Local DJ Mikey Thunder has been doing his thing and doing it well for years. He has been DJing since the age of 15, when he started opening for and touring with national acts and refining his sound and style. Today, he has become a staple of the Colorado music scene, blending a multitude of genres, including funk, hip-hop, soul, jazz, blues, swing, reggae and EDM. Thunder has become the very essence of a DJ, living to fuse together genres and songs to create something uniquely his own.
Based out of Boulder, he has shared the stage with impressive acts like The Wailers, The String Cheese Incident and Pretty Lights, to name a few, and he regularly sells out shows, even at impressively-sized outdoor venues like Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Thunder is also known for playing big festivals and parties, and has played a 420-themed show or event almost every year since his career got started. CULTURE spoke with DJ Mikey about his musical career so far, support for the earth, cannabis and his plans to perform at our very own 420 party in Denver.
How did you get started making music?
I started DJing in my parents’ basement in the ’90s and making beats on a Roland JS-30 [sampling workstation].
How do you describe your style?
Funky electro hip-hop.
How do you feel about the local electronic scene?
I feel great about it and honored to call Colorado my home. We have a deep-rooted music scene with ton of talented bands, producers and DJs of all styles. Also, new artists are moving to town on the daily, which is very inspirational.
Do you produce as well as DJ?
Yes, but I would consider myself a DJ first and foremost.
What are some of the songs you can’t stop playing right now?
Anything produced by Fort Knox Five, and “Party Remedy” by Bobby C & Stickybuds [feat. The Jungle Brothers] has been in rotation for a long time now.
“I really enjoy going to corner dispensary to pick up a J when I need one. I think we need legal places to smoke, like coffee shops and social clubs.”
How has cannabis affected your life and/or your creative process?
It is with me every step of the way.
How do you feel about legalization so far? Is there anything you think could be done better or differently?
I love it. I really enjoy going to corner dispensary to pick up a “jay” when I need one. I think we need legal places to smoke, like coffee shops and social clubs. I’ve been dreaming of playing a coffee shop gig since Amsterdam.
Have you ever worked cannabis into your music as a theme? If so, how?
Yes, I played The Cannabis Cup back in early 2000. I have an extensive music collection about the cheeba spanning from the swing era to today, and I think I’ve played a 420 party almost every year.
How do you feel the experience of using cannabis can affect people’s lives?
I believe the herb can heal. I’ve been self-medicating depression with it for a long time now.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Please, no more anti-human behavior or destruction of our habitat. We are all in this together, so act like it. Thank you, and I love you!
Catch DJ Mikey at CULTURE’s invite-only houseparty happening on Sat, April 21 in Denver. Visit culturemagazine.com/houseparty for more information.