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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Logic PRO X > MASON

MASON

From touring with Tiesto to getting his music featured in high-profile games and TV shows, Mason has made a career in the dance genre where others haven’t lasted. MusicTech talks to the Dutch über producer who reveals a lot of tips for us all…

MTF Interview Mason

Scoring a huge hit across the globe in dance-music circles doesn’t necessarily mean you will maintain a long career after it. Such are the fashions of the genre – or its multiple sub-genres – you could be No. 1 one month and no one the next – without a hit to your name ever again.

Fortunately for Mason, this is not the case. The Dutch-born DJ and producer had just such a hit with Perfect (Exceeder) back in 2007, a track that featured vocalist Princess Superstar and a single that got to No. 3 in the UK charts – it was successful around the world, making Mason a production name overnight. But far from being a one-hit wonder, he followed it up with more success with the tracks Runaway and Boadicea, featuring Roisin Murphy.

Since then, Mason hasn’t stopped and has filled the intervening years with releases on labels including Island, Toolroom, Fool’s Gold, Boys Noize and his own label, Animal Language. He has toured with Tiesto, played festivals including Global Gathering and Creamfields, clubs like Ministry and Space, and remixed everyone from Moby to Mylo.

Like we said, this isn’t someone content with an initial spark of success and Mason is certainly making his mark on the world of dance music. After 10 years of doing just that, MusicTech caught up with him to discuss his production philosophy and to glean some tips on how to maintain such a high profile and musical output…

MusicTech: Tell us about how you got into music?

Mason: I started to play violin when I was about six years old, and when I was eight, I started to sing in a famous Dutch children’s choir. We were singing songs on TV and recorded in these giant analogue recording studios. I totally fell in love with all that impressive music equipment. During breaks, when everyone would play outside, I would stay indoors around those tape recorders and giant mixers with the engineers (think ponytail, black shirt, old sweat). I then decided I wanted to become like them when I grew up. I sort of have, although without the ponytail and sweaty shirt (or at least most of the time). However, I didn’t know that writing music could be fun, too. When I was 15, I borrowed my grandparents’ turntables and started to combine hip-hop records for my mix tapes, and record those at a higher volume than my parents would appreciate. From that point onwards, DJing has been my biggest love.

MT: Tell us about the first time you realised you’d made it…

Mason: I’ve been DJing for more than 20 years now, so there wasn’t one single moment, but more like a few key moments. For instance, my first shows in Amsterdam were a big thing. I have this monomaniac tendency to spend crazy hours on whatever I find important, so I made some progress DJing as a teenager – I just spent twice as much time on practising than any other aspiring kid I knew. Soon, I could play in clubs I that I was far too young to go to as a regular visitor! Around the millennium, I played electric violin over my DJ set for a while, and Tiesto saw me playing one of those violin DJ sets in Peru. He then invited me on his world tour as his violin player, as well as being his warm-up DJ, which was really exciting. A few years later, my Exceeder record blew up, which also changed my life. Apart from the pretty hectic touring it caused, my productions also began to get attention, which is what I really wanted.

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About MusicTech

We have 30 pages of workshops designed to help you to become a Logic Power User. There are also buyers guides, interviews with Logic developers and musicians, plus reviews of the latest software and hardware to use in your Logic studio. WORKSHOPS & TUTORIALS: In The Box Mastering - the new rules explained Reverb and Space Designer - in depth Drum Machine Designer - a masterclass of beats MTF Industry Guru: Spitfire Audio MTF Interview: Haken Mason