How I Discovered Up-And-Comer Michael Sparks After Losing My Friends
Imagine finding yourself in an impenetrable fog. The atmosphere is so thick that frankly you can’t see or comprehend much of anything. There’s music, humans dancing, and what feels to be the massive bass, quite literally, pushing your body over. No, that can’t be what’s throwing you off balance. It’s probably that extra whiskey shot you totally regret taking.
The creeping realization that your friends are nowhere to be found is finally starting to sink in and you slowly say to yourself, “fuuuuck.”
You manage to catch a glimpse of green rays piercing through the darkness in what seems to be a dance floor. You spot a DJ, he yells something incomprehensible into the mic, and there it hits you.
And suddenly, every fiber in your being is calling for you to rage face until the sun comes up. It doesn’t matter where your friends are, or how drunk you are, or how terrible your dancing is. Nothing matters except for your own damn self expression.
I'm sure this is familiar to many of you, but this was the experience I had my first night out in Canada. And if you have yet to find yourself furiously dancing until dawn or are looking for a reason to — then I urge you to go see a show by none other than Montreal native, Michael Sparks. If you don’t believe me just watch his Elevation 2017 recap video below.
(WARNING: Graphic Avocado Content)
Having come from a bass mecca like Denver, Colorado, I was prepared to shrug off any show that didn’t involve the sheer epicness that comes with seeing Bassnectar or Excision live. That is, until I watched Michael play.
His ability to get you in the groove, switch-up and melt your face is beyond your run-of-the-mill button mashing DJ. It’s methodical and disciplined. Something that I’ve felt has been missing in sets all around the world. Watching this rising artist express his talents in the most energetic way possible was like a breath of fresh air amid the sweaty and humid dance floor.
Naturally, I had to check out his Soundcloud to make sure he was the real deal.
After snooping around I discovered his collaboration with Breaux titled ‘OG Boi’, and I was immediately hooked.
The intro draws you in with it’s calm sultry build up — until he smacks you right in the face with the oh-so-sweet, yet filthy saws that knits your eyebrows and makes you want to headbang. Okay this track was good, but what else?
I kept digging and found that he made a beautifully contrasting remix of ‘Blame’ by Zeds Dead, Diplo, & Elliphant. But, what really got my attention was his absurdly hard-hitting track, ‘Ja Rasta’.
After hearing that groovy bassline, I lost my shit. I remember hearing this track live and made a mental note to find the source because of how hard it went. ‘Ja Rasta’ kept looping in my head that night and the memory of how absolutely mental the crowd got when it dropped stayed with me to this day.
Now that I determined he was legit I had to reach out.
After some back and forth I was able to get more details about the up-and-coming 20 year old producer. It turns out that he has only been producing for 3 years, is the leader of international crime syndicate #TOASTGANG, and will be touring Australia and the U.S. for his first time in 2017. If you happen to live in the True North (Canada) you’ll be able to find him at some of the nation’s biggest summer festivals, which I'm told is to remain top secret until the official announcement.
When asked if he had any new music on the way Michael was eager to let me in on his freshly mastered creations. I can let you know that his releases this year will include a collaboration with renowned artist MAKJ, along with several of his own deeply imaginative and bass-heavy originals. While I’m not technically allowed to share these tracks, Michael was kind enough to make EDM.com an exclusive mini-mix just for you, yes YOU, to enjoy.
I indulge in sushi, electronic music, and R&B.