Apr 21, 2017
Madison Mars: It Was Me
2016 was a massive year for Madison Mars, as he churned out many hit productions including “Ready Or Not,” “Milky Way,” and “Future Is Now.” The success of his tracks earned him a spot at #61 in our Top 100 Producers of 2016 rankings. This year he’s continued to keep his momentum moving forward, embarking on his first ever North American tour, and dropping quality tunes including “House Party,” “We Are The Night,” and now “It Was Me.” His latest, featuring the beautiful vocals of Jaren, was a bit of an exploration of a new sound from Madison and he joined us to share the story behind the track. Enjoy a look into his production approach, live sets, and future plans!
“It Was Me” seems to build on “We Are The Night” and continues your trend of working with a full vocal versus just a sample in your originals. Can you talk about any additional or different challenges that presents for you with your productions?
I have made quite a few vocal remixes before and I was waiting for a perfect vocal to work with for my own track and “We Are The Night” was just perfect. While “We Are The Night” has the future house feel in it, with “It Was Me” I wanted to do something different… It’s not like I’m taking a whole new direction in my music, but I just wanted to switch things up in the studio to create something fresh and different. Working with vocals is not a challenge at all, I love to work with vocals and I’m planning to release a lot more vocal tracks in the future. In fact I have two more vocal tracks in the works, going back to my house roots with these. What I find challenging is finding new sounds and techniques to spice up my productions, but that’s always the case with producers… always on the hunt for that fresh vibe!
Specific to “It Was Me,” what was the production process like? Were you involved in the songwriting process? How did you build the track around the vocal, or did you take a different approach?
It started with my instrumental demo that I sent to Jaren to hear her thoughts and to my surprise she was immediately interested. She actually took a couple of weeks and came back to me with the recorded vocals and the track was pretty much born. At first, the track was at 126 BPM, but I felt with the vocals and vibe Jaren came up with, this track could use a little bit of a different approach. So I changed the instrumental completely, turned up the tempo to 142 and added some additional vocal parts. The result is not your typical Madison Mars, but it’s a good addition to my discography which brings in some fresh air to my studio so I can return to my house roots later, full of inspiration.
Jaren has such a beautiful voice – what do you feel made her voice so well suited for “It Was Me”?
I have been a fan of Jaren’s voice for a long time and she has a very special tone to her voice and it’s just perfect for “It Was Me.” She tells the story through her singing so well, makes you wonder what’s the real story behind the lyrics…
Have you had a chance to play the track in your live sets yet? Do you find it an extra challenge to play unknown vocals in your live shows?
Actually I haven’t played the track in my sets yet. My live sets are mostly energetic future house vibes, spiced with bass house and some older house classics. I’m making a special VIP mix for “It Was Me” as we speak, something I plan to play out a lot this summer!
As for the unknown vocals, if the music is good – the result is amazing. I tested my previous vocal single “We Are The Night” long before it was released and reactions were awesome.
Switching gears a bit, you’ve really become engrained in the future house scene. How do you view the progression of that genre and where do you see yourself within it moving forward?
I think right now we are at this point where future house kind of sounds the same, lots of triple bass stuff out there, same sounds, same arrangements...lots of copycats. I really hope the genre stays fresh and with new upcoming producers I think the future looks bright. I will definitely do everything in my power to push the boundaries and make it sound as fresh as possible. I started with future house and I will keep moving forward with it. Real fans will understand that in order to keep a genre fresh, we need to bring in our A game and keep the flow fresh, because nobody wants to hear the same track all over again. The name future house already suggests that producers behind that genre need to stay ahead of things, and it’s not an easy task, but I love the challenge.
Your House Music Spotify playlist continues to be filled with quality, fresh house music. Are there any producers right now that are particularly grabbing your attention, inspiring you, or just killing it in your eyes?
I update my Spotify House Music playlist every Monday with 50 fresh tracks out there and I’m always amazed to hear so many quality productions, which also makes my job easier as a curator. More music to choose from = better quality for the fans. At the moment I’m a big fan of Florian Picasso, Jack Wins, Inpetto, Don Diablo, BROHUG, Tchami, CID, and Bali Bandits to name a few. They all sound awesome in their own way – they keep the quality flag high and keep the scene evolving. Quite often I get my inspiration from those artists.
With such a huge year of releases in 2016, what have your shows been like in 2017? Have you found that people know most of your tracks and are belting them out? Do you have a favorite track to drop live at the moment?
I just came back from my first North American tour and it was amazing. Everywhere I go, it’s amazing to see people singing along to all of my tracks not just the vocal ones! I’d say “Milky Way is one of the biggest “hum along“ tracks, it always gets the crowd going! I’m happy to be one of the DJs who can actually fill a big part of my set with my own music and it’s amazing to see people digging every minute of it.
What has you excited for the oncoming summer, and any big plans that you can share with us?
I’m super excited for the summer ahead, I’m going to play some of the biggest festivals in Europe, including Weekend Festival Baltic in my hometown Pärnu, Estonia. I will also play at Wish Outdoor festival in Holland, Air Festival in Czech Republic, I'm headlining a Strabi Festival in Germany in August and also I’m going to announce a very special gig which includes one of the world’s biggest festivals this summer.
I’m very excited to play all this new music that I’m working on at the moment. I have several collaborations in the works and a lot of fresh new solo material that includes an upcoming Madison Mars EP which will be all about that future house sound we discussed before.
Madison Mars ft. Jaren - "It Was Me" is available to stream/download on your platform of choice.
short link 1001.tl/fgp722