Ingrid Topp-Johnson breaks it down with mix tapes

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Lauren Boettcher

Junior Ingrid Topp-Johnson poses with some of her recent mixtapes. “When I am making a playlist, I usually come up with a very specific idea and then sit down at a computer and create it within half an hour,” Topp- Johnson said.


When someone says they’re a DJ, the statement tends to paint a picture of them spinning records or turning knobs on a keyboard while jumping up and down in a crowded room with strobe lights spinning above them, but this is not always the case. They express their love for music in as many different ways as there are music genres. Junior Ingrid Topp-Johnson, or as she is more commonly known in the DJ industry, Milquetoast Mystique, creates playlists and mix tapes she shares with her friends and family.

Creating these playlists is not always very time consuming, if thought is put into it beforehand: “When I am making a playlist, I usually come up with a very specific idea and then sit down at a computer and create in within half an hour,” Topp- Johnson said. Her playlists and mixes incorporate a variety of musical genres. Her favorite genres include yé-yé pop, a 1960s pop genre originating in France, Italy, and Spain, and doo-wop, a combination of rock and roll and R&B that gained popularity in the United States in the late 1950s. She also enjoys incorporating genres like disco, country, and early punk.

As I grew up and I found music that resontated with me personally, I would make mix CDs out of that. ”

— junior Ingrid Topp-Johnson

Topp-Johnson says she was first exposed to mixing music and playlist building by her father. “My dad would always make playlists that we would listen to when we drove, so as I grew up and I found music that resonated with me personally I would make mix CDs out of that,” she said. Topp-Johnson deejayed her first dance in middle school, and hopes to DJ another in the future: “There are tentative plans that I might DJ a dance [for the Upper School] at some time, but we’ll see if that happens,” Topp-Johnson said.

Ingrid Topp-Johnson is currently collaborating on a mix tape with Grace Clark, a junior at St. Paul Preparatory School. The mix tape is titled American Pimiento, was earlier this spring. “American Pimiento is both an amalgamation of and homage to all the culture that influences us,” Topp-Johnson said on what influenced the mix tape. The specific music on it is still yet to be determined. Topp-Johnson predicts that her love for all genres of music will not dwindle in the future, she plans on keeping it as a hobby. “I don’t see a career for myself in music, but I’ll probably never stop making mix CDs for myself and for my friends,” she said.