At just 23 years old, Essex based DJ and producer Max Chapman made his debut in the house music scene back in 2011. Within a year he started up his own label Resonance Records – a platform designed to showcase his own production skills, along with world-recognised artists such as No Artificial Colours, Alex Arnout, Walker & Royce, DJ W!LD, Mark Jenkyns and Cozzy D, all of whom have released on the label. Fast forward 6 years and Max is a renowned artist in the deep house scene, and has played at venues and events such as We Are FSTVL, Parklife, Boiler Room, Sankeys Ibiza, The Warehouse Project, Snowboxx and Elrow, to name a few.
Before he jets off on a busy summer tour we decided to sit down with him and discuss his career success so far and what’s next for the young talent…
Hi Max! How are you? By the looks of things, you’ve had a busy start to 2018 and it’s almost July! What’s been your favourite gig so far this year?
I’m great thank you – the Paradise line-ups have just been released for the summer and it’s the first year I’ll be playing so I’m buzzing right now. Yeah you’re right, this year has been mad, I’ve lost count of how many flights I’ve been on already! It’s pretty hard to pick one gig that stands out but the Groove Cruise in Miami was definitely one of them. Whoever thought of packing a load of DJs and ravers onto a ship for three days got it spot on.
Addicted has been a huuuuge record. Dare we say radio-friendly? How did the hook-up with Jacky come about? Did you know you were onto a monster?
It was really organic to be honest, we’d been meaning to get in the studio together for ages and when we finally arranged it, we just fancied trying something new. My mate Charlie just happened to be in the studio that day and laid out the vocals as we were writing the track, so it all just came together really easily. It’s obviously very different to the music I’d play in my club sets, but it’s great to be able to experiment a bit and to have Pete Tong sign it was the icing on the cake.
La Fiesta was another favourite of ours from last year. Did you send the track to Jamie with Hot Creations in mind? Or did he approach you about releasing on the label?
To sign something to Hot Creations has always been a dream of mine ever since I started making music – I must have sent him about a hundred tracks before he finally signed La Fiesta! I wrote it after being at Music On in Ibiza and hearing Marco Carola drop a track with a Latin vibe, once I’d found the vocal it wrote itself, it’s such a good tune to play out.
Last year Resonance celebrated five years of activity. How much of a learning curve has it been running an independent label?
I run the label with George Smeddles and we’ve got a good team who help us, so it really doesn’t feel like a chore. It’s great to be able to give new producers the opportunity to be heard, that’s something we’ve always tried to do when signing music. When everything is digital, the actual mechanics of releasing the music and making it available to buy is pretty easy, it’s the promotion and making sure the release does well which is difficult!
Congratulations on your recent Essential Mix (13-Apr) You can tell how much it meant to you. How easy was it to decide on a direction? Did you want to showcase a typical Max Chapman set? Or push yourself?
Thank you! It as definitely the hardest mix that I’ve ever done, and I’m not normally a fan of doing mixes anyway so considering it’s the most respected mix in the world, it was definitely a daunting task. I tried to fit the kind of music I’d play in a four-hour set into two hours, with a variety of styles which you may not always hear from me when I only have an hour in a club. It seems to have had a great response though which is a massive relief!
What does the summer hold? Releases? Gigs - Ibiza? Croatia? Festivals?
The diary is pretty stacked, I don’t know if I’m coming or going half the time! I’ve got a collab EP with Leftwing & Kody on Relief next week. I’ll be out in Ibiza for Paradise, Elrow and ABODE, then there are a few big festivals I’m looking forward to including RPMM in July, Hideout, MADE and Green Valley in Brazil, then I’m hosting my own SWING event at Fabric in London, and I’m also out in the US again in August. Basically, there won’t be time for a summer holiday!
Listen to Max’s forthcoming ‘Catch My Breath’ EP which is out on June 22nd below ahead of RPMM, MADE and Sonus festival later this summer. Tickets on sale now.