Over the past few years, 19-year-old DJ and producer Mason Flynt has taken his music from the confines of his bedroom to stages around Austin.
Story by Onaje McDowelle
Photos courtesy of Mason Flynt
With no classical training in music or instrumentation, Flynt has managed to snag gigs, opening up at SXSW showcases along with big name artists like Toro y Moi and XXYYXX. The young musician was also recently added to the lineup for popular electronic DJ Snakehips’ North American tour.
“It was interesting,” Flynt says of when asked about how he started making music in the first place. “It was something I could do without moving.”
He recalls his start playing shows 5 years ago. “I started playing shows ‘cause this guy Beef was throwing parties at this shack thing on East Sixth,” Flynt says. “I was like 14.”
After these early appearances, Flynt was able to build up his network and create contacts within the industry through the help of social media. “ I just started going through everybody's Facebook friends list that added me after playing those parties, picked out who was important and added them myself,” Flynt says. By building a network with the bigger names in Austin’s DJ scene, Flynt eventually started booking more shows.
As for his musical influences, Flynt likes to consider himself a product of his environment. “I don’t make a certain [type] music. I make what’s around me,” Flynt says. Flynt is currently out of school and living on his own for the first time with some friends, which he cites as the reason for the heavy hip hop influences in his current music. However, pure hip hop has not always been the medium that Flynt used to curate his sound. In fact, for his earlier high school sound, Flynt says, “I used to make a lot of sad beats, because I was alone in my room a lot.”
When it comes to mixing, whether it be onstage or in the studio, he finds himself pulling from “pretty much everybody I listen to, some more than others, but definitely everybody.” He describes his music as honest. He wants people to get “whatever they want from it,” making it universal and suitable for just about anyone.
The main goal that Mason has set for himself in the industry right now is survival. In order to stay on top of his game, he continues to seek out new material for mixes and carry out production work on a daily basis. “I am finding a lot of new music,” Flynt says. “I got Apple Music, so I have been listening to a lot of old music just because it's finally all organized and in front of me.”
Reading crowds has become second nature for Mason when he’s on stage. “I just see what everybody is feeling,” Flynt says. On some nights, Flynt admits that depending on the show, he still gets a little nervous. Ultimately, he says, the best nights are full of “good vibes, good people, lots of homies” and without a doubt “lots of reverb.”