As Desert Hearts makes its sudden transition from a camping festival at Lake Perris to a day-into-night function at The Torch at the LA Coliseum, the festival’s lineup continues to impress and delight attendees.
To pay tribute to one of California’s beloved festivals and its new location, we are shining a spotlight on five talented artists from California who joined the Desert Hearts lineup this year.
These artists bring a diverse range of sounds and styles, each with their unique back story and contribution to the thriving electronic music scene of the Golden State.
1. Mikey Lion
Mikey Lion is a San Diego-based DJ and a founder of the Desert Hearts movement. He has gained a reputation as a unique soul conductor and energy controller, with a stage presence that sets him apart from others.
With his signature top hat, Lion has become known for his tribal, hip-hop, and psychedelic-infused house and techno sound. His career started with a passion for Wu-Tang and Daft Punk, and he has since performed at festivals such as Burning Man, Lightning in a Bottle, and Coachella.
Lion and his crew have created a movement of love that has become an iconic part of the North American festival scene.
Rinzen, a Los Angeles native, fuses cinematic sound design with forward-thinking techno production. His concept EPs are innovative releases that immerse listeners in narrative-based worlds. Each of his sets is carefully curated to provide a cinematic journey that is both unique and captivating.
Desert Hearts 2023 brought Rinzen back to his roots at The LA Coliseum where everything began for him. In an interview with EDM Maniac in 2022 he spilled that living in Los Angeles had a great impact on his career:
“It definitely influenced me to get into electronic music at an earlier age. I remember going to EDC in 2010, the last year they had it in [at the Coliseum]. That was my first festival and a very pivotal moment for me. If I wasn’t living in LA, there’s no way I would have been there. I would have found my place in electronic music eventually, but attending that event at that time in my life accelerated my love of this culture.”
VNSSA is a Newport Beach native currently residing in Los Angeles. Her passion for music began in childhood, and after drumming in local bands, she taught herself to DJ and began playing at clubs and parties.
Her debut single was released in 2018, and she has since released music on multiple labels. VNSSA performs regularly at venues across the US and has been widely celebrated as an artist.
She has even shared the decks with some of dance music’s favorite legends such as Diplo, and in an interview with EDM Maniac at Audiotistic in 2021 she expressed her desire to work with others telling us that, “…in the electronic world, I think I would want to work with The Blessed Madonna or Claude VonStroke. Or Chris Lake, Green Velvet, Anna Lunoe — I want to work with everyone.”
4. Justin Martin
Justin Martin hails from San Francisco, California. Despite his soaring success as a producer and DJ, he maintains a lighthearted attitude toward life, echoing Oscar Wilde’s philosophy: “Life is too important to be taken seriously.”
His involvement in the development of Dirtybird Records and solo releases have earned him respect among peers. Critics describe his music as melodic, emotional, and danceable.
5. Mary Droppinz
Currently based in Los Angeles, Mary Droppinz hails from Omaha, Nebraska. Despite not being a native of California, she has undoubtedly proven herself in the Wild West and beyond.
In an Interview with EDM Maniac alongside Anabel Englund this past January, Mary Droppinz told us that when she came to Los Angeles that she wasn’t familiar with anybody from the area:
“I’m from Nebraska in the Midwest so I didn’t know many people out here,” she said. Now things are much different as she is making waves in the house and techno scene with fans and lineups celebrating her name.
With her father’s impressive drumming skills serving as inspiration, Mary brings a deep and soulful energy to her performances. She strives to empower others through her musical journey and create a space for uplifting vibrations, constantly pushing boundaries and sharing her inner groove.