How Green Velvet Became a Mentor to Mason Maynard

Jun 30, 2023

John Cameron

3 min read

It’s not every day you get to collaborate with one of dance music’s greats. U.K. DJ and producer Mason Maynard got just such an opportunity with none other than techno/house figurehead Green Velvet. It’s proven to be a fulfilling friendship every step of the way.

For the uninitiated, Green Velvet (real name Curtis Jones) boasts a career in Chicago house dating back to 1991. He first went by the pseudonym Cajmere and launched a label called Cajual Records. Tracks like “Percolator” and “La La Land” vaulted him into international stardom. His irresistible DJ sets helped keep him there.

Maynard, on the other hand, hails from Manchester and started cutting records in 2016. His rise has been swift, landing him on labels like Sola Records, Repopulate Mars, and Defected Records as well as stages like The Warehouse Project and Parklife. Tastemakers like Pete Tong, Danny Howard, and Monki have each given him their co-sign.

Another such endorsement came from Jones, who supported Maynard’s music in a major way. “He did a DJ Mag YouTube video and he was playing one of my songs so I cropped the video and posted it on my Twitter,” Maynard tells Attack Magazine. “Then he followed me so I was like can I get an email to send you some stuff and from there we’ve been friends since.”

Maynard goes on to say that Jones has been like a mentor to him. He elaborates: “We linked up a couple of times when he was over in the U.K., I’ve met some of his family; tune-wise we’ve done a few tunes together and he’s given me advice on how to navigate through the DJ industry, so yeah, he’s given me a lot of insight.”

Perhaps most notably, their collaborations yielded the incendiary “Propane” — with a minor misfire along the way.

“Initially, I made the track and sent it to Velvet but didn’t put a name on it so he had been playing it a lot but not knowing where it came from,” Mason Maynard said in a 2020 statement coinciding with the release. “I followed up a couple of weeks later thinking he mustn’t have been feeling it, but it was in fact the exact opposite and from there he did what he does on the mic and here we have it… ‘Propane’.”

Mason Maynard’s story is still in the process of unfolding. As long as he’s under Green Velvet’s wing, he looks to be flying high for the foreseeable future.

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