Now that dust has settled on that huge event ADE 2017 has been, we are ready to share with you the exciting chat we had with one of the youngest talents in the scene, Maurice West.
Our reporter, Ross has had the chance to sit with the Dutch man for a nice interview about his blooming career, ADE, his already hectic tour life, and upcoming productions.
WARNING: Don’t let his baby-face fool you though, this guy has a pretty clear picture about his future :
“Pushing the boundaries of my music is always the main focus,
I am always thinking: how can I take this to the next level? And how can I bring something more to the table?
It’s really important to stand out, I think that is the main challenge”. (M.W.)
TBA: Hi Maurice, thank you for supporting The Backstage Access! First of all, how has your summer been?
Maurice: My summer was definitely the coolest summer so far!
I’ve been really busy playing shows all around Europe and Asia as well during the last part of the summer,together with W&W.
That was really cool since I haven’t been in Asia a lot. So far it has been the best summer of my life!
TBA: You recently released a track with KSHMR, which is also the first track of his new label! How did this came to life?
Maurice: Well, I made a sketch for the track and I already knew that I wanted to send it out to him because it just had the vibe that he usually creates in his tracks and if I were to release that on my own, everyone would have said ’’Oh it sounds like something KSHMR would make’’ and it would have taken me away from the original spotlight.
With this in mind, I just wanted to see it released with him or not at all.
We had a quick e-mail exchange, he loved the sketch and once the track was completed he started blasting it out at Ultra and all the festivals and then his new label was something that went along with it. But it was really cool to be the first on a new platform!
TBA: So now that you’ve worked with a big artist like KSHMR, are there any other artists under your radar?
Maurice: I really want to collaborate with W&W because we’re together a lot and fans are expecting a cooperation as well. We already have some ideas lying around, we just want to go for the right sound, which has to be a combination of both of our styles.
TBA : So we definitely can expect a collaboration between you and W&W?
Maurice: Yeah, definitely but we don’t know when, it needs time.
TBA: What is your track of the year?
Maurice: My track of the year… Wow, that’s a really tough one… I think the collaboration between W&W and Vini Vici, Chakra, is really like one of those tracks that truly sets the tone for the scene and what’s to come because Psy-Trance is really high right now, but it’s a new take on that genre and showing that Mainstage can combine hard hitting sounds and festival stuff with other music genres as well. So I think this track is a step in the right direction.
TBA: Does that also mean you might consider making a Psy-Trance track?
Maurice: Well yeah, I’ve thought about it… But if I were to make a Psy-Trance track, it would really have to be something that works with my sound so people can still say ’’Oh, Maurice made this’’ while it’s still Psy-Trance.
TBA: ADE is one of the biggest moments of the year, how has your ADE been so far?
Maurice: Busy. Really excited for what’s to come! I’ll be playing at Slam, which will be aired on the radio, I’m doing Armada Invites which will also be livestreamed. So I’m really excited to play new music and see the reactions from the crowds and people online. I’m also playing at Young Ones and Julian Jordan & Friends, so really nice parties! During ADE you’ll also get to see a lot of people that you might have seen once or twice and then you meet again here and it really becomes like one big DJ family reunion.
TBA : ADE is also the week that the DJ Mag top 100 gets released, what is your opinion on the list?
Maurice: Well, I think it’s still important that people cast their vote and show their support towards who they really like and think deserves a good spot.
But while someone might spend a lot of attention to the poll, like people who invest a lot of money in campaigning and stuff, others don’t do it a all.
So the balance between things is really weird as some people will enter the DJ Mag without any investments in campaigning, so then i think they really deserve to be in it! It’s really hard to say, I still think the DJ Mag top 100 list is important, but it’s hard to have a clear opinion on it because there are so many different sides to it.
TBA: Where do you see yourself in the upcoming years? And with reference to the last question, also in the DJ Mag chart?
