MAKJ strives to stand out among the “noise” that’s out there within the sea of releases the dance music community is seeing on a weekly basis. With a business model that’s thriving on digital streaming platforms, music is all about rising above the noise. According to MAKJ, who brought The Nocturnal Times up to speed as he released his latest single, he got lucky when the scene was still considered “cool” and “underground.” So, you’re probably wondering: What’s his newest single all about?
“Too Far Gone” featuring Matthew Santos saw its official release through KENZ Records/EMPIRE. According to MAKJ, he’s known Matt for two years and have worked together on more than ten tracks for others. Their “Too Far Gone” collaboration was among one of their favorites; so, they kept it for themselves. It’s thanks to his mom for keeping the abstract music in his life alive. Always encouraging his focus on his “organic music side,” we also further explore the emotional side of MAKJ.
What are some things MAKJ thinks he’ll be remembered for? He might just be that guy who’s known for playing 500 tracks in his DJ sets. But its only because he really wants to share every emotion. Oh, and if you’re hanging out with MAKJ, it’s probably a good idea to note that he’s deadly allergic to melons.
Read The Nocturnal Times Interview Q&A: MAKJ
The Nocturnal Times: When did you first begin exploring electronic music and who were some of your earliest influences? Who do you first most inspiring currently?
MAKJ: I started really getting into music around 13-14 years old. My mom was a huge help with that. She would always be blasting the most random bands, such as Talking Heads, Savage Garden, and Panthera, just to name a few. The story of my music background definitely started there. Those bands are my roots. Currently I’m really loving Portugal, The Man’s new stuff, oh and Kaleo too.
The Nocturnal Times: How would you describe the current state of dance music as opposed to when you were an aspiring musician?
MAKJ: I think dance music is over saturated right now. Everyone wants to be a DJ or a producer. It’s a beautiful thing seeing a lot of crazy talent come out of garages, and bedrooms, but having it be so accessible to become a producer has definitely hurt the scene. I got lucky and got into the scene when it was still “cool” and underground. Right now, because there’s so much “noise” out there on with easy access to streaming and other platforms, it’s all about being smart and strategic when releasing music – that’s the only way to rise above the noise.
The Nocturnal Times: You’ve just released your latest single “Too Far Gone” feat. Matthew Santos. How did you link up with Matthew and how did this track come to a head?
MAKJ: Matt and I have been friends for two years and have done ten plus records for other people. “Too Far Gone” was one of our favorites, just one of those records that we couldn’t let go because it meant so much to us, so we decided to keep that one for ourselves.
Listen to MAKJ feat. Matthew Santos – “Too Far Gone”:
The Nocturnal Times: You said that when producing “Too Far Gone” you “found [yourself] digging deep into the organic music side of [your] brain.” What’s on the organic music side of your brain?
MAKJ: What I call my “organic music side” is my emotional side. After mastering the technique on this record, I made sure there was really an emotional element there. My “organic music side” has alway always been there, however I am now at a point where I am lucky enough to be able to release music that’s emotional and tells a story – I feel very blessed.
The Nocturnal Times: “Too Far Gone” is described as an art piece, an ode to classic tracks and musicians from your childhood. Can you further elaborate on why this record speaks on the many years of your life?
MAKJ: I wanna thank my Mom for really pushing abstract music in my life. That’s honestly what inspired “Too Far Gone,” abstract music that could work in the dance world.
The Nocturnal Times: If we were to look at the history of your more recently played tunes, what tracks, remixes or albums would we find?
MAKJ: You will find a lot of alternative rock right now. I’m a sucker for group chanty vocals and atmospheric guitars.
The Nocturnal Times: What’s to come for 2018 MAKJ? What can you share with The Nocturnal Times readers about upcoming gigs or collaborations?
MAKJ: Definitely look for a lot more emotional and close to the heart type music.
The Nocturnal Times: Finish this sentence: When people look back on the life of MAKJ, I’ll be remembered for…
MAKJ: I might be the guy known for playing 500 tracks in his DJ sets but really just love music and want to share every emotion when playing for you. I’m also deathly allergic to melons; fun fact.
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