A few weeks before Dew Tour in Des Moines, Iowa, Mariah Duran came out west to Los Angeles, California to take advantage of the plethora of skate parks the city has to offer for some practice days. On some down time between her busy schedule we caught up with Mariah to get the lowdown on her favorite music and what keeps her gassed up. From female hip hop and R&B artists, throwbacks, and keeping the mood just right in LA traffic, here’s a look at Mariah’s favorite music along with a custom curated playlist.

What would you say your favorite type of music?
Mostly hip hop and R&B. 

Can you name any artists you’ve currently listen to?
I’ve been recently listening to a lot of the old Kanye West, like his Watch The Throne album. Also, DaniLeigh, Beyonce, everybody expects me to say that, but yeah, it’s true (laughs) and Drake, but it just depends on the mood. Cardi B, too but that’s pretty much the go-to’s.

How big of a role would you say music plays in your day-to-day life?
Definitely constantly playing music. For me, it wakes me up you know; most people check Instagram or some put on a song, and you’re like, alright, I’m ready to go. I listened to a lot of music when it’s silent, that’s fine, but I felt like it helps the process like in your skating, or anything else, like doing the dishes. It helps you focus, at least for me.

How do you usually listen to music? Do you like to throw on headphones, or do you have it playing on a speaker?
I mean, not really on a speaker, just mainly out loud. A lot of people know that about me. I play it out loud. It just depends, like if I’m skating alone, probably earphones or with a speaker. I feel like it’s kind of nice to have earphones, but I only have one because I like to hear what’s going on as well. Not just completely zoned out. You’re kind of vulnerable when you can’t hear. There’s been plenty of times where you put those Beats on, and you can’t hear anything. I could just be robbed or whatever.

Talking about skating with headphones, do you skate with them while you are competing too?
I have a warm-up playlist kind of deal it changes all the time it’s not like a set playlist. It’s kind of like, how I’m feeling about my skating, and how I’m feeling about the environment is how I choose my playlist. If I need some juicy gassed up stuff, I’ll like to put on Beyonce, or if it’s kind of more mellow, I’ll just put on a mellow artist. It really depends on the environment. If it’s like for the championship, then you put on like champion music. Stuff that’s just like gasses you up. If I skate with earphones in a contest, it’s just with one because I felt like it’s rude if it’s two. With one on, you can approach people; you can talk to them, you know, I feel like that’s the best.

on rotation mariah duran
Photo Credit: Arias

Do you hit shuffle on a few songs that you’re feeling, or do you have it on repeat with one song?
It depends on the mood. If I have a song that really hits, I probably have that on repeat the whole time, and it zones me back into where I need to be. Other times, I’ll have a playlist with three or four songs. That’s as long as my playlist would go because I feel like that’s as much time as I have.

Who would be your go-to right now if you would be competing?
Recently for this trip, since I’ve been out here [editors note: Mariah is in Los Angeles] would be Gotta Have It by Kanye. That one is fire. That one has been hitting a lot.

Who’s usually plays music while driving around looking for spots or on the way to a skate park?
I’m mostly playing music in the car. I honestly feel like I’ve gotten the role of the DJ. I kind of know-how to read the room or read the car. So I’ll be playing my music, and if they’re not filling it, I’ll throwback to the 2000s and, like time machine them back. So off the search of that I’ll be like damn, this song was fire remember this? It’s all about playing with it. I feel like that’s the funnest way, especially out here in LA traffic, too like as a DJ, I feel like it’s my duty to allow them to feel something driving or not driving.

on rotation mariah duran
Photo Credit: Arias

Any video parts as of recently or from growing up that impacted you because of the song that was used?
I don’t want to fan out too hard because he’s here presently, but Paul Rodriguez’s Me Myself and I part with Kanye’s Power song. That one because I remember it was when they first release stuff on iTunes and where you buy the part. I remember I was begging my mom like ‘yo can I sign up for this?’ I forget how much it was, but yeah, I remember that part hit.

How about if you had clips loaded and ready to go for a video part and you could pick any song all rights free, what song would you pick?
It would be beast to get the right Rihanna or Beyonce song because I feel like they’re the first ones to copyright my stuff on Instagram (laughs) but definitely a female artist. I think it’d be sick to have a female hip hop or R&B artist. Those are just the top two, but I’m down for Danileigh. It just has to hit right, too, like I understand if the footage matches the song perfectly, then it will stick, you know. If it doesn’t, then no one is going to remember it.

Sound off in the comments below!

Join the conversation