Maurice: Well this year I didn’t really go for a DJ Mag spot… But if it ever happens, that would be really cool, maybe next year I will be doing some more campaigning or I’ll find out how to reach people and hopefully get them to vote for me. But it really has to be the right time to do that.
TBA: What is your favourite crowd? Do you have a favourite country or club and do you prefer clubs or festivals?
Maurice: Well clubs can be really cool! Like some clubs in China, they can be really intimate and get people really close to you while still being huge and super packed locations!
For example, during the last day of the tour we were in a club called Grammy Foshan and we didn’t know what to expect because some clubs in China are really VIP-based clubs while other shows had really well informed fans and they were really crazy!
So during that last show, people were climbing up the booth and let themselves fall in to the crowd and people would throw them up in the air and guys were doing moshpits out of nowhere, even during warm-up sets!
It was really cool to see, so let’s say China has 50/50 crowds from like really great crazy crowds to a more chilled audience where friends just hang out to clubbing in a different way.
Festivals are really cool to see and it’s more about getting a united reaction back from the crowd.
While in a club you can focus on a limited amount of people, in a festival you have one big crowd to deal with, they either go really crazy or you have to take them on a journey and involve them during your set.
But I don’t have a specific country or people that stand out yet, as I’ve only been touring for a year now.
TBA: How has you touring experience been so far and how are you dealing with stuff like jetlags?
Maurice: Well I’m still pretty young and really energetic so I haven’t experienced any jetlags, yet. Touring is really cool and I haven’t got anything to complain.
I’m used to see tweets of DJ’s complaining and I remember there even was a Twitter account called ’’DJ’s complaining’’ and they just retweeted tweets of DJ’s that were bullshitting about flights and jetlags.
So I’m really enjoying myself now and really trying to stay in shape and doing this for as long as I can! You get to do a lot of more shows and that was one of the main things I wanted and seeing that all happen now is just really cool!
TBA : What do you have in store for us in 2018 and the winter?
Maurice: Well definitely new music! Also music I’ve been playing a lot and people on the internet already started to rip it out of my sets. So people are expecting those; for instance, a track I did with 2 Hungarian guys called Saberz and we made a remix of Rhythm of the Night, and we actually got the vocal sample cleared for that so we can officially release it now, we’re just finishing it up and making a new version for ADE so I can play it out and then we’ll have to see when we can release that and furthermore I have some solo tracks coming up as well, but I can’t spill too much about that yet.
TBA: What does ADE mean to you?
Maurice: I think it’s, like I said, a great gathering of all the DJ’s, promoters and all the industry people. I feel like Amsterdam gets a new breath of life for the week and of course all the parties are great!
You also get to meet a lot of new people as well. Like yesterday we were at a party hosted by my booking agency, David Lewis, and all the promoters of all the clubs and festivals in the world were there and I got to meet people from festivals that I’ve only seen on videos on YouTube.
So now I actually got to talk to those people and get to hear their vision on things and get to connect with people you won’t ever connect trough the internet with.
TBA: What is currently your main challenge as a DJ?
Maurice: Ooph, this is a tough one as well… I think pushing the boundaries of my music is always the main focus.
Like when I’m playing shows I’m always thinking things like “How can I take this to the next level?” and “How can I bring different stuff to the stage than other people do?” and also think why people would book me compared with the line-up, especially now when people are making the same kind of music and the same kind of thing. So it’s really important to stand out, I think that is the main challenge.
TBA: Do you think that’s also a challenge as a “Mainstage veteran” since Mainstage is known for a certain type of sound?
Maurice: I think they do their part in spreading to other sub-genres but of course it’s always a challenge because Mainstage is based on energetic music. So for instance when Trap and Future Bass were hot, some Mainstage artists tried to do their thing in that genre, so that’s cool. I don’t think Mainstage sticks to one thing, I think they stick to one mentality which is that it has to be super energetic and work live. So I think we can do a lot of different stuff, but it has to be hard hitting, it has to get the people going wild at a festival.
