If you didn’t hear of Max Vangeli in 2010, then you missed out; but don’t worry 2011 looks like it’s going to be even bigger for Max. With support and collaborations with the likes of Steve Angello, Tiesto, Erick Morillo, Swedish House Mafia to name a few his stock is certainly on the rise. hkclubbing.com sits down with Max to find out what it’s like to be rubbing shoulders with his idols, his plans for Miami, and to find out when he is coming to Asia.
hkclubbing.com: Hi Max, first of all congratulations on all of your recent success. Tell us a little bit about you and how you started out.
Max Vangeli: Thank you very much! Well I'm originally from Europe, I've been living here in San Francisco for a while. I got started in the club scene out here DJing and producing. Before that I was playing Rock on my guitar. I grew up on Electronic Music back in Europe so I was a fan before I was in the scene. San Francisco has a pretty good house scene so it was a good place for me to get started. A number of people have come out of this city before me like Kaskade, Miguel Migs, and so on.
Describe your recent rise to fame? What is it like to now be producing and playing shows with icons that you idolised in the past, like Erick Morillo and Tiesto?
It's been fun getting to know the producers behind some of my favorite tracks. Like you said Tiesto, Erick Morillo, I'd add of course the Swedish House Mafia, Kaskade, and many others. There are some great people in this industry and I'm learning a lot from them.
You have done a lot of work with your production partner AN21. How did you first meet, and what is it that you think makes you guys such a great duo?
We met through a friend online. Our first few tracks like our remix of Steve's "Monday" we made online, just sending each other stuff back and forth. Then we first physically met at WMC 2010 in Miami. We clicked right away in person. Since then we've toured a lot together. I think it works with me and AN21 because we're not working, we're having fun and when you're doing that you can do it 24/7.
Last summer was obviously huge for you. In addition to playing a host of festivals, you were a guest at Swedish House Mafia’s ‘Masquerade Motel.’ How was that experience, and the overall Ibiza experience as a whole?
Ibiza and last summer in general was an amazing experience. I played some great shows, found some great new music over in Europe and generally just really got hooked in with the international party scene. I spent a few weeks living in Ibiza and it's something I definitely recommend people do. People are out there to hear great music and just generally down to meet and have a good time.
You have a special relationship with the Swedish House Mafia members, Steve Angello in particular. How have they helped you over the past few years?
The Swedish House Mafia are among the hardest working people in music. They've both helped me with production and inspired me with how hard they work. Our new album with AN21 will be signed to Steve's label, SIZE, so he's definitely been a huge help with it. I would also like to add that Dirty South, who is obviously a close friend of theirs and collaborator, has been really cool. I've really learned a lot from him too. I guess you could say I'm blessed because I'm surrounded by good people.
It’s almost time for Winter Music Conference, and what has been dubbed Miami Music Week (MMW), in beautiful Miami. You’ll be checking into the Masquerade Motel again, where else can we expect to see you? Do you have any exclusive tracks or surprises in store?
I am going to showcase the first single off the album during MMW, really excited about that. Masquerade Motel is going to be massive. In fact, it just sold out. I'll also be playing at Size Matters, the Beatport Pool Party, the Sirius XM party, and No Sugar Added at Nikki Beach. Miami is going to be epic this year for sure!
I recently spoke with AN21 and he told me that when you guys are out partying you are tough to keep pace with drinks wise; when you’re not behind the decks in Miami, what will you be getting up to?
That's funny! We partied in Vegas when he supported Tiesto earlier this month, he definitely didn't have a problem keeping up with the drinks! Other than partying in Miami, I'll be enjoying the beach, hanging out with friends, and eating some great sushi!
In your opinion how important is WMC/MMW for the electronic music industry as a whole, and also the rise of electronic music in the USA?
It's definitely a great way to expose new people to electronic music. I know a lot of people who never liked EDM before they went to WMC in past years. There's something about the 24/7 party atmosphere and having lots of great music out there that hooks people to the genre.
AN21 recently played a show here in Hong Kong, have you played any gigs out in Asia? If so where, and if not are there any cities that you would like to visit in 2011?
It's funny, I've been to every continent in the world except Asia. I'm definitely coming this year. I'd love to play Hong Kong, I've heard the city is a really cool place. Also I keep hearing about how epic Zouk in Singapore is. There are a lot of cities in Asia I'm looking forward to visiting.
The whole industry is waiting for your album with AN21 to be released, when can we expect it and what else have you got in store for us in 2011?
Right now we are 100% focused on the album. We're even dreaming about the album! It's going to have some great new original tracks. Fans can also look out for some collaborations with some of our friends such as Tiesto, Steve Angello, and Example amongst others. The plan is to release singles throughout the Spring and Summer and then put out the whole album sometime in the Summer. After the album is out, we'll see, I'm so focused on this project right now that I really can't think past it.
Thanks Max, best of luck with the upcoming year. We look forward to seeing you in Miami, and hopefully soon in Hong Kong!
Interviewed by John Stephen