Premiere: Paul Mayson feat. Brave – Lock It Up
Paul Mayson is a name you need to remember. The young Dutch talent has had a slew of successful releases on Flamingo Records, Spinnin, Armada and Sony but it is his latest EP, Run, on Hexagon Records that he has really caught his stride. The EP’s second single, “Lock It Down” features a raspy and sensual top line from Brave that’s woven into a haze of hollowed out bass. The multi-layered production incorporates some UK garage elements that warp and buzz with indie charm. As one of our favorite new artists rising out of the post EDM era, we sat down with Paul to hear his story and his approach to separating himself from the endless pack of aspiring producers.
The entire EP is a fantastic effort in genre-blending. Each track more catchy than the next.
How would you describe your sound?
I often refer to it as Indie House. It’s a cross-over sound that combines electronic/house production with indie influences, often vocal-driven. My goal has been to really try and push boundaries for myself by writing songs that cross genres and sound different from what people might expect. Adding live instrumentation to my electronic productions is one of the things I do to try and achieve that.
How did you get your start in music/production?
I started playing drums for about 6 years and I have a background in playing instruments, it was quite a family thing. Next to that I was also producing electronic music on a daily basis. My roots are in minimal house & techno, that’s kind of what I grew up with. Right now I’m combining both worlds. I’m an electronic act so I’m focussed on electronic music production, but I’m adding a lot of organic and live elements to my productions. I think having also worked on a lot of non-electronic music next to producing house music when I was younger, has really helped me to add an extra dimension to my current music. All four songs on the EP have vocals on it by some really talented featuring artists and next to the whole production bit I also really love to be part of that whole songwriting process. Often by starting off with just a chord progression and a vocal melody and going back and forth with a vocalist. Then after that I start dressing up the song, often by recording a guitar line and then adding electronic production around it.
Where/when/why/how did your love of electronic music begin?
Music has probably been the most present thing in my life for as long as I can remember. All the people around me that were close to me just had that same love. It’s been a big part of my family life and I also had a group of friends at school when I was around age 13 that were all into electronic production. We constantly gave each other feedback and I remember us being really critical on one another. All of us convinced to be on the verge of writing a hit record, which was funny. I think having that whole process of constantly sharing your work and giving feedback to each other at a very young age is actually one of the reasons why there’s so much good, young producers out here. Apart from the things I mentioned earlier I also drew inspiration from specific electronic acts, like Justice for example. There is something very timeless and organic to their songs. When it comes to influences I generally love everything that’s a bit more nuanced and forward-thinking than the usual. I haven’t felt really connected to the whole approach of making songs with big drops and excessive ‘hands-in-the-air’ moments, which characterized a lot of popular dance music recently. I’m glad that a lot of people are longing for things to evolve right now and that’s something I want to contribute to.
What are your plans for the future of your music and performances?
I’ve been able to fully dedicate myself to music and have been travelling a lot to do shows and write new music. That’s something special to me, so I’m really motivated for everything that’s coming up right now. The upcoming period will be all about the new EP. It feels good to finally share this project that I’ve been working on for quite some time now. The first response has been great and I’m really thankful to have an amazing label imprint that is Don Diablo’s Hexagon to be releasing this project. I feel like the four songs that are on the EP really reflect what I stand for musically and what I grew up with. For my future songs I’ll continue in that direction and most importantly I’ll be constantly working on new ways to keep developing my sound. I’m also focussing on touring, starting off with 3 shows during Amsterdam Dance Event next week and new shows abroad after that. I’ve already been teasing parts of the EP at my shows during the recent festival season, and my upcoming shows will be all about showcasing the new EP. Can’t wait!