THRASHA Shares Plan to Make Dubstep Until She’s 90 [Interview]
A career in dubstep for Colorado’s THRASHA always seemed like an uphill battle, but these obstacles only drove her further in pursuit of her dreams. In a talk with MP3 MAG, the Colorado producer shared her testament to the fact that with little “time and energy” a person can overcome and accomplish just about anything.
THRASHA—name Cheyanne Muska—was raised in a reserved family home in the Greater Boston area. Perhaps adapting the personality of her Massachusetts surroundings, Muska matured with a straightforward, no-nonsense attitude channeled towards her desire and love for music.
She remembers her first favorite music video vividly, when she saw Eminem’s “Without Me” on TV. She resonated with his come up and struggle through his music, and by the young age of eight she was sporting an ‘Em’ poster on her bedroom wall. This would serve as foreshadowing as Muska would go on to find her own personality and identity through rebellious counter-interests in music.
“I just remember standing there watching and thinking, ‘What is this right now?’ Muska recalled seeing the “Without Me” music video for the first time. “I respect artists who push lyrical boundaries without fear of judgement or rejection. I’ve just been obsessed with music ever since.”
Muska would live inside the lyrics and storytelling of each of her favorite songs, finding respice in the narratives of her favorite artists and moments in music. This engrossment took a more creative turn in 2014, when she began making beats on her computer. After seeing Skrillex perform at the age of 18, her enthusiasm became fully fixated on the electronic scene.
Aside from the fervent enthusiasm that she found in music, Muska grew up with an overall feeling of being out of place, abetted by being openly gay early on in her adolescence. Upon diving into the electronic music scene, however, she discovered what would be a permanent, accepting home. She began attending shows for acts like Excision and Liquid Stranger, where she fell in love with the fierce, in-your-face energy of heavy dubstep music.
Following a move to Michigan, the producer began to make music under the moniker MVSKA. This era of her project was more so an opportunity to do what she loved, but the vibrant scene of Grand Rapids began embedding a deeper love for dubstep culture. After a meet & greet opportunity with NGHTMRE, who she cites as her biggest inspiration and idol, the young producer opted to take things more seriously by enrolling in ICON Collective, an L.A.-based music academy.
“I idolized him, I still do,” said THRASHA, recalling when NGHTMRE’s Street EP came out. “I watched a video of him talking about what he did to get there. Once I watched it, I thought, ‘If he can do it, I can do it too.’”
Upon refocusing her career, both her setting and mindset shifted as she didn’t want to be just a fan anymore. After making appearances in The Untz Top 50 in both ‘17 and ‘18, Muska’s biggest breakthrough in this facet came when she won the Electric Forest Price Cart Contest 2018. This would give her the biggest moment of validation of her young career. Muska became fully determined to make her dreams and aspirations into something much more, and ultimately moved to Denver in Fall 2020.
“The moment I knew I could do this was when I won the Prize Cart Contest at Electric Forest,” said Muska. “It’s so silly because it’s like a minute long remix, but [it] changed everything for me. Seeing people react to it in a positive way, I was like, ‘Oh my god, I can do this.’ The proof is right here because they’re dancing to [my music].”
Muska would link up with friend Will Kertzman, who is a manager and director of operations at Colorado’s upstart artist management company, Mind Warp Mgmt. Founded on the principles of helping artists understand and realize the full potential of their project, Mind Warp helped her sharpen her vision as well as cut her teeth in the local community. Like the sentiment she had experienced growing up in the EDM scene, her new team provided an accepting, safe environment for her to continue to blossom as an artist.
“I didn’t get the full picture,” said Muska. “I didn’t understand what a full project was, what the purpose was behind it, and how it can change lives.”
Inspired by acts like Kompany, SampliFire, and Eliminate, she began to further develop her heavy sonic stylings with a more experimental approach. She ultimately decided on a new moniker to refocus her career, THRASHA, inspired by her infinite love for Dubstep culture.
Much has changed about the scene this past year, but Muska sees it all as an opportunity to provide a positive experience with the THRASHA project and be a role model in the scene.
“That’s what THRASHA’s about, time and energy,” said Muska. “Those are the two most important things you could give to somebody else. If you have the ability to give that to somebody, why wouldn’t you do it?”
In 2021, THRASHA made her debut performance alongside Colorado star Mersiv by providing support on his 2-night run in Fort Collins. Once an outcast left alone to her musical taste, the producer now finds herself surrounded by a wholesome community of friends and artists who readily accept her.
As she nears the beginning stages of the project’s first music roll out, THRASHA sees the biggest transformation not just in her music or dedication, but in her overall confidence to take this journey on. Her upbringing instilled novice doubt about a career in music, but today, the producer feels invincible and unrelenting in the pursuit of her dreams.
“The music sets you free, dude. Tell me one person that doesn’t feel that way? Music is the only thing that sets us free and if I can give that to other people, I’ll make dubstep music until I’m 90.“