Nineteen year-old Jace Mek is unconventional, as reflected in his musical exchange. His career commenced with two releases on Main Course Records, ‘Wuki - Same Damn Sound (Jace Mek Remix)’ and ‘Astronomar - Thot Process (Jace Mek Remix)’. His first original release on a label came as “illGOON” on Designer Drugs’ record label Sex Cult, followed by “Peyote” in collaboration with BIGGS, released on Steve Aoki’s imprint Dim Mak as part of their latest project New Noise. A second track was released through Dim Mak titled 'Flip The Funk' a few months later. On top of those pieces, Jace Mek released "Whales" on Tchami's imprint Confession, then continued on to release 'Understand' on Diplo's record label, Good Enuff. Artists and record labels alike have vocalized the recognizable spirited and vibrant impression his tracks give off. From the Los Angeles area, Cesar honed his musical abilities with a mastery of percussion stemming from a seven-year background in drumming. Producing for four years has taken his music to the national stage as it has been broadcasted over radio for BBC Radio 1Extra (Diplo & Friends), iHeart Radio (Evolution Radio), which is part of Dim Mak Studios. Jace Mek has had exclusive releases through Do Androids Dance and has been written about by Thump, UKF, Your EDM, and Dancing Astronaut. Support has been customary from industry giants like Skrillex, Diplo, Tchami, Steve Aoki, Boys Noize, GTA, Mercer, MAKJ, Astronomar, and Wuki. Jace Mek covets the opportunity to bring his vision of unconventionality and savage drum patterns to the masses. His affinity towards the electronic genre, House music, has led him to where he is now and will only propel him further in hopes of attracting an avant-garde following. “I want to revolutionize what a performer in my industry brings to the table. I want to be remembered as always being an innovator and never throwing together run-of-the mill productions.”
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Currently Living: Jurupa Valley, CA
Origin of Name: My name is Cesar Jauregui. If you get the first two letters of my first and last name and then switch them around, “Jace” is born. As for the Mek part of my alias, the only thing I remember is translating my last name into a few different languages, and it showed up as “dinmek,” so I kept the Mek part.
Weapon of Choice: Steaks, distortion, and FL Studio.
Source of Power: Surrealism—I love it when dream and reality come together. It creates space for creativity.
What advice would you offer someone thinking about entering the Discovery Project competition?
As cliché as it sounds, be yourself and pave your own way. Being unique is a must. If you’re feeling confident, or if you’re not feeling confident, enter the competition. It does not hurt to try.
At the age of 10, I began playing all types of percussion. I was a drummer in my elementary and middle school bands. Electronic dance music always had a place in my heart as I was growing up, for that was what my older brothers listened to all the time. As I entered 7th grade, I began to produce music as a hobby. Throughout some time, I began to venture off into different genres of music. And as I began to focus on music more than anything, I realized that whatever the genre is, music made you feel something, whether it be hate, love, sadness, or “Oh, this is weird.” I then found my love for house music, specifically. After going through two aliases, I found myself sticking with Jace Mek, and the whole vibe behind Jace Mek is simply weirdness. I’ve always loved weird music, and I thought to myself, “Why not incorporate weird/organic/classic sounds into house music?” I found myself creating something Porter Robinson refers to as “weirdo house,” which I’m totally cool with. My goal with the project is to create the coolest/weirdest music one will ever hear. I want to create something new and be respected for it, as opposed to creating something everyone else is creating and not being remembered.
Was there one particular moment in the recording or mixing process for your Discovery Project entry that made you feel like you were creating something pretty damn special?
While I was creating the track, I felt that this track correctly represented what I am about. I love old electro and house music, and as I was producing this track, I felt the right balance between old-school and new-school house music.
Are there any dots to connect between where/how you grew up and your musical output—from people freestyling on the street corner to a grand piano forced down your throat by your mom?
I grew up as a percussionist, and the feeling one would get when listening to either a snare drum or a pair of bongos always fascinated me. Percussion makes people move. I remember visiting Mexico, there were these men, women and children who dressed up as their indigenous ancestors and danced across the streets of Mexico, banging different types of drums or simply shaking homemade instruments, and it all sounded so beautiful to me. Music has always been an important aspect of my life.
Tell us about your most memorable night out as an artist or as a fan.
My first-ever festival was EDC Las Vegas in 2015. I drove out with my brothers, and we had the time of our lives. It definitely inspired me to work harder, because I wanted to play a stage at EDC one day. Seeing so many loyal fans dancing to their favorite artists was amazing. It’s beautiful seeing so many people gather around a stage to tap into a producer’s mind and to experience the musical journey.
How, if at all, does listening to music figure into your creative process? What’s the last song you heard that made you drop what you were doing and go into the studio?
It’s going to sound so strange, but listening to folk gets me in the mood to produce music. I’m a big fan of Mumford & Sons, and I always feel something when I listen to their music. Feeling something while listening to music puts me in the right mood to make music that will make someone feel something. I could be washing dishes while listening to “Believe” by Mumford & Sons and automatically drop partially cleaned dishes back into the sink, and I would start to make something sad.
If we pressed shuffle on your iPod while you went to the bathroom, what would you be embarrassed to come back to us listening to?
I only listen to super tite music.
What sound or noise do you love?
I love growls and electro saws.
What should everyone just shut the fuck up about?
Everyone should just shut the fuck up about genres. Without genres, there would be more creativity. More creativity equals more variety in music. There are already hundreds of different genres specifically in electronic dance music, and I feel that music producers who have not realized that their music does not have to fit a certain genre, are clearly limited with their creativity. Fuck genres.
What gets you excited when you think about the future of electronic music and club culture?
Throughout the past year or so, many music producers have found their own sound, and it’s so refreshing hearing new ideas. More labels are opening up to different genres, and it is simply awesome seeing certain artists get the recognition they deserve now, because they couldn’t before when genres were important. As artists begin to be more creative, I hope that the people who go to clubs and attend events begin to open up their minds a little and give artists a shot to showcase their unique creativity that hasn’t been shown before.
How would you describe your sound to a deaf person?
I’d show them a picture of an owl with a lion’s head.
What do you remember about your first DJ gig?
My first DJ gig was March 4, 2016, in Las Vegas, Nevada. I was fortunate enough to be able to open for Bingo Players, Henry Fong, Drezo and Kayliox. I remember waking up that morning and feeling the most intense excitement I had ever had. My family came to support, and my good friend from high school—along with this entire family—showed up without telling me, just to see me play. I was completely nervous about two hours before I was supposed to go on. I hate being in front of people as the center of attention, but it was different. As I took the stage, I began to feel happy, and it was the greatest time I ever had. I played almost every single track I wanted to play at the show, and the crowd loved it. It felt great finally being able to perform for a crowd after years and years of making music. After I finished my set, I felt this sudden rush of adrenaline, which stayed with me for hours after, and it felt awesome. I was thankful for that opportunity, which became one of the best days of my life.
What’s the hardest professional lesson you’ve learned thus far? How did it make your life easier—or more difficult?
Success does not come easy and quick. Building something from the bottom up is one of the hardest things I ever had to go through. Although, dedicating your life to one thing only, and spending everything minute of your day focusing on that one thing, can make things go by faster and easier. But in the very end, patience is key.