From the Ground Up: A Chat with Max Dean

Feb 26, 2024

Photo of Michela Iosipov

Michela Iosipov

6 min read

Max Dean's name has been ringing off the charts in the music industry, catapulting from a fresh-faced newcomer to a sought-after powerhouse in what feels like the blink of an eye. Since his first release, "Back To You," in 2021, the London-born artist has been releasing on some of the most renowned labels, playing on the most prestigious stages, and collaborating with big league names.

From his early days as a self-taught producer to becoming a name that's buzzing across continents, Max's journey is nothing short of inspiring. He credits his rapid rise to the mix of hard work and belief drilled into him by his dad, alongside his fearless approach to music that's caught ears and hearts worldwide. With the US tour on the horizon and his label, neXup, lifting up new artists, Max is all about stepping outside the norms in house music and bringing fresh sounds to the forefront.

We're diving deep with Max Dean, getting into the groove of what makes him tick, his vision for the future of house, and how he keeps it real in an industry that always has its finger on the pulse of the next big thing.

Your productions blend various genres like house, techno, and hip-hop. What inspires these crossover influences in your music?

From a young age, I’ve always been inspired by different types of music. Sometimes it’s down to what I’m listening to at the current point of time in my life.

As a self-taught producer, what have been some of your biggest learnings along the way? Any tips for aspiring producers?

One tip, I always make sure I reiterate is that you need to be fearless to be successful not worry about what other people think, and never give up.

You've achieved success so early in your career. What would you attribute your rise to prominence to?

My dad was one of the core foundations of my success. He instilled in me from an early age, that hard work and self-belief will get you far.

What's one idea or track you're working on currently that you're particularly excited about?

I recently made a remix to a huge deep house era record named “Reckless with Your Love” by Azari & III. This record is a big inspiration of mine and influenced my music massively. So, to be able to be doing a remix for them is huge.

You've toured extensively in Europe and now Australia/Asia - any new regions you're looking to break into next?

I am coming over to the States next month and I cannot wait.

Your label neXup focuses on emerging artists. How do you select which artists to work with?

When I contact a new emerging artist, I like to make it more personal, by exploring their music and building a relationship with them. Keep an eye on what they’re doing and what music they’re making. And if I’m supporting their music in my set, I look to see if I will sign it. And if I sign them, I’ll book them for my party.

In a perfect world, what's one new technology you'd like to see shape the future of house music?

No world is perfect. The house music scene is fine as it is. Whatever adds to the music scene in the future is a bonus.

If you couldn't be a DJ/producer, what other career would you enjoy?

Before I was trying to be a DJ/producer, I was pursuing a career in professional football however, I decided to stop that and become a DJ.

What's the biggest misconception people have about life as a touring artist?

Tour life is amazing, and I absolutely love it, however, it’s not for the weak. Lots of traveling, lack of sleep, and lots of unhealthy diet. Sometimes touring means not really, seeing the new cities you visit. It’s mainly just in and out.

Your passions seem to extend beyond just music - what else inspires you creatively?

Traveling and seeing new places inspires me creatively. I recently just went to Egypt and coming back from there, I wanted to sample some of their traditional music in some of my music.

There's a lively underground scene in London - got any upcoming favorite local DJs we should check out?

Most definitely! Here are a few I am really enjoying seeing grow at the moment! GIGSTA, JAMIE ARAMAYO, TOMMY PHILLIPS.

If you could play a dream show anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Glastonbury for sure, I’d love to be able to play there one day.

What's the funniest thing that's ever happened to you on tour?

My girlfriend got absolutely drenched by a group of young kids in a small town in Ecuador, during carnival with a wheelie bin full of water. At the time it wasn’t the funniest but looking back on it, it was hilarious.

Did you have a mentor growing up in the music scene or anyone you looked up to that sort of navigated you?

My manager Ross! He has always been there for me and guided me! Very grateful to have him as my manager.

In your opinion, what’s one thing the house music world is missing nowadays that it needs more of?

Today’s generation of ravers do spend a lot of the night filming and on their phones, this is great for keeping memory, however, in small doses, it’s important to be present during the rave and I think the house is it needs more of that.

If you could jam with any artists, dead or alive, who would be your dream collaboration?

Hot natured for sure! You can’t beat their music and era. What they cultivated is timeless.

And finally, outside of music, what's a passion or hobby of yours that your fans might be surprised to learn about?

I enjoy cooking and I’d like to say I can make a banging pasta :)

Upcoming events

Paradise Week 5

Amnesia Ibiza

Ibiza, Spain

Jul 17, 202410:30 PM

Max Dean is on the lineup

Paradise Week 8

Amnesia Ibiza

Ibiza, Spain

Aug 7, 202410:30 PM

Max Dean is on the lineup

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