Feb 06, 2017
Maurice West: Poised For A Breakthrough Year
Today Maurice West kicks off 2017 in a big way with “Yin Yang,” his third solo release on W&W’s Mainstage Music label. Premiered by W&W on Mainstage Radio, the track already features the support of heavyweights Blasterjaxx and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and is a track sure to do some serious damage on dancefloors across the globe. In celebration, Maurice joined us to look closely at his production process, relationship with W&W, and plans for 2017.
What was the initial inspiration and sketch like for “Yin Yang”?
It all started with that LFO automated pluck (or, for the non-producers, the thing after the intro that kind of sounds like raindrops… or a broken lawnmower). I already had the chord progression for it and it just worked so well with that synth. I almost immediately heard a melody on top of it in my head. That’s the way I work most of the time; I have a concept or idea for a track ready in my mind, when I start working on it I come up with more and more musical elements that go along with the stuff I already laid out and that’s how it progresses.
Can you describe the production process getting to the final track that we hear today?
So the same thing that I explained about happened when working on “Yin Yang.” After I made the break, my head knew what the drop melody had to be like and so on. The hardest part for me is actually choosing the right sounds, I can be really picky! When I do find the right sounds, I process and mix them immediately so that I know what they can do for the track. Then the final and most important part of my production process is the arrangement. When I have a first full version of a track I’ll still make a lot of decisions like leaving certain things out or using them in different places I hadn’t thought of yet. It’s like you already have all of the building blocks for a house, but there’s thousand different ways to actually build it!
Have you had a chance to play the track out in any of your live sets? How have you been using it in your live sets?
I’ve been able to play a very early version (which was just a break and drop) during ADE last year. It’s one of the heavier/darker tracks in my set and the drop is just pure hard-hitting nastiness, which is perfect somewhere between the middle and the end of a set.
Can you talk a little about your musical background and how you think that shines through in “Yin Yang”?
I’ve always been in and around music. My dad was an orchestrator, conductor, saxophone and piano player, and my mom has always been singing in bands and jazz groups. For this reason we’ve always had a professional recording studio at home with almost every instrument you can think of. This resulted in me bashing on drums and trying my hand at the piano at a very young age. I still play the piano and I’ve also played the guitar for about two years. My background is something that I always try to incorporate into the music I produce. I feel like “Yin Yang” is not the best example of that (as opposed to tracks like “Don’t You Say”), nevertheless I still want every track to have epic and catchy melodies that stand out in their own way.
What does being a part of the Mainstage Music family mean to you? What do you think sets Mainstage apart?
Although I do shows, travel and hang out with Willem and Ward, getting recognized by the guys who I’ve been looking up to ever since I got interested in dance music still feels insane. We share a passion and vision in music which I haven’t experienced with a lot of other people. Their vision and taste in music also really shines through in what tracks they sign on Mainstage Music. There’s still a great demand for hard and energetic festival music and I feel like Mainstage Music delivers the most original and refreshing content in that area.
Your bootleg last year of Abba’s “Gimme Gimme Gimme” was a huge success, and is also something Mainstage Music counterpart W&W often does. Do you have any more on the way?!
Actually I do! It’s a bootleg of a classic that I just couldn’t get out of my head. I haven’t tested it live yet, but I definitely will soon.
What has your experience been like starting your studio tutorial series “The Formula”? Will you continue with those this year?
I loved doing it and I definitely won’t stop. I actually just recently released a new episode explaining “Don’t You Say”! I remember I used to appreciate tutorials so much when I was just getting started on producing. Seeing another producers workflow and methods can really boost your confidence and it can help you learn a lot of new skills. It also feels so good to help the people out that have supported my music since the very first releases – those people mean the world to me!
What other plans do you have for 2017?
First things first, there’s A LOT of music coming! On the one hand, I’ve worked on some experimental but still very energetic tracks. On the other hand, I’ve really been working more and more on my own style and I’m happy to say that resulted in some really dope pieces of music AND insanely awesome collaborations. There’s also a lot of very cool shows confirmed all around the world which I’m really looking forward to. I mean, making people happy with your own music and travelling the world… It’s like a dream come true!
Maurice West – “Yin Yang” is available to stream or download on your platform of choice today!
short link 1001.tl/dvhx2u