Mau P Delivers a Beatport Number 1 with “Drugs from Amsterdam”
Mau P Delivers a Beatport Number 1 with “Drugs from Amsterdam”August 24, 2022
We catch up with Dutch DJ and producer Maurits Westveen (aka Maurice West, aka Mau P), whose track “Drugs From Amsterdam” on Repopulate Mars just hit Beatport’s overall top spot.
Maurits, congratulations on your Beatport number 1 with your new track “Drugs from Amsterdam.” How are you?
Thank you so much!!! Honestly, I’ve been high on life for the last two weeks with everything that’s going on right now. I’m really really busy but really happy as well. Hope you guys are doing good too!
The track originated with you taking a voice note of the melody back in April. Is this how you generally record your initial ideas?
I think I must have thousands of voice notes on my phone that I record everywhere I go. I don’t know why or how, but sometimes these really crazy ideas for songs just pop into my head, and I have to grab my phone as fast as I can to record them. I remember that particular day when the whole “Drugs From Amsterdam” idea just appeared in my head. I recorded about ten voice notes singing and explaining the idea to myself while on my way to the studio. When I started translating it into an actual track, I immediately felt there was something there.
From that initial idea, what was the process of making the track? Did you immediately know what kind of beat and sound it should have?
The voice notes I recorded were just me saying the hook and the whole melody for the drop. I was still missing a bassline and the right sound for the melody. I remember going through synth sounds while the melody was playing and then sort of dozing off. Then it hit that hypnotic sine wave sound that can be heard in the second and third drop, and I just jumped up. It was the perfect kind of eery, ravey, dirty vibe that I was looking for. Then later, I went looking for a synth that would bring contrast to this sound by being absolutely huge and aggressive. When I found it, I first had that big saw playing over the actual drop. Later the idea came to mind to give the listeners just a very little taste of it and then falling back into my first synth again, back to that mysterious rave vibe. From there on, I knew I just had to nail the drums and arrangement, and I would have something special.
For this release, you changed your artist name from Maurice West to Mau P. Why did you make the change?
I fell in love with dance music when I was about 14. At that time, big room was probably the biggest genre within dance music, and I started out producing that. The funny thing is that when I was old enough to actually go to festivals I seemed to be more into house and techno on the dance floor. While having a career as a big room DJ and producer, I’ve never stopped going to festivals and parties myself and secretly played minimal, house, and even trance sets with my friends at places in Amsterdam. About two years ago, I started producing songs that I could play at these “secret sets” that we did, and I ended up enjoying that so much that I wanted to take it to the next level. I felt the tracks I now produced didn’t really make sense for Maurice West and wanted to start out from a completely new chapter and build from there. Oh, and everyone in Amsterdam calls me “Maupie” as a nickname. So that’s where the actual name comes from.
In the past, you made a name for yourself with a lot of big room tracks. As a producer, what are the biggest learnings or techniques that you can apply from that experience when making tech house?
I think making big room really evolved me in making catchy or just hooky melodies and helps me now in tech house for getting my synths right. You must know I’ve made A LOT of different types of music like pop songs, jingles for podcasts, and even a Christmas song for a big movie company. Going out of your comfort zone and making different music for different purposes really ups your skill set and creativity. I’d recommend doing that every once in a while to every producer. I feel like I can make original sounding tech house or techno songs now because of all the experiences I’ve had in music.
Finally, do you still live in Amsterdam?
Of course! That’s where I get my…