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Tech-House DJ Mark Maxwell From Australia’s Sunshine Coast

Red Bull Music Academy graduate, Mark Maxwell, releases his newest track "Dance"

Mark Maxwell is a tech-house producer from the Sunshine Coast of Australia. He just recently dropped his newest track, “Dance” via Sydney-based record label, Club Sweat. This song is sure to be a dance floor anthem, with its catchy vocals and smooth beat that anyone will catch themselves nodding their head to.

The Red Bull Music Academy alumni has had success on the charts over the years with some of his other music as well. Additionally, his remixes of Colour Castle’s “Love Addict” and “Let the Music Do the Work” by Potbelleez helped him gain some recognition. Meanwhile, Mark Maxwell’s own single, “Underground Vibe“, hit #6 on the ARIA Club Chart.

One EDM caught up with Mark Maxwell to ask him about his music, his life during COVID-19, and his time at the Red Bull Music Academy. Mark Maxwell is surely going to be one of Australia’s next top producers.

Julia Strothers: How has COVID affected the EDM scene in Australia?

Mark Maxwell: It’s been a huge shakeup, as I imagine it has been all over the world. I think many people, including myself, were shocked going from DJing every weekend to being locked up at home on the weekend. It’s such a huge part of our lives so it took a bit of getting used to. However, it has been great to see so many people in the scene looking out for others in the virtual world. I really hope that compassion and support for the local scenes extend into the real world as venues open up so we can rebuild it stronger than it was before.   

Where did you pull inspiration from while making this song?

I’ve been a bit nostalgic over the last few months spending so much time at home so I’ve been revisiting some of my favourites from the early 2000s. I grew up on Chemical Brothers and Soulwax and they would have to be the main influences on this record. I leant into the upfront synths and bouncy arpeggiators as a tip of the hat to those legends.

What do you think sets this track apart from other songs you’ve put out in the past?

This track is all about the vocal. I really love the bass line and the hi hats in this one, but the stomp-to-the-beat vocal is what really makes this song stand out. It’s a bit of an ear worm and I couldn’t stop myself jumping around the studio once this vocal landed on the track!

What is one thing (ie. an emotion, a thought, etc.) you want to leave listeners with after they listen to this song?

Anticipation. I had a goal to build a feeling of momentum and surprise into this track. A track that can shift your energy level as it plays through. 

Do you have any plans to perform [this song] in the near future (virtual concert, drive-in concert)?

Aside from playing it as part of Club Sweat’s House of Sweat Live Stream a few weeks, my next gig is hopefully going to be in a club. Some parts of Australia are slowly starting to open up with smaller clubs open already. My fingers, toes, arms and legs are crossed as nothing beats the feeling of playing to a crowd on a dance floor IRL! 

What do you think sets you apart from other house DJs?

I can’t stop thinking about how to improve my sets. Whether it’s acapellas, samples or transitions I’m always trying to play better than I did last time and build a unique experience for the audience every time I play. Coming from a production background first, I dig deep into the flow of a record and how to best mix into the next track. It can get pretty technical but I love nerding out over all of this.

How did the Red Bull Music Academy help shape the DJ you are now?

I live in a regional part of Australia about 90 mins from a big city so it can be pretty easy to focus on our local area and lose perspective of all the amazing things happening around the world. The RBMA taught me to dream big and continually explore music from different countries and cultures. I’m always trying to find new inspiration and influences and challenge myself musically. 

What was the most valuable takeaway from the Red Bull Music Academy?

To be honest it was simply the realisation that a group of people can start with an idea, build an event, continually grow and positively affect so many people’s lives. I am forever grateful for my opportunity to be part of it and I can’t thank the organisers or all the people that helped put it together enough. It makes me tear up just thinking about all the incredible people that I met that shared so much of themselves and gave so much to us for the love of music.

Are there any artists you hope to collab with in the near future?

I’ve got my eyes on a few members of the Club Sweat family for sure! David Keno, David Penn, Illyus & Barrientos, Jaded and Black V Neck for sure! Any of these would be unbelievable! 

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