Hello hello everyone and welcome back to another installment of MKQ blogs! This week’s episode is coming to you live from Audiotistic 2021!! More on that experience to come
This interview I am featuring today is with a new friend brought to us through the Kandi master Bluroze. As a very dear friend of the podcast he is always scouting and spreading the good vibes of Ravetalks. Recently BluRoze led us to Mood.Kandi!! In March of 2020 after being laid off due to the pandemic they decided to spend time making Kandi and it took off from there! Their approach to kandi and creating a space in the edm community for all is definitely trailblazing. They are a bit of a kandi whisperer. I got the opportunity to learn about their story and how making videos on Kandi helped to heal way more then a bit of boredom.
1. Tell me a bit about yourself: Where are you from? What’s your background?
I’m originally from SoCal, where I lived most of my life until moving to Minnesota. I don’t want to entirely derail this interview with a cult backstory deep dive, so I will just say thatI was raised extremely religious and moving to MN was a way to escape that and have an environment where I could grow into myself and do the self exploration I needed to find happiness. I am happy and well, living with my anchor partner and best friend (two separate people), and currently trying to convince them to get a pet snake. I’m a Taurus, my pronouns are they/them, and I currently work a 9-5 along with all the work I do online and on Etsy.
2. Do you attend events and if so what’s your favorite one to attend?
I do! We have a local festival here called Infrasound that I am extremely fond of – I haven’t been to a ton of festivals yet (thanks rona), but I absolutely love the vibes at small, intimate shows.
3. How did you get into and how long have you been in the edm scene?
I got into raving in early 2019 through a couple of friends who have been in the scene for quite a while. My rave mom took me to Excision as my first show and taught me how to trade kandi, and I was immediately hooked.
4. Where did you get the idea to create Mood.Kandi?
In March 2020, I was let go from my job (as many were) and luckily I was eligible for unemployment. During the first few months of lockdown, when we thought it was just going to be a few months, I patiently stayed home and collected unemployment while waiting for the lockdown to end. I needed something to keep me busy, though, so I started spending a lot of time making kandi and learning how to make bigger and more complicated pieces. I documented this process through Instagram so that I would have a record of where I came from, and started posting process videos to TikTok. Both got a lot of response, much more than I was expecting, so it took on a life of its own pretty rapidly! 😃
I also deal with a number of mental health issues, and found that making kandi is a good activity to relax my brain, or give my hands something to do when I am anxious. So that had a lot of influence on why I kept going with kandi even after I went back to work.
Oh, and my last name is Mood. So the name was obvious 🙂
5. What kind of YouTube videos do you feature on your channel?
I make kandi tutorials (one per month at least) as well as kandi/rave adjacent videos. For example, this month I have a video explaining PLUR Packages, and I’m currently working on a kandi gas mask tutorial. I plan to give up by the end of the month.
6. What’s your favorite genre of edm/Favorite artist?
I’m a headbanger at heart and love some greasy weird wubs. I adore Subtronics and Griz, but picking a top favorite artist would be basically impossible!
7. What does being a Kandi creator and YouTuber mean to you?
Kandi has been incredibly helpful to me personally, both as a form of meditation and as a way to connect to others in situations that I would normally be very socially anxious. Being a kandi creator and Youtuber has given me a means of spreading this to others who can use kandi in a similar way, as well as helping people to learn about PLUR and keep kandi alive in the rave scene. With the current resurgence in “scene” fashion, interest in kandi is super high especially with younger people and teenagers. I take a lot of care in what I put out on my platforms to make sure that they have a safe and welcoming space to learn about kandi and rave culture, and teach the next generation of ravers to be kind to each other and build the kind of future rave community that I want to be a part of.
8. How did you learn to make Kandi? How long have you been making it?
My rave mom initially taught me to make and trade kandi singles and for a while that was all I made. Then in December 2018, I was gifted a few buckets of beads and string, and started watching Youtube tutorials to learn how to make some larger pieces. From there, it’s been a combination of Youtube tutorials and consulting other kandi kids to learn more and more complex stitches.
