, Desert Hearts is poised to keep pushing boundaries and spreading positive energy. As they look to the future, the collective remains dedicated to their mission, ensuring that every event and release embodies their core values and vibrant spirit. Stay tuned for more from Desert Hearts as they continue to inspire and innovate within the music scene.

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