Maz Scores a Beatport #1 with the Brazilian Afro House Burner "Amana"

The hotly-tipped Brazilian DJ/producer and label head gives us the low down on his invigorating Afro House tribute to Brazil's indigenous peoples.

5 min
Maz Beatport Number 1
May 8, 2024
Cameron Holbrook

Hey Maz, congratulations on your Beatport #1! Have you had a chance to celebrate?

Hey Beatport fam, thank you so much! I want to thank you all for the support on the track; it definitely played a huge role in our achievement. It's a significant milestone for us; my track hitting #1 Overall on Beatport for the first time is incredible. The celebrations have been extensive, including a barbecue I promised my friends who bought the track until it hit #1. Finally got to it yesterday, and the celebrations are still going strong.

Tell us about how you got linked up with VXSION for the collaboration. How did you two first meet?

We got introduced by Riascode, who knew VXSION and spoke highly of him. He sent me a link to some of VXSION's tracks, I checked them out and loved what I heard. The kid's really talented, so we started talking, exchanging music, and that's how the collab came about.

The word "Amana," translated in Brazil's native language of Tupi Guarani, is "Rain." What inspired the choice behind this track name?

Amana comes from Tupi Guarani, the language of Brazil's indigenous peoples, and means "rain" but with a deeper connotation of prosperity. Rain was crucial for crop growth and food production, symbolizing prosperity, comfort, and security, like a harbinger of good times ahead.

So, the real meaning leans more towards that. We felt the track had a strong and distinctive melody, evoking a sense of renewal and positivity. It's a special track for us, deserving of a fitting name and, of course, paying homage to our roots, a tribute to Brazil's indigenous peoples.

4. Tell us about your Dawn Patrol Records imprint. Launched in 2020, what motivated you and Antdot to start your own label, and how would you describe its overall sound and aesthetic?

The main motivation behind starting our own label was to have complete freedom and control over our releases without relying on other labels' acceptance, bureaucracy, and delays, which can be slow and rigid. Having control over our releases would make things easier. Plus, it's great to have the autonomy to release what we want when we want and to take care of our music the way we want because no one will care for your music as much as you do.

It all came from the desire of autonomy over our releases, and things grew from there. Our releases gained acceptance, and we've been putting out quality tracks since the label's inception. As for the aesthetic and the sonic direction, we're primarily producing Afro House-inspired music, but also delve into Deep House and Progressive House, with a focus on Afro House incorporating elements of percussion that resonate with our Brazilian culture.

However, we appreciate good music and won't confine ourselves to a single genre. We play a variety of styles, so we don't have a specific subgenre. It's more about what resonates with us, although we're currently leaning towards Afro Brazilian House.

5. According to the most recent IMS Music Business Report, Afro House has come from nowhere to become the 23rd most-searched-for electronic genre. What do you think the future holds for the genre?

Afro House already has a rich history and has inspired many artists, but I believe it still has tremendous potential; it's just getting started. It's accessible music, easy for the general audience to understand and enjoy. It typically incorporates familiar instruments like piano and organic percussion elements, making it easier for listeners to connect with.

There are many talented artists contributing to the genre, but I hope to see more innovation and diversity. Currently, there seems to be a lot of replication and emulation of what bigger artists are doing. However, the scene is evolving, and there's still much to explore within this subgenre.

6. What else do you have coming up this year and what are you most looking forward to this summer?

There's still a lot of music set to come out this year, with several releases already scheduled and others in the final stages of production. We also have our own events of our label Dawn Patrol. We had our first one in January, which was a success, sold out. We held two events, one during the day and one at night, catching the sunrise at Privilège in Búzios, Rio de Janeiro.

We're planning to organize more editions in different cities across Brazil, along with countless other parties and festivals set to happen. There are also plenty of exciting dates lined up for the summer in Europe and the United States. There's so much going on simultaneously, and we're really excited about it all.