Mason is a Dutch DJ/producer who refuses to draw inspiration from malleable and fast changing trends around him. His new single, Stop Start Slow Fast, is a perfect example of Mason exploring any musical direction he deems necessary. Coming from a creative family, Mason carved out his own route to electronic musical madness. Known for his breakout single Exceeder back in 2007, it’s clear to see how Mason’s music has developed after 20 years spent honing his craft. Over that time, he’s collaborated with the likes of Stefflon Don, Roisin Murphy, Run DMC, Sway, Jocelyn Brown, and Kurtis Blow.
When did you get into DJing? What or who were your early passions and influences?
I started out in 1995… I was a big fan of west-coast hip-hop and was tweaking around with my grandmother’s turntables and making mixtapes in my room as a teenager. I guess my neighbours weren’t too happy about that. A lot of my friends started around the same time, but I was the only one that stuck to it. I had my first residency in ’97 and started to play abroad around that time too.
How do you find our inspiration?
People can be pretty preoccupied with what’s hot or trendy right now, while there is sooo much amazing music behind us. A lot of it didn’t surface or make it to the radio, but if you dig deep enough there’s so much inspiring stuff made in the last century. Surely that’s where I get my inspiration from.
Where are people most likely to see you perform?
I play worldwide, but as I’m based in Amsterdam, Holland is the country I play most.
Do you have original music that is available online?
….ehh yeah! I’ve been releasing music for the last 15 years, so there are dozens of singles, remixes, and a few albums online. my latest single ‘Stop Start Slow Fast’ featuring the Manor on Island Records is out now! Check it out here https://mason.lnk.to/StopStartSlowFastFP
What is one mistake you see a lot of up and coming DJs making?
A lot of DJs start to produce music just to boost their DJ career and their surrounding [people] tells them it’s something they have to do. But writing and producing music is a real art form. You really need to contribute something different musically from what is already out there, for it to make sense. There’s no point making stuff that sounds like what other make [better].
If you could be eternally stuck in one year’s music scene, which year would it be?
For me it would be 1995, at that was such a good time for both house music and hip-hop. But maybe I’m being over romantic as that was the year I got into it all.
What is one tract that never gets old for you no matter how many times you hear it?
Retro Grade – Zoid
What is something that bugs you about the DJ scene?
Everyone seems to always follow the next trend and jump on the bandwagon- stuff gets predictable that way.
What do you try to communicate to the audience through your vibe?
I’d love to give them something different from what they are used to hearing, while still keeping it accessible and fun on a dance floor. [I] hope to be the one they remember the next day as it was out of the ordinary and fresh sounding.
How do you prepare your sets?
I do it constantly throughout the week: listening to promo’s and checking out new releases. Around the weekend I usually have found a few records I add to the rekordbox collection I bring to shows. However, a set can’t be fully prepared as you should always read crowds and be flexible to move within your musical borders.
Where would you most like to perform?
I love playing in Asia, but gotta say Ireland and Scotland might have the best crowds.
What are your predictions for the music industry in the next few years?
DJ’s are the last persons to still actually buy and download music, while the rest of the world streams. I’m sure within a few years we [will] play from the cloud and just download a track into your deck. Obviously, this isn’t a problem now technically either, but we DJs are just a conservative bunch…
What have you learned since you started out as a DJ?
That vodka Redbull really isn’t a good drink.