What led you down this path? Tell us about how it all started.
I think music has always been around me. When I was 10, I joined an orchestra where I played drums and all kinds of percussion. I was part of it for 7 years, and learned a lot about all different kinds of music. At the same time — as a teenager living in France in the early 2000s — I was listening to lots of rap music, and that’s why I started rapping myself.
It was just for fun at the beginning, but then along came the online platform Myspace, where musicians were able to upload their songs and videos. I created my own Myspace page, and started to record some songs at home with a cheap microphone… Thanks to the magic of the Internet, I met some other rappers from my city online who were already making music professionally. We met up in person, they gave me access to their recording studio, and everything progressed to another level. We made songs together, started to perform in small clubs, and eventually made it to big concert halls.
Then I moved to China because I needed to see something new, and met some local people involved in the underground music scene. I started hanging out with them, helped them organize some parties, and occasionally performed at some small hip hop events myself — things like that. Most of my friends were involved in the music scene, including lots of DJs, and that’s how I started getting interested in becoming a DJ too. I just kept watching them practice, asked them lots of questions about techniques and skills… and over time, that’s how I learned how to be a DJ.
Do you have other talents as well? Do you produce videos?
I’m the kind of guy who likes to do everything himself, which I guess is not always the right solution! For example, I used to look online for some instrumentals for my songs, but was never very satisfied with what I found — so I decided to learn music production by myself, allowing me to make my own beats. It’s the same thing in terms of visuals, music videos, web design, and so on: it really takes me a lot of time, but I like to download new pieces of software and watch online tutorials, so that I can learn how to use all these programs myself.
Which musical artists have fueled your passion?
I guess the list is very long… But there are some artists that I respect a lot for their determination — people who never gave up, and who’ve now really made it in the industry.
I think DJ Snake is a good example of some of the people who’ve inspired me. He was totally broke, and gave himself one more month to succeed or he’d stop making music. He put all his passion into one last song, and that song made him who he is now.
Another inspiration for me is Scott Storch — one of the best music producers of his generation, in my opinion. He never had any music lessons in his life, but still produced some of the biggest hits in hip hop history.
Please share with us some of your favorite places to party in China — and other countries you’ve been to as well, for that matter.
Again, there are lots! In China I really like partying at underground clubs like Dada, Tag, Le Baron…
Outside of China, there are a couple of places where I particularly love to party. The first is Amsterdam in the Netherlands, because the underground music culture is really well-developed there — there are so many great clubs and DJs.
The other one is Havana in Cuba. I went to some techno parties there that I’ll never forget.
What do you think has been your best performance experience so far, and why?
Definitely having been able to perform on the Great Wall of China for 3 years in a row — it’s the dream spot for any artist in the world. Making crowds of people dance along with the sunrise on the Great Wall is just a unique experience!
What would be your main tips and tricks for anyone who wants to start to DJ?
It’s all about practicing and never giving up. There are tons of detailed tutorials available online, and so many instructional videos in general that it’s become easy to learn the basics of DJing. Another important thing to bear in mind is that it’s now possible to get some really good quality DJ equipment for a very affordable price — like gear from Hercules. Nowadays you don’t need to make a huge investment to become a DJ… so if you really want to get started, nothing can stop you!
Last but not least, do you have any cool upcoming projects that you’d like to share with us?
I’m working on a rap album completely in Chinese, with lots of instrumentals made by some really cool local Chinese DJs — so I’m definitely looking forward to wrapping up that project!
I’m also performing all around China with Mosimann, one of the top 100 ranked DJs in the world. I’m really excited about that!
“Nowadays you don’t need to make a huge investment to become a DJ… so if you really want to get started, nothing can stop you!” — Max