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Discover the sound of Mau P, the producer behind the 'Drugs from Amsterdam'

Meet the sensation behind the addictive track remixed by artists like Reinier Zonneveld and Armand van Helden in an exclusive interview!

  • Interview: Rocio Flores, Luciana Dias. Photos: Tommy Reerink
  • 10 July 2023

An electrifying fresh force in the contemporary electronic music scene, Mau P has rapidly ascended to stardom with his magnetic track “Drugs from Amsterdam.”

With a passion for dance music that ignited at a tender age, Mau P’s journey into electronic melodies started with euro dance and progressed to the captivating realms of dubstep and progressive house.

The defining moment occurred at the iconic “Awakenings Festival” where he experienced the power of the music that would later shape his true artistic identity.

Formerly known under a different moniker, Mau P underwent a metamorphic transition that allowed him to fuse his extensive musical knowledge into tracks that would shake the scene. His anthem, “Drugs from Amsterdam,” became a sensation, propelling him into the limelight and earning praise from both devoted fans and revered legends.

The Dutch native’s love for music exploration and relentless pursuit of originality has led to collaborations with renowned artists like Reinier Zonneveld and Armand van Helden, who delivered remarkable remixes of his chart-topping hit. Recently, Mau P’s journey reached new heights as he earned the honor of remixing Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding’s “Miracle,” showcasing his distinctive sound to a global audience.

Through his music, Mau P fearlessly tackles taboos and transforms them into a positive force, subtly embedding his tracks with hidden messages and themes that make his art a multi-dimensional experience.

As we peek into the future, an exciting revelation awaits - Mau P’s upcoming collaboration with German producer Kevin De Vries, set to debut on the prestigious Afterlife label.

This alliance marks a profound step for the artist, delving deeper into the melodic realms and solidifying his place in the ever-evolving landscape of electronic music.

Mau P’s electrifying journey continues to captivate hearts and minds, and as he masterfully navigates the depths of his musical vision, there’s no doubt that he is destined for even greater heights.

Mixmag Brazil spoke with Mau P to learn more. Read an exclusive interview for the latest cover of the magazine!

Hello Maurits, thanks for joining us, we are thrilled to have you on the cover this month. What have you been up to lately?

Hi, thank you so much for having me! Huge honour! I’ve been on the road a lot, testing out new music that I’ve made. I’ve been taking notes of what I still want to change in those songs after seeing how they work at the club or at a festival.

I’m spending my time at home going through those notes and trying to finish all the music in the studio until I have to leave again. Lots of fun but it can also mess with your brain haha.

For those who don’t know you yet, could you share your story with the Brazilian audiences? How was your beginning in Electronic Music?

Music has always been a big part of my life. I think I first found out about euro dance, at a very young age and when I was about 14 I got into dubstep. A little later I also started to love progressive house and got into Swedish House Mafia and Eric Prydz.

When I was about 16 I started making music on my computer and was immediately hooked. All my friends were playing video games but I just loved to spend my time trying to create sounds and beats.

I’ve read somewhere that your first rave experience was ‘Awakenings Festival’ at the age of 16. What impressed you the most about this monumental event? And at the same time, it is interesting because the genres and audience are entirely different from yours.

I think I was 18 haha but yes! I think what impressed me most was how the music actually sounded. To this day I’m still looking for tracks that I heard that night so I can play them, one of those is “Straktrekken” by Egbert which was something I was mesmerized by in that moment.

It’s funny that I started out going to house and techno parties and then ended up producing and making more commercial dance music for a long time. That’s why this switch that I did with Mau P feels like coming home to my true roots and passion.

Before starting your project as Mau P, you had another moniker, what can you tell us about your musical transition from your previous work until now? What did it change, and what did it remain?

I feel like even without the name change it’s just all part of my journey as an artist. I always feel like what we make as artists is just the outcome of whatever knowledge and art we consume. That’s why everything that I’ve done in music in the past has led up to me creating songs like Drugs From Amsterdam, Gimme That Bounce and Your Mind Is Dirty.

When I finally let go of all my insecurities and fears while working on music I created Drugs From Amsterdam. I used my sounds and knowledge of all the previous styles of music that I’ve ever worked on and just made something that I felt was refreshing but still relevant.

The big rave saws before the last drop for example were totally something that I would have done under my previous name Maurice West, but for Mau P I put them to different use.

“I always feel like what we make as artists is just the outcome of whatever knowledge and art we consume”

How would you describe your views on originality and innovation versus perfection and timelessness in music?

It sounds super cheesy but it’s all about balancing all those variables and having fun. Making music should always be fun. Of course you should push yourself and experiment and try new or weird things but sometimes your brain can get in the way of you just creating. I’m a very big perfectionist myself and I’ve learned to let go of that every now and then, which has helped me progress a lot.

