What’s your favorite type of music to listen to?
I’d say I don’t really have a specific taste; it just depends on my mood. Sometimes I’ll play a playlist, and it’s all pretty random. If I played my liked songs, it would be the most random stuff ever—like really mellow and then to really bad rap and some British pop rock. It really is all random.

Name some of the artists that you’ve been listening to as of late.
A lot of Blur. I was obsessed with a couple of their music videos when I was younger. My mom would show me [their videos], and I just thought they were the best band ever. The Cure, some Kid Cudi, and sometimes Chief Keef. It really is all over the place.

You mentioned your mom playing music videos. Did your parents influence what you like to listen to today?
Well, both my parents are musicians. They don’t play too much anymore, but my dad’s a bass player, and my mom used to sing in bands. My mom loves music; she created a lot of my music tastes like David Bowie, and I listened to whatever she played.

Do you have any musical talents yourself?
I wish I did. I feel like my only talent is skateboarding. I feel like anything else I’ve tried, like little games, pool, or any music, I just don’t have it. I feel like the talent I have has all been used on skating. I want to get into music, and a lot of my friends play like bass, drums, guitar, and I literally have no time to learn an instrument. But I really want to.

If you could play any instrument, what would you pick to learn?
When I was younger, I’ve always wanted to play the drums because we had a drum set in our basement that hadn’t been put together for a long time, and I would go down and be like, ‘can we please like put it together?’ But that’s never happened. It’s still in pieces in the basement.

Do you ever skate with headphones?
Yeah, I do. I used to not, and I remember I was at Combi once when I was younger and I don’t know whose music it was playing, but it was not good. I put my earbuds in, and right when I put them in, I ate it so bad. I remember I said I’d never skate with headphones again. Then AirPods got invented, and they have transparency mode, so now I only wear the right one in transparency mode, playing music. But that’s not during a contest.

minna stess on rotation
Photo Credit: Dangaard

That was my next question if you skate with headphones while competing or if it’s too much of a distraction.
Yeah, usually, in practice, I’ll have an AirPod in, and then on the day of the contest, I’ll go with no earbuds because I like to hear what’s going on.

Do you have a set playlist that you listen to for practice at a competition?
Not really. I shuffle my songs, which can be annoying sometimes, because I have some bad songs on there on purpose, because I think they’re funny. So I’ll have to skip it. Yeah, not usually anything specific, just whatever random playlist.

minna stess on rotation
Photo Credit: Dangaard

Any skate videos you watched growing up that was your favorite because of the song they used?
Yesterday I was on YouTube, and Fully Flared came up, and I remember that being my favorite video. I don’t know who my favorite part is because I was so young when it came out. I remember they used an Arcade Fire song that I already had in a playlist and knew, and when I was watching the video yesterday, I realized it was in Fully Flared. When I was younger, I was never really into watching skate videos like my brother was, so I’d be like, I don’t want to watch skate videos, I just want to skate. But now I mostly like watching people I know or people with a unique style about them.

It’s Mike Mo who uses No Cars Go by Arcade Fire.
Yeah, it is No Cars Go. I found that song in one of my brother’s playlists, and when I noticed the song, I knew it was familiar and I couldn’t piece together that it was in Fully Flared until yesterday.

minna stess
Photo Credit: Durso

If you were to have a video part ready, and you could pick any song that you wanted, what would be a dream song to use?
That’s a hard one. I don’t know because I struggle to pick songs even for an Instagram edit. If it could work, the Blur song Coffee & TV. I’ve loved that song since I was younger. I don’t know if that would work for a video part but if it did, I would definitely pick that. I usually pick something that works with the video, not just because I have an attachment to it.

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