Photography by Alexander Federic

Max Styler: Defying the Echo in House Music

Jul 2, 2023

Photo of Michela Iosipov

Michela Iosipov

4 min read

Hailing from the laid-back town of San Luis Obispo, California, Max Styler has etched his name in the house music landscape as an unstoppable force. The slow-paced lifestyle of his hometown, an influence he initially resisted but later embraced, has shaped Styler's unique sound, carving a distinctive identity in an industry often filled with echo.

From strumming the guitar at the tender age of eight to forming a band at 12, Styler's journey in music was set from an early age. It wasn't until he discovered electronic music in middle school that he decided to invest his savings in Ableton, thus venturing into the realm of house music production. Throughout this journey, artists such as Boys Noize, Jack Beats, Porter Robinson, and Mat Zo served as major influences, their electro house music deeply resonating with Styler's musical aesthetic.

Beginning a music career is seldom without challenges, and for Styler, finding his unique sound and managing time were hurdles that he had to overcome. But with the support of his soon-to-be wife Maddie, he persisted and, over the course of ten years, came into his own as an outstanding producer and DJ.

Photography by Tyler Glasenapp

What was your life like growing up in San Luis Obispo, California?

Life in “SLO” was just that, slow-paced and honestly also a great place to grow up. I kind of hated that slow-paced lifestyle when I was a kid but learned to love it as I got older. I made my lifelong friends there and we still talk every day.

What inspired you to start creating your music?

I’ve always had a passion for music, I was in a little band when I was like 12 and played guitar for years starting around the age of eight. I first discovered electronic music in middle school and from there the natural progression was to save any money I could and buy Ableton.

Who were some of your major influences growing up?

I was really into Boys Noize, Jack Beats, Porter Robinson, and Mat Zo among many others. I was always inspired by early electro house.

What were some of the challenges you faced at the beginning of your career?

A big challenge for me, in the beginning, was just finding my sound. I was always kind of all over the place for years and I only really started to feel like I figured it out a few years ago. Another challenge for me was just time. This year marks my tenth year since starting production and the recent success from touring and my song releases has been wildly rewarding.

I’ve gone through a few phases of nearly giving up but I’m so happy I pressed on and believed in myself. I have soon to be wife Maddie to thank for that. She always kept it real with me and pushed me to never stop. 

Your EP "Wanna Dance" reached the top charts on Beatport. What was the inspiration and process for creating that EP?

That was an incredible feeling to reach the number one-selling EP on Beatport. After “Resist” I was really in the mood for a record that felt more upbeat and happier. I wanted it to feel fast simple and fun. I started digging around Spotify playlists for samples and ended up on this old ‘80s tune called “Woman” by Mirage.

The beginning of the track starts with an acapella of “Do you wanna dance” which seriously hooked me instantly and I knew I had to flip it. Wanna Dance was supposed to be a single, but John heard “Rock the House”. I collaborated with Franco Ba, and he told me it needed to be added to the release. I couldn’t be more stoked with how the two records were received and Off the Grid was the perfect home for them.

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