TBA: Production wise, what is currently your favourite plugin?
Maurice: I’ve been using Serum more and more and I’m looking at getting Virus because I’ve been listening to a lot of Hardstyle lately and I know all those guys use Virus, so know I want Virus as well!
So Serum is a thing a use a lot, Spire as well and of course I still use Sylenth.
TBA: Does that mean we could even get a Hardstyle track from you?
Maurice: Well actually… I’m finishing up a track, it’s 130 BPM so it’s still Big Room, but all the sounds are really Hardstyle-ish and the whole vibe is there. You could speed the whole thing up and it would still work, that’s the weird thing, but I chose to keep it at 130 for now because if I would come with a Hardstyle track out of nowhere, people would be like “Wow, what happened!?”
TBA: How do you usually plan your set, do you have your own routine?
Maurice: That’s not a really tough question. When I play in a certain country, I always Google the Shazam top 100 or Spotify list of that country so I get to know what’s popular there and then before the show you also get to talk to a promoter and ask them what’s happening in their country music-wise, what the crowds like and what they go crazy to. So I can adjust to that really easily. And of course you still have to keep a flow during the set so you have to balance it out with the information you got. So that’s always how it starts for me.
TBA: Do you also try to connect with fans and local people?
Maurice: Yes, always! Whenever I get a Snapchat or a Instagram message saying “Oh can we meet somewhere?” I always try to make time for them to meet them on the side of the stage and stuff. Some people even wait for me at the airport which is really cool! These people really make a lot of effort to stick their necks out on the internet for you and write nice comments so the least thing I can do is meet them and take a picture together.
TBA: Did you ever expect getting where you are now?
Maurice: Well it has always been a clear goal for me, so it doesn’t feel weird to me or anything … it was an expectation really.
TBA: Does it feel like a job to you or more as a hobby?
Maurice: Well it feels like a job when you’re in a plane with just 2 hours of sleep, but it really feels like a hobby when you’re in the studio just nerd-ing around and just making cool music and of course when you’re standing in front of a crowd and it just feels right. At that moment you’re not thinking “Oooh, I’m making money right now, I’m working.” but the travelling is not the most fun part, but it’s okay. I realize that it is a job, but it’s one of the better jobs you can have in this world.
TBA: What do you enjoy more: DJ’ing or producing?
Maurice: Uuuuhm, I’d say producing. They’re both really different of course but I started out producing and it’s something I can do for a whole day. A set is more a result of what you’ve been creating and what you’ve been making in the studio so I think producing is also the most important part. Back in the days you had a lot of DJ’s, but now with the switching of the scene, you had to start producing music as well. So I think producing music is my favourite but it’s like two totally different things.
TBA: Are there any announcements or things we have to look out for coming up?
Maurice: Announcements, not yet… But it’s definitely going to be worth checking out my Slam set and interview.
TBA: What festivals would you still tick off your list?
Maurice: Well, I’ve already done Tomorrowland, so that’s off the check list.
But Ultra is still a thing, I’ve also never been to Miami Music Week as well so 2018 will be the first, really excited for that!
There are so many good festivals out there so it’s hard to pick, but Ultra is definitely one I’ve always looked at, so I’m really curious to experience it in real life and maybe experience it as an artist as well.
TBA: Thank you so much for doing this interview Maurice and good luck during ADE and what’s left of the year!
About Maurice West:
The 19-year-old Dutch DJ and producer Maurice West has, despite his young age, already made huge moves in the dance music community. Being the first artist to sign to W&W’s imprint Mainstage Music, as well as joining the Armada team in just a year after releasing his first track. By creating his own melodic bigroom sound and getting supported by the dance music elite, Maurice knew how to take the download charts and radio airwaves by storm. With many more monstrous bangers and massive collaborations coming up, advancing as W&W their apprentice, Maurice West can only emerge in to a big name in dance music.
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