Origin: United States
With tens of millions of streams on everything from originals to remixes and a unique background which includes stints as a West Point cadet and a wide receiver for the Army football team, NYC-based solo artist THIEVES, previously known as Party Thieves, has swiftly made his presence known in the music world. His ability to be able to take any track or idea and make it his own has been recognized by renowned names like RL Grime, Skrillex, and Diplo. Producing for years now, THIEVES is known for his bass bin-rattling hits, ‘Origin’ and ‘Poppy Seeds’, both tracks expressing his unique style from the moment the vocals hit in a rush of adrenaline and endorphins, combining hard-hitting trap elements and with a deep musicality.
THIEVES has also inspired a movement called the Theft Army; an army hungry for the incredible music he consistently puts out. Going beyond just the music though, THIEVES uses his platform and following to make a bigger difference within communities. Being able to unite his passion for music with his philanthropic values, the Theft Army movement goes beyond celebrating a killer track or party. THIEVES has created a movement to help change the world for the better, one song at a time.
Hometown: Monroe, NY
Currently living: New York, NY
Origin of name:
I really wanted the name Grandtheft Party, because I was always a huge fan of the GTA video game series, but saw Grandtheft was already taken. Skipped to Theft Party and eventually Party Thieves; it just felt right, and I kept it plural because I wanted the name to be about more than myself but incorporate my fans (Theft Army) and my team.
Weapon of choice:
Source of power:
A$AP Rocky, RL Grime, Flosstradamus, GTA, Dunkin Donuts Iced French Coffee with cream, two sugar, two Splenda
What advice would you offer someone thinking about entering the Discovery Project competition?
Don’t enter the competition with any doubt in your mind. With anything you do, do it with confidence or don’t do it at all.
My name is Jared McFarlin, for everyone that feels inclined to add me on Facebook. My life in general is a series of regrets turned into something beautiful, and I have no one to thank besides my parents and God. I attended the United States Military Academy and didn’t even know what EDM was until 2011, after my college roommate showed me Mt Eden’s “Sierra Leone.” Toward the end of my college years at USMA, I hit a streak of depression and anxiety that really affected my life and those around me; however, the passion I found in music really kept my spirit intact and gave me a feeling of hope. The journey of my life since I started producing in late 2013 has not been a smooth road by any means, but looking back, I don’t think I would have had it any other way—well, almost.
What do your parents think of what you are doing?
Sometimes I think they want to believe I’m studying for law school or applying to Harvard, since both my brother and sister went there. Ultimately they are supportive of my actions, and I am truly blessed to have them in my life. Hopefully next year, if I get to play EDC Vegas again, I will bring one of them along.
What’s the biggest misconception about being a DJ? Or, what would people be surprised to find out about the profession?
I think the misconception is that we are all trying to be true DJs. DJing has basically become an integrated part of being a producer, so for myself, I am not a DJ. I am a musician or producer that also plays live shows. DJing is such a broad term, that I feel it doesn’t do justice to the work guys like A-Trak or Craze put down during their performances.
Tell me about your most memorable night out as an artist or as a fan.
Seeing RL Grime live for the first time ever—late 2014, during his VOID Tour—motivated me so hard for my 2015 streak. I think it has shown, too, that I take inspiration from his work, as well as some others. His show in Boston was actually the best set I have ever seen, hands-down. This was also before his album dropped, so hearing the music he curated for the show was memorable.
Do you have any memorable moments from past EDCs or any other Insomniac party?
I’ve actually only been to one EDC—New York 2012—which was the first festival I ever attended, and the first time I had ever heard bass music as well. I distinctly remember listening to 12th Planet and trying to understand what was happening to my body. From that day forward, I’ve been hooked to bass music.
Are you impulsive with your work (in the studio and/or DJing), or do you have a sketch in mind before you start?
Haha, if you ask any of my friends to describe me in one word, usually the first words that come out are “impulsive” and “spontaneous.” The one thing I love about music and producing is that you can do whatever you want with it—literally. I made a track called “Chief” with my good buddies ATLiens, and in one of the drops I used dog-barking samples. Things like that aren’t planned but just are a part of the workflow.
What’s the most important piece of gear in your studio?
My headphones: V Moda Crossfade LP. I produce heavily through them and make all my 808s with them.
What should everyone just shut up about?
I always see a lot of posts about genres and hating whatever genre, blah blah blah. I think genres are actually very important, because it helps me describe and classify what music I enjoy listening to; but I try not to put down any genre that I don’t necessarily enjoy. Instead, I think it is important to try focusing on artists that you like or songs that you enjoy listening to, instead of focusing on what genre of sound they are classified under. For example, I’m not too fond of progressive house, but I love “Runaway” by Galantis (who doesn’t). I also hate hearing crap about big room, yet any DV/LM stage will be packed, and any and every Firebeatz stage will be packed. A lot of “internet” talk doesn’t translate to people’s actions. I enjoy good music; that’s that.
What gets you excited when you think about the future of electronic music and club culture?
What is not to get excited about! Every year, it seems the EDM industry is breaking charts and posting huge festival and/or club numbers. So many on-point festivals and tours are popping up everywhere, and I think it is awesome! The more, the merrier.
When you look at electronic music and the surrounding culture, what worries you about the future? What do you wish would change or that you could change?
I wish I could change how fans look at artists. I think because we live in the internet age, there is a huge wall that separates fans/listeners and artists.
What are your weaknesses?
Musically: I definitely could be more “technically sound.” From a listener’s standpoint, I have been able to produce some quality tunes, and to the untrained ear it sounds probably fine. I’m still such a rookie and have so much to learn about sound production and mixdown/mastering techniques.
Non-musically: I tend to micromanage a lot. I always like to have a hand in every process and don’t like to rely too much on other people. I think this stems from the idea in my head that if my music career were to fail, I could only point at myself for not working hard enough. I have a great management team in Golden Ratio that also manages names like Paper Diamond, JackLDN, Vaski, and a few others.
Do you have a secret passion?
I absolutely love golf and hockey. I have played about every sport growing up and played two Division I sports (football, track & field) in college, but golf and hockey remain my passion.
Do you have something you’d like to get off your chest that we didn’t ask you about?
Do what you love; as simple as that sounds, it is true. I think my generation is afraid to be independent since we are so dependent—especially when it comes to social media. Don’t be afraid to fail; and if you do, embrace it, because it’s going to happen a lot more. Once you understand that success isn’t equal to a dollar sign but a smile on your face, you will find yourself working harder than ever.