INTELLIGENT AND LAYERED Ghost Dance collaborates to create talented tunes and honor cannabis

Photo by Maddie Voutour

Denver is a hub for all sorts of emerging and burgeoning music scenes, as more and more people move there all the time to take advantage of all the exciting opportunities the city has to offer. Electronic music is one of the movements that just keeps pushing forward, and one of the DJs and producers leading this push is local artist Ghost Dance. Recently, CULTURE caught up with Ghost Dance to discuss a life centered around music and cannabis.

“Growing up, I liked to try and play every instrument possible,” Ghost Dance explained. “As I started recording myself, I wanted to find the most unique sounds, arrangements, and mold them into a style of my own. That drive is what entrenched me into music production.”

Citing his influences as Justice, Daft Punk, Digitalism and the Chemical Brothers, as well as Zhu, Jack LNDN, Duke Dumont, Oliver, Autograf and The Knocks more recently, Ghost Dance sets out to make intelligent and layered music that can be enjoyed both on and off the dance floor. He sees the local scene in Denver as a great place to showcase and celebrate his talent.

“My life almost completely revolves around cannabis in both a professional and personal sense.”

“I’m very enthusiastic about the music scene as a whole in Denver,” he explained. “There’s a lot of talent and an atmosphere of collaboration in pushing the scene forward. Denver is really embracing the energy and experimentation of electronic music, and there are great events featuring both local and international talent.”

In addition to being a lifelong musician, Ghost Dance is also a dedicated member of the cannabis industry.

“My life almost completely revolves around cannabis in both a professional and personal sense,” he told CULTURE. “Through founding Cultivated Synergy [the company he runs], my energy has gone toward providing a creative and productive space for the cannabis community to work, host events, advocate, and elevate the community.”

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Photo by Maddie Voutour

He has found a supportive culture in Denver that allows for his legal cannabis business to thrive while he also works towards making it as a musician.

“Colorado has done a fantastic job with legalization considering that its infrastructure had to be built from scratch, but there are definitely improvements that need to be made,” he said. “The dialogue around patient access, safety and quality standards, and consumption laws needs to continue. NORML is doing amazing work, particularly with their Responsible Use Denver initiative right now to allow regulated social cannabis consumption.

“Through founding Cultivated Synergy [the company he runs], my energy has gone toward providing a creative and productive space for the cannabis community to work, host events, advocate and elevate the community.”

Although he has never worked cannabis into his music as a theme, except for a few thematic samples used here and there, Ghost Dance feels that the local culture of cannabis and his self-expression as a musician go hand-in-hand.

“The culture and community around cannabis, as well as its personal effect, is also important to me as a musician,” he added. “Its use allows me to cancel out the noise and immerse myself completely into a creative process. It’s my reset button.”

Look out for an EP from Ghost Dance during the next few months, as well as local DJ appearances around town.

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