How Mau P Fell in Love with Dance Music

Dec 1, 2022

Austin Miller

2 min read

Everyone’s journey down the rabbit hole of dance music looks a little different. For some, it started by tagging along with friends to their first rave. Others might have stumbled upon the right radio station at the right time. For Maurits Westveen aka Mau P, his introduction to dance music was no serendipitous happenstance. There was practically no avoiding it.

Dance music surrounded Maurits from a young age. Growing up through the 2000s and 2010s meant growing in parallel with its global popularity. Estveen’s hometown of Amsterdam in the Netherlands magnified this period of exponential growth. The country has long been at the forefront of advancing the scene’s sounds and culture, with many of electronic music's heaviest hitters hailing from the Netherlands. As Dutch artists like Martin Garrix, Tiësto, Armin van Buuren, and many more led the decade, local radio stations flowed with the era’s most popular dance music sounds.

As a teenager, Maurits' personal dance music rabbit hole led to the high-powered themes of Swedish House Mafia, Wolfgang Gartner, and Porter Robinson. During his Gray Area Spotlight interview, he specifically recalled the former group's track “Leave The World Behind” as a launching point. “That was one of the first songs that really gave me that feeling like, ‘What is this euphoria that comes from this three-minute song?” he said.

These elements of big room, electro, future dance, and more became increasingly popular across prominent gatherings like Tomorrowland and Ultra Music Festival, whose reputations rapidly expanded with the viral popularity of their after movies. Like millions of other teens and young adults at the time, Maurits was captivated by their stunning scenes. “When the Tomorrowland and Ultra after movies were the thing, you were cool if you knew about them," he said. "During high school, we were watching the after movies like, ‘Oh yeah, we should go one day when we turn 18.’”

Couple this with his budding interest in producing the same music that soundtracked those features, and you’ll find that a dream was born—a dream to play on those stages advancing the sound and culture of the scene with which he’d fallen in love.

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