Meet the Winners of our Grand Theft Auto Remix Contest

We meet the winner of our Grand Theft Auto remix contest, Max Pollyul, as well as the two finalists, Cromansette, and Groovebox.

8 min
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Apr 15, 2021
Chandler Shortlidge

Back in February, we announced a remix contest with Rockstar Games to celebrate the release of their Cayo Perico Heist game update to GTA Online and the launch of the game’s new nightclub, The Music Locker.

Since then, over 650 contestants reworked Lea Porcelain’s “Pool Song” for the chance to win a release on Lea Porcelain Recordings, a $6000 prize package, and a track premiere on Beatportal. Thanks to everyone who entered!

We’ve chosen one winner and two finalists, all of whom turned in killer remixes, which you can hear below.

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Winner: Max Pollyul

Hailing from Dnipro, Ukraine, Max Pollyul began his journey to becoming a DJ, producer, label owner and winner of the Grand Theft Auto Online remix competition at an early age, as he intuitively gravitated towards electronic music as a small child. By 1999, when he was just 13 years old, he was already producing his own tracks, and after many years of fine-tuning his influences eventually developed his own sound, which he says captures “a wide spectrum of emotional, atmospheric content.”

Max’s sound has so far carried him far and wide. He won a 2011 remix competition with his rendition of Robert Miles’ “Th1rt3en,” which was then featured on the album deluxe edition and “Th1rt3en” remixes package. He was a finalist in Ukraine’s 2017 Burn Residency. And in 2018 he launched his own PLLL festival, named for the record label and audio school he established the year prior. He’s released numerous EPs and singles on labels from around the world, earning support from the likes of Troy Pierce, Anthony Parasole, Timo Maas, Agaric, Cio D’or, and PoleFolder in the process.

We caught up with Max to discuss his winning remix of Lea Porcelain’s “Pool Song,” and to find out more about the scene in Ukraine.

Congratulations on winning the Beatport x Grand Theft Auto Online remix contest! How do you feel?

Honestly, I still do not realize how lucky I am. This win is very unexpected and heartwarming. 650 contest participants — this is a lot of people, and it’s really cool to be the winner.

How long have you been making music?

I started making electronic music in 1999, when I was 13 years old. My first release was back in 2009 was called the Elastic EP, with four tracks in it. And this was a key step for music to become my profession.

What is it about Lea Porcelain’s “Pool Song” that first captured your imagination?

I was fascinated by the atmosphere and depth of this track. When making the remix I tried not to change it completely but only to highlight its uniqueness. Happy to know that the guys liked my vision of this track. It’s really inspiring.

What’s the scene like in Ukraine? It seems like more and more big names are coming from there.

Yes, you are totally right. The Ukrainian stage is getting more popular worldwide. Good examples are artists like ArtBat, Nastia, Stanislav Tolkachev, and others. And I can assure you there will be more and more each year. Traditionally Ukraine is considered being rich with musicians. There are more and more opportunities to present yourself and demonstrate your skills. It’s both for commercial sound and underground. Kyiv already for several years is unofficially called “New Berlin.” For me personally, this is too soon to call it, cause these two countries have completely different histories, each of them unique, but I think there is some truth in it anyway.

With COVID cruising the scene, what do you think should be done to help artists in need at a time like this?

These days we are facing a lack of communication and interaction. Limitations that are implemented by governments periodically, clubs are getting closed and this limits artists from showing up. In Ukraine, there is no kind of support from the government to hope for.

I believe that this kind of contest is a great opportunity to state one’s name globally. Possibly some grant would help beginners to make the first steps in their careers. To interact with successful artists and ask questions, also would be a great opportunity in this complicated time.

Following the official release of your remix on Lea Porcelain Recordings, what can we expect to hear next from you?

Each time I try to create something interesting and unordinary, and hopefully the next release will be with a similar approach.

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Finalist: Cromansette

Cromansette is the alias of 23-year-old Marsel Mustafin, who’s based in Kazan, Russia and uses his moniker as his DIY indie music project, which he started last year with the release of his first song called “Coffee.” He says his first several tracks are inspired by totally different music genres such as post-punk, indie rock, UK garage and even EDM, and he’s especially inspired by tons of indie guitar artists including Her’s, Mac Demarco, Ariel Pink, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, King Krule, MGMT, and Puma Blue. Along with his winning remix, he’ll be releasing his first EP and music video this summer.

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Finalist: Groovebox

With two successful number one tracks on Beatport and several charting tracks, as well as releases on Saved, Deperfect and Toolroom,Groovebox is quickly gaining the respect in the international underground techno and tech house scene. No surprise then that Groovebox began his production career with a release in 2012 on the UMEK’s 1605 imprint, making an immediate splash. Since then, he’s continued making hits while playing some of the best clubs in the American, European and Asian continents. Though he isn’t resting on his laurels just yet, and vows to continue exploring many musical genres in order to influence his production style, keeping its powerful groove signature while evolving to a more deeper and melodic side in his recent releases.

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