Party Ghost Increases His Visibility
Chris Mehrtash, aka Party Ghost, almost didn’t make his 9pm set time for Beyond Wonderland. After making the two-and-a-half-hour drive from Fresno to San Bernardino, Party Ghost found himself stuck behind two trains, waiting for them to pass so he could enter the festival. “The first one came… it was like ten minutes. Then this other one came. It was like twenty minutes just waiting for it,” he said. “I made it right at nine.”
As if that wasn’t enough, the music went out during his set. Unfazed, Party Ghost swiftly took action, and before the audience could think twice, got the music back on. “It’s happened before, so I kind of know what to do. I try to unplug it, then plug it back in [laughs], basic things,” he explained. “But it came back, so I’m happy.”
It’s hard to believe that Party Ghost has only been producing for nine months. He’s traded in his guitar and mic from his band days and entered the world of dance music. So why the move? “It’s the music, it’s the energy, everything. I think it’s a revolution… it’s completely something new.”
Insomniac chatted with Party Ghost after his high-powered set, during which a stranger put a giant mask on his head, leaving him unable to see while spinning. To find out how Party Ghost has transitioned over to becoming a DJ, plans for his upcoming EP, and his worst DJ experience ever, read below.
How did your set go? What did you think?
My set was awesome. It was crazy.
It was so high energy!
It was. I really had a lot of fun. It’s probably one of my best gigs that I’ve played.
What else have you played?
I played in Texas. I play a lot in Fresno, California, and I’ve played in Los Angeles before. That’s pretty much it. Texas is the farthest one away.
And how long have you been producing?
I’ve been producing for about like nine months now. I was in a band for three years before this, so I play guitar, sing.
How’s making your first EP going?
It’s going good. It’s taking a while but it’s going good. It’ll be done probably by launch. I’m going to launch this summer. That’s what we’re planning on right now.
How did you come up with your name?
There’s no actual good story behind it. I just like partying. I like the word “party” and I like the word “ghost,” so I just combined it. That’s pretty much it.
So how has your journey as a DJ been so far?
It’s been going pretty fast. I was in a band before so I kind of know how to push as an artist. I kind of know what to do as in trying to get my name out there.
Do you still do the whole band thing?
No, that stopped. Once the band stopped, I started doing Party Ghost.
Do you work on the side?
I used to be a tutor, and now I’m getting enough money to actually sustain my brand. My rent’s $300, so I can do it.
Because you live in Fresno.
So this is your first Insomniac show right?
Yeah, this is my first Insomniac show. This was pretty fucking crazy. Twenty minutes before my set I was ten miles out.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a DJ?
I don’t know. I’ve been doing music since I was seventeen, so I really don’t know what I would be doing. Probably something with business, more marketing, PR stuff.
During the day what do you do?
I’m doing Party Ghost almost 24/7. This is my job, so I have to. I keep pushing. It’s fun; I don’t mind it at all.
What are your best and worst DJ experiences?
I played a show in Fresno and then my laptop turned off. It was during mid-set. It was probably a ten-minute downtime. So that was probably the worst experience that I’ve ever had. Nothing too crazy.
What was the crowd’s reaction?
They always do the same exact thing, “OOOOOH!!” And then I just try to get them clapping.
I could see that today too.
I came prepared.
Do you have any piercings?
I just have my ears pierced. I lost my other one [earring] on stage. I saw it flying out. I’m like, “No!”
What are your goals for the future?
Just keep pushing out new music, keep pushing my name out there. Just go hard.
Do you use any marketing techniques?
I do a lot of remixes, so I try to push that out. If it’s not official, we try to do it through blogs, so a lot of blog pushing.
What’s the best and worst piece of advice you’ve gotten?
The best advice I’ve gotten… “Don’t take advice.” It’s something I think everyone learns on their own.
Your EP is coming out soon. What other goals do you have?
It’s just basically building my profile out, getting as many shows as possible. One of my biggest goals is to play Ultra or EDC.
By Anum Khan