9. What is your favorite type of Kandi to make or receive?
My favorite type of kandi to make is anything I haven’t made before! I get bored easily and am always looking for new types of kandi to try my hand at. Or, if I’m feeling lazy, X-base cuffs are very zen to make. My favorite type of kandi to receive is anything that is meaningful to the giver. I have tons of singles that I am holding onto, tied into little groups with a label noting the date
and show I got them at, because what really makes the difference to me is the personal connection that happens in a trade. Also, weird & wonky cuffs are really my jam.
10. How do you feel about Kandi being a commodity that is sold for purchase?
The way this question is worded feels so icky! I know that this is an EXTREMELY contentious subject, so I’m going to answer it pretty thoroughly.
Okay, here’s my soapbox: In a perfect world, selling kandi would be unnecessary. However, the capitalist hellscape we are all currently forced to live in dictates that we all have to pay for supplies, food, rent, etc. When an artist spends time and money to make a piece of art, they deserve to be compensated for their time – for many of us, that compensation is the only way we can pay for show tickets, kandi supplies, or even other necessities. It is not unfair for a skilled kandi kid to charge for their time, skill and supplies if they deem it appropriate or necessary to do so. The other side of this issue that is not talked about is that there are MANY people, easily thousands, who want kandi and do not have the means to make it themselves, or be in a situation where they could receive kandi in a trade. This ranges from children/teens who are not old enough to attend shows, to people with disabilities that make attending shows uncomfortable, difficult, or even impossible. There are people who cannot physically make kandi, people who don’t have the time or energy to learn to make larger pieces, or people who want to commission a meaningful gift for a loved one. To refuse to sell kandi would be to make kandi completely inaccessible to a huge group of people who actively want to participate in it. All of that being said, I will never and have never sold kandi when I am out at a show as an attendee. When I am out having fun, I want to be giving away or trading the kandi that I made and brought for that purpose. There is nothing that compares to giving someone their first cuff or perler and I would not feel right trying to sell kandi to people in the crowd. This is distinct and different to me than having a booth at a festival; I am really specifically talking about going out into the crowd and being part of a moment with another human.
That is also a big reason why I have been making tutorials – I actually started by making tutorials on TikTok, which I have been making longer than my shop has been open. Accessibility is hugely important to me, and by making tutorials, I am giving people the choice to make their own kandi if they are able to do so.
11. Do you ever think there is an appropriate time to trade away Kandi that was once traded to you?
Another controversial opinion here! Yes, I do think that sometimes it is appropriate to “re-trade” kandi – but I am VERY specific about circumstances. A lot of it has to do with vibes; if I have a piece that was traded to me and someone shows up who CLEARLY needs it, I’m going to give it to them. (I don’t know how else to explain this, but if you know you know.) I’m a little bit less protective of kandi singles; sometimes you just end up getting generic singles and, as someone with a dragon’s hoard of kandi, sending those ones back out into the wild is going to make more of an impact than me keeping 200 PLUR singles in a box in my closet.
Anything that was specifically made for me never gets traded away. Anything that was traded to me never gets sold. I do not “re-trade” anything that I received at that same event, because I don’t want anyone’s feelings to get hurt.
The vast majority of kandi I receive, I do keep, but sometimes it doesn’t feel right to hang onto something and that’s when I know it’s something I should let go of.
12. How long do you think kandi making culture will be around for?
Kandi is going to stick around as long as raving does. It may ebb and flow in popularity, but it’s here to stay. There are enough hardcore old school kandi kids around, and the new generation of kandi kids is coming along really well, that I have no doubt that kandi will outlast us all.
I sure hope so!! Such amazing time I had getting to know Mood better and thank you to them for sharing!
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We love you all… MKQ out ☺