Interview: five minutes with Maxinne

Image courtesy Toolroom

It’s no secret that the world of electronic music is a bit of a boys club. The narrative of bedroom producer to major festival headliner is one most often associated with young male acts in the vein of Martin Garrix and Madeon. This is why when fierce female producers arrive and break the mould, it demands our attention. In just a few short years, Maxinne has already established a reputation as a force to be reckoned with. The Southhampton local found herself in Ibiza in 2016 with a dream, determined to find her feet in the music industry and carve her path on the club circuit. Her work ethic and focus quickly paid off, with Maxinne recently securing a residency at Ibiza’s Eden nightclub with Toolroom. She established an essential relationship with the label, earning her title as Toolroom’s ‘leading lady.’ From this formidable foundation, she’s supported the likes of Mark Knight, Annie Mac, Eats Everything and Hot Since 82, releasing her debut EP on the latter’s Knee Deep in Sound imprint. 

Working between the UK and Ibiza, Maxinne’s profile has become more in demand. This year, she returned to her home at Toolroom for the release of her hotly anticipated and excellent debut album, Red Alert. The album sees Maxinne fully embrace her instinct for dance music, creating a collection of mesmerising and ridiculously groovy house and tech cuts. With texturally dynamic percussion and stylish iterations of house music motifs, Red Alert is a non-stop rooftop party waiting to happen. We caught up with Maxinne following the album’s release to find out more about what inspires her, and what may be next for the ascending queen of tech-house. 

Download & stream Red Alert here 

Set the tone for us. Why the arts? 

Being creative is a way to express myself as a person and connect with people through sound. When I started out DJing, I was always curious to learn production as I thought it was amazing to be able to build your own identity through music. I’m a bit of a tech geek so I loved spending hours learning the software. I always love growing and pushing myself to my maximum potential. Being in the arts, the possibilities of how far you can take your craft is endless, which is really exciting. I work on something music related every day as I just love it.

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”? 

At first, I just wanted to get into DJing as something to do on the side because I love music. But as I got more into it, playing more gigs and learning production, I knew that I wanted to make it a full time thing. I loved it more and more as I went on, so I committed myself fully to doing it as a career. After I graduated from University in 2016 it was either get a full time job that I’d probably end up wanting to change in the next few years, or take a risk and go all in with music. I’m very lucky to have super supportive people around me who encouraged me to chase my dreams, so I went for it!

What gets your creative juices flowing? 

When I hear a really catchy hook or melody, it really sparks a lot of ideas in the studio. Also going out clubbing and hearing music on a massive sound system makes me super creative and inspired.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea? 

Usually I find the core idea or main hook, before building a track. It really helps with my workflow to get the rest of the idea laid down quicker. However sometimes I could be jamming in the studio and find a really cool sound that inspires a whole track.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound? 

Through trial and error and many hours practising over the years, you develop a sound that becomes unique to you over time. It doesn’t always come straight away when you’re just starting out and that’s perfectly okay. The more time you put into something, the more you will eventually find your originality. On my computer I’ve got folders of my go-to sounds which I’ve built up over the years, and that helps me to build a sound that’s unique to me.

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

Everyday can be different, sometimes I might be finishing off tracks or starting new ones. More recently I’ve been working on a new collaboration with Lauren L’aimant since we released our single Tell Me Something earlier this year. So I’ve been on a lot of Zoom calls with her over the last couple of weeks finishing that off. One of my favourite parts of making music is when I find a really wicked hook or main idea, I get really excited about it and go into a zone and spend hours building the track, I love that part! It’s so much fun. 

Does your material feature any collaborations? 

Red Alert features some incredible talent that I’m really grateful to now call friends, who I’ve built genuine connections with over the years. You’ll hear collaborations with Mark Knight, Gene Farris, Cami Jones, DJ Rae, Lauren L’aimant, Hayla, MOYA, Marck Jamz and Flipside.

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry? 

Over the years I’ve naturally refined my sound in the studio through hours of practice, I love listening back to my earlier releases to see how my sound has evolved. I’ve always stayed true to myself and refined my sound through what I enjoy and love the most.

What’s on your current playlist? 

At home I listen to loads of old school 90’s and 2000’s Hip hop. Soulful stuff. But in my DJ playlists, it’s a mixture of my own releases, producers who’ve sent me their music and also music from labels that I love like Saved, Knee Deep In Sound, Circus Recordings, Toolroom to name a few! There’s lots of great labels out there.

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage. 

I love seeing people dancing to my music when I’m playing, it’s the best feeling. I love to chat to people after my sets as well and connect with people online as I’m so grateful for all their support!

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set? 

Other than USB’s and friends, you might catch me with a Vodka Cranberry close by!

Any side projects you’re working on? 

I’m not working on any non-music related projects at the moment, just focused in the studio and excited to be back playing again after 16 months off due to the pandemic!

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year? 

My debut album has been a long time in the making so I’m now enjoying that finally being out there for people to listen to. I have some wicked remixes coming up very soon and I’ll be announcing my debut US tour in the coming months as well.

Listen to Red Alert below.

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