Party Rocking: Four Minutes With EDM Trap Lord, Party Thieves
New DJs are born every day on the Internet but none can humblebrag about having an army. Enter Jared MacFarlin, b.k.a. Party Thieves, whose #TheftArmy keeps his party popping once he hits the stage. With a slew of DJ sets booked overseas, the Billboard Hot 100 Fest artist and former West Point student-athlete reveals his diverse influences, former passion for sports and why he goes hard for his Stans.
Get more familiar with Party Thieves below.
Explain the concept of Trap Heaven.
Party Thieves: It’s just an idea that I started with my friend whose another big group from about a year and a half ago. It’s the idea of taking hip-hop, trap, 808s and snares, and mixing it more with softer sounds of house music. It brings a lot of emotions out of you, so the point of the term isn’t really important. We’re just taking different styles and mixing them together.
While in school, you played football. How did you get from the gridiron to the recording studio?
I went to West Point United States Military Academy for four years, so I’ve always had this vision of school, academics and sports. I ran track and played football there. During my sophomore year, I got injured and had a couple of knee surgeries and a concussion. That really made me shift my focus because I had a lot of free time and found music, and the rest is history. It was a switch in passions, but I love what I’m doing and glad to be here for sure.
You’re also headed on two tours for this fall. Are you excited? Tell us about that.
For sure! Technically, today [August 22] is day one of the Theft Army tour and I’m starting here at the Billboard fest. The dates for that are between now and the beginning of October throughout the U.S. We’re hitting Minneapolis and a few other places, and then I’m going on a 20-day journey in Australia. We’re hitting about 10 cities between Australia and New Zealand, and then I come back to the U.S. at the end of October for another festival in California called Escape.
Your career is taking off like crazy in its early stages. Do you credit signing to Circle Talent for that?
It has definitely opened up show opportunities and playing with other artists that I’ve always wanted to team up with. Circle Talent has such a diverse roster, especially in the EDM/Trap industry that I’m into specifically. It’s definitely given me the chance to be at these types of big festivals with these big names. In January, I’m going on a huge tour that I can’t really announce yet, but you should expect to see me a lot more around that time.
Your support also stems from social media. What’s the experience of having a fan army like?
There was this girl and her boyfriend had reached out to me in a private message thanking me. I get that all of the time and I love it, but this one just really stuck out because he had found inspiration through me. She said that he really works hard to achieve his goals and how excited he is when he learns new things. I get messages like that on occasion, and it’s amazing to see how my music boosts someone like that and inspires people to work hard.
What is it about your sound that you think gets the crowd exhilarated?
My sets are very energetic. For people who just want to chill, vibe out, drink a beer and relax—you would probably be at the wrong place. [Laughs.] My sets are extremely high energy. There’s a lot of mosh pit [action] and jumping up and down. I just like to keep people on their toes during my sets! I play a lot of random, unexpected stuff, too. My goal is to keep the energy high throughout the entire set.
What are your thoughts on DJ Mustard calling out Jidenna and Iggy Azalea?
To me, it sounds like a sampling thing. Personally, I do use samples. A huge part of music is sampling sounds and most of the hits that radio plays have some sort of samples in them anyways. It’s important for the music industry, but I just think it’s all in how you go about it. If you’re directly taking someone else’s art and using it as is, that’s probably no good. But, if you’re taking a style and flipping or creating it into something new and unique, I think that’s fine. As an artist, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. Other artists have sampled some of my songs, and I don’t see an issue, as long as they’re giving credit where it’s due. When you get too caught up in the politics and money part of it, it’s just a distraction.
Who are you planning to work with in the future?
I’m doing some work with Flosstradamus, UZ, Sticky Sound, Jackal, Maco and a bunch of other artists. Right now, we’re really excited to push these projects. I took about a two-month break from releasing music to go out to L.A. and generate some unique sounds as well as hunt for some inspiration out of that music. I’m really excited to start up some tracks for the end of this year and the beginning of next year.