Have you ever been to a party without music? They're the worst.
Maybe that's why there are so many music festivals throughout the Netherlands for their biggest bank holiday of the year, King's Day. 27 April is a nationwide celebration in honour of King Willem-Alexander's birthday and the Dutch people take full advantage.
New to the party last year was Nassau Festival. Taking place in Amsterdam, the festival is all about music you won't hear in a stadium. No soaring drops or eyebrow tingeing pyrotechnics of EDM here.
One of the biggest names at Nassau this year is veteran party starter Marc Maya. A founding member of Row 14 aka Elrow in Barcelona, the Spanish DJ has made a name for himself by creating a uniquely versatile style of techno. His eclectic mix of genres has taken him around the world and gotten him residencies at famed clubs in Barcelona and Ibiza.
With King's Day and Nassau Festival just around the corner, we thought it was a perfect time to catch up with the dance master general himself to discuss his approach to music, what he has in the pipeline and what to expect at Nassau Festival.
Electronic music is heavily linked with dancing and partying. How do you balance artistry and danceability in your music?
My music is 100% aimed at getting people to dance, to enjoy and have fun on the dance floor. It's true that I don't have a regular style which you can define because I play the music that I feel and like.
How does your approach change between live and studio settings?
The relationship between both is so good because I have the possibility to check the new tracks live, finalise details and then retouch them in my studio.
You're known for mixing different sounds and genres together, is that something you do consciously or are you simply focused on what sounds good?
Not really. Like I mentioned before, I always play the music that I like, always thinking in the connection with people. All tracks have space in my set if I feel like that. If I feel like that or if it fits into the music line that I play, I'm indifferent to the music style of the track.
Do you have any upcoming releases you can tell us about?
Yes, I have a lot of projects and some of them are almost ready to bring to light. Some EPs and launches will come soon on labels like Time Has Changed and Stickrecordings, among others, and a big surprise is coming also but I can’t reveal yet.
You've never put out a full length studio album, is there a reason for that?
Sincerely I have never considered it. I have been bringing out tracks that were fitting into different labels. At the moment it has not been launched yet, maybe in a future I will consider to make a complete album alone.
What made you fall in love with music?
Music is a way to express yourself and connect with people. Live, we experience the music together and bring it to another level.
You've held residencies in Spain and Ibiza, have you noticed differences between audiences in Spain, Ibiza and The Netherlands?
Talking about festive atmosphere, not too much, because fortunately the response of the people at both sites is very good, and we are so happy with that. On a feedback level and connection in the dance floor every place is different, but in all of them there is a lot of energy. In Holland, for example, you dance more, people love to shake their bodies.
Do you have any pre show rituals?
Not especially. I drink two beers and puff some ganja, never tobacco.
Who are you excited to see at Nassau Festival?
Friends like Eats Everything and Hot Since 82.
And finally, what can we expect from your Nassau Festival set?
A mix of music with a lot of groove, rhythms, and melodies… with only one purpose: to make people dance and enjoy.
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