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Artist Interview: Max Hawkins

Max Hawkins is Ukrainian and was born in Odessa on the 8th of July 1993.Max started playing the piano when he was 15 and because of his love for music, he always knew it would have a close connection with his life. Max draws inspiration from Depeche Mode and other artists such as Steve Vander, Pink Floyd and Ricardo Villalobos, as well as South American rhythmic and Arabic music.He initially started off playing music at school parties for his own enjoyment and in 2010 he tried to establish his label, but the project was postponed. He has been producing records professionally since 2013 and his first EP was recorded in 2017 on Comstylez Rec and in 2019 SAGA’s debut album on Quanticman Rec was released

KM: Hey hello hello . Thanks for taking the time to talk to us.

MAX: Thank you for your kind invitation.

KM: I wanted to start by talking about your local scene . Tell us about Ukrainian scene?

MAX: Of course it’s a little bit different in Ukraine. There are really good clubs, but my favourite is a capital club CLOSER. I like this place because of its style and concept. The policy of this club makes it completely clear to understand the idea of high quality party as well as a team work. Every week many interesting performers visit this place. They bring a lot of records and equipment for life performances. I think that the scene in ukraine will keep develop and will become one of the most popular places in the world.

KM: What’s it like for electronic music? A lot different than the usual Berlin, Ibiza , etc I imagine?

MAX:As for metropolitan party animals, I can say one thing, they are very grateful and regardful, I appreciate them for that. And still the crowd in Ukraine differs from those in Berlin or Ibiza. I mean it’s easier for the performer to make a carrier in Berlin because people will understand and accept him or her quicker.

KM: When did you first become interested in electronic music then?

MAX:I have loved music since childhood. I always took part in artistic activities as I was talented at that time. I used to live in a small village, there was a church temple. Once my grandmother took me there, after some time I became a novice and then a bell ringer. At school I was educated by my music teacher. I also learnt how to play the piano.

KM: What do you remember most fondly about the scene in your home town?

MAX: When I was a student I went to the party with my elder brother. It was my first party. Сolossal amount of light, sound, excited by the music crowd conquered me. It was the moment I realized I wanted to become a DJ

KM: Which notorious dj had a big influence on you then?  What others DJs were too?

MAX:Ricardo Villalobos  There used to be a club COSMO in the city. It was its pulse. Every weekend this club was visited by the best artists. There were the best sows, the best ballet, kind hearted and skillful barmen and the guests, of course. It was something like STUDIO 54. After club closing I couldn’t find anything similar, unfortunately. In the beginning of my carrier I focused on pop singers, but I can’t single out someone special. On the other hand, in their music I found the groove and some aggression which was peculiar for teenagers. Luckily, time gave me experience and other likings which revealed me in a different way.

KM: Tell us about your future plans? Upcoming labels , releases ? Parties?

MAX: Of course, no one tells about their plans, but let it be I will tell you a little bit. One of the main events is that my friend colleague Azis Manoukian and I set up a music label MOLOKO. Our label will be connected not only with music production but will be focused on other directions as well. For example, thematic parties. We plan collaboration with other projects and clothing line from label. After writing my debut album Saga, I plan to record EP with new artists (sorry, I can’t tell you their names yet), which will be launched on the same label.

KM: How do u do your own musical selection : Do you follow some producers or select what comes and goes?

MAX: When I choose music I rely on my taste. Because I know for sure how I want everything to be and what I want my audience to hear. Sometimes it takes much time to choose tracks because I’m very scrupulous, but the result is worth it. I am inspired by guru and my idol Ricardo Villalobos. His style and sound can’t leave me indifferent.

KM: Do you play on Vinyl ? Do you want to release your music on vinyl too?

MAX: Vinyl is a special stage of my life. The best moments are connected with it. My grandfather had a big collection of vinyl records of different genres. When i visited him I would often listen to the records and something took with me. Since that time I started to collect vinyl and will definitely record my music on it. I’m a little bit disappointed that labels don’t record their music on vinyl and it isn’t valued much.

KM: Dj set or live set?

MAX: Live performance has never been my goal – I am a DJ and I’m Ok with that.

KM: Tell us a bit about your gear? What do you use for mixing / live set?

MAX:My equipment for the night is my favourite headphones Sennheiser 25. They are the best. Sometimes during performances I use Ableton Push, it gives diversity to the sound. I use Ableton Live for writing music. The opportunities and convenience of this program allows me to work comfortably and get needed result. I don’t have much equipment in my studio – that’s why I concentrate on plugins, examine them and it’s a big plus for my sound.

KM: Clubs or festivals?

MAX: These are different states. I like clubs for their intimacy – I mean close contact with the audience and festivals for their madness and large-scale events. Performers can express themselves in different ways as well people

KM: One gig that u never forgot?

MAX: I remember the concert of Madonna. It was in Barcelona, “Rebel Heart” tour. Once I will tell you about that crazy night and unforgettable after party.

KM: Why do you think that Ibiza is so special?

MAX: Ibiza is a place where the performer can unleash himself. You are surrounded by music and people all the time. Some people can change your life completely. Ibiza inspires you by its places, habits, nuances and locals. This island plays an important role in artist’s life – it’ a lighthouse which shows the bank of glory and success.

KM: Is a new wave now in industry: doing collaborations between producers . I also wanted to ask you about your collaborations?. Have u done those? With whom?

MAX: At the moment I’m focused on my solo carrier, but i don’t eliminate an opportunity of collaboration. I am always glad to work collaboratively if I can and if it seems right to me

KM: From where do u get your inspirations?

MAX:I am inspired by many things. For instance, studying of new musical fusion. There are important components – analysis and search of something new and special. I also can say that music inspires me as a whole, I often spend time listening to it. I try to catch the idea, details, adopt something for myself and just enjoy good sound. But the principal inspiration for me has always been my dream, idea, the final result of what I do. I can reassure you that music is inseparable part of me, we are bound forever.

KM: Finally, what more can we look forward to from you over the next while?

MAX:I worked quite a lot of tunes. Also my debut album SAGA is out now and got massive feedbacks from wellknown artists and i am very proud of it. Many thanks to Quanticman Records for trusting my musical vision.

KM: Many thanks for your time…   .

MAX: It was a pleasure to talk.

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