The Netherlands has been a great example of what electronic music is about. For you what is distinctive about the place where you grew up and how its raves shape your musical vision?

I’ve always been going to a lot of different parties, festivals and clubs. Whether it’s someone playing on a small DJ controller in a living room in Amsterdam or one of the world’s biggest DJs at a huge venue. I’ve seen it all in The Netherlands.

During the Dutch summer especially we get so many different opportunities to see DJ’s it’s insane. I always went out to discover new music, new ways of mixing and new flows. That’s how The Netherlands really brought me up on dance music.

Speaking of your homeland, you made an ode to your city with the track ‘Drugs from Amsterdam,’ which draws the attention of millions of people who genuinely love dance music, including legendary artists. How does that make you feel? What was the primary motivation to create it?

That track really changed my whole life really fast. Flipped everything upside down. I’m so happy so many people enjoy that song and now have all kinds of amazing memories attached to it. The validation from some of these legendary producers and DJ’s I’ve been getting because of it feels amazing as well.

I’ve been making music for almost 10 years and to finally be able to share it with this many people feels insane. The motivation for the track was nothing but me having fun in the studio. The idea for the vocal just popped up in my head one day and the rest is history.

Reinier Zonneveld and Armand van Helden even remixed it. What was the feedback that you got from them? And what was your impression of their final result?

Both Reinier and Armand just told me that they really loved the song and my immediate reaction was to ask if they wanted to remix it. Luckily they both said yes!

It’s so cool that these two guys operate in two completely different sound universes so I’m happy to have two completely different remixes. Both are amazing in their own way and really compliment the original.

“When I finally let go of all my insecurities and fears while working on music I created ‘Drugs From Amsterdam’”

‘Miracle’ from Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding was another extraordinary landmark for you this year; we loved it! Have you ever imagined that you’d get the request from this TOP DJ to remix his track? How would you rate the potential for expressing yourself with DJing compared to producing and remixing?

I’ve always been a huge Calvin Harris fan so to wake up with instagram DM’s from him was pretty surreal. When he showed me Miracle before its release I immediately fell in love with it and also immediately heard what I wanted to do with the remix.

My version really just created itself when I worked on it. When an artist does a remix I feel like it’s a huge opportunity to showcase your sound. You get to flip existing parts into something of your own and leave your special sauce on it.

We also love highlighting the projection you ideally have to convey key messages about taboos through your music and how these can be transformed into something positive. We mentioned this, referencing the track ‘Your Mind is Dirty’ released on ‘Off The Grid Records’. What can you tell us about this?

Actually no one has ever told me that about my music so thank you haha! The way you put it sounds really cool. Ever since Drugs From Amsterdam I like to stick to a certain theme for every song that I work on. It’s like looking at a painting, you can look at it in a lot of different ways and if you look closely you might find things you haven’t seen before.

In Drugs From Amsterdam I used a lot of different sounds that you can actually hear in the city. I hide them in the song. Same for Gimme That Bounce, it’s about not wanting to work a 9 to 5 job and just wanting to party, so I hid a lot of office sounds in there. For Your Mind Is Dirty the theme was a little more obvious so I used the most obvious buildup ever, a girl reaching orgasm.

If you listen closely you can actually also hear the talking scenes from an adult movie and a guy and a girl breathing rhythmically. I think it’s important to shake things up every now and then by shoving awkward subjects in people’s faces, like drugs and sex. Also I’ve found that it’s a great way for me to stand out.

Moving forward onto new releases, a little bird gave us a sneak peek regarding your debut in Afterlife alongside German producer Kevin De Vries. Congrats on that. What can you tell me about your personal touch in this work and how was your relationship in terms of musical connection with De Vries? What is it that you love to explore into the melodic realms, and what does it mean to you to become a part of Afterlife?

Thanks! Working with Kevin is amazing. He’s so passionate about what he does and he’s always so excited to talk and share his vision on music. I was amazed when I first found out he played Drugs From Amsterdam because I didn’t think it could crossover like that. I started sending him a lot of other ideas that I had been working on and from the start he was super into Metro.

We’ve been working on it and testing it for so long so we’re both very excited to finally put it out this Summer. For me it’s also amazing to be able to explore more into a darker and more melodic sound. Releasing on Afterlife opens up so many more doors for my sound and my vision while being part of their amazing community.

To finalize, What do you have coming up that we should look out for? Is there something that we forgot to mention and you’d love to share?

Hopefully a show in Brazil anytime soon?

“Releasing on Afterlife opens up so many more doors for my sound and my vision while being part of their amazing community”

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