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Q: Please introduce yourself

Mason, nice to meet you ;-) I’ve been a DJ and producer since the mid90’s, based in Amsterdam, but tend to move around a lot…. I also run a record label and guerilla parties under the flag ‘Animal Language’.Write some songs. Play some instruments. Releasing an album any minute. Being a dad. And a bunch of other things in life. 

Q: One person you'd dream to have a coffee with?

I’ve never really got to know my Greek grandfather, who I seem to have a lot in common with. And sure, I’ll have that coffee with Weird Al Yankovic 

Q: If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

I’d cancel any need for sleep. Not just for DJ-ing, but It feels to me as a bit of a waste to spend a third of your life in bed, while there’s so much fun stuff to do and explore.


Q: If given the opportunity to create a film score, which movie would you choose and why?

I’m a sci-fi buff…. Sure no shame in admitting my geekiness. Owning it.Specially the very stylistically designed ones. In that sense I get it whyDaft Punk chose Tron to do. Not for the rather lame story, but the aesthetics were brilliant. I do write occasionally for a movie scenes and what not. The last one was for a pole dancing movie scene where I got a creative carte blanche to do my thing. 

Q: Who has been the most influential in your music career? And who has been the most influential in your personal life?

As a teenager I got really influenced by the early 90s West Coast hiphop scene: Dr Dre and such. The funk elements, the creative sampling – I think those are all things that still reflect in the music I make nowadays, three decades later. In my personal life I had a primary school teacher that taught me ‘whatever you do, never do halfway but fully’. My close friends and family all have that same trait, to work pretty hard in achieving whatever you wanna achieve. There’s no romance to manifestation, just discipline 

Q: Could you share with us your journey – the good and bad experiences that have brought you to where you are today?

It feels like many different chapters that are sometimes odd to connect.I started off as a kid singer on TV from about 6 years old. So those years I hanged in recording studios a lot and was mesmerized by giant 80’s mixing consoles and tape reels. Kinda knew from that day on I wanted to work in music studios. I also studied violin till my mid twenties. At some point I joined Tiësto on his world tour with that, and became his regular warm up DJ. Then there was a phase around the release ofExceeder, a record of mine that really took off and sent me on world tours on my own for many years. And now I feel I’m in a phase whereI’m very productive in studio, writing for my own Mason project as well as some pop artists and whatnot. It’s a funny somewhat random chain of events, a music career. For me my focus is on just being able to create whatever I wanna make in studio – as long as I can do that  I don’t need to be the biggest DJ in the world or own a private jet with my logo on it… (hi other DJs) 

Q: Everyone goes through ups and downs, what’s one habit you adopt to push through the downs?

In music I see a lot of people with jealousy – the Instagram reality shows all the success of other artists, while it doesn’t show the ones that stay at home behind Netflix or having a repetitive days. It’s important to seal yourself off from all of that, not care or compare too much and just focus on what you can influence yourself. Making as good, fresh and original music as possible. The rest is noise.  

Q: What is one pro work ethic that you would recommend to the readers/listeners?

It’s maybe different in some other professions, but if you wanna have a career in music you need to be able to work more hours than others, keep your head somewhat sane, and deliver. 100.000 other kids are ready to take your place anytime. Nobody is waiting for you. So you better be good.  

Q: How has your music style evolved over the years?

Well you don’t eat peanut butter every day right? It evolves for sure, and I take a lot of freedom there not to be bound by genres too much. It’s not the easy route, as people sometimes can’t pigeon hole me – butI rather have some creative legroom. I’ve done shitloads of dance floor records over the years, but the period I’m in now it feels good to focus more on writing songs in the indie dance / electronic realm.

By the way: I do eat peanut butter every day.  

Q: If you were to venture into another music genre, which one would you choose and why?

I do, many actually. As a hobby I’m training to be a better jazz pianist, soI’m deep down in figuring out solos by The lonius Monk, Ellington and many others. I still suck, but it’s so much fun, and good to do something in music that has no real plan. I think jazz improv is pure freedom in terms of tonality, timbre and rhythm. Anything goes.

Q: Could you name 3 tracks that got you into electronic music and why?

I started out as a hiphop vinyl DJ. At some point I bought an Ice T record, and it turned out to be house remixes by accident. I digged it, so the next time I was in a record store where they didn’t have hiphop, I got a bunch more house records. So the switch was somewhat accidentally. I also recall I really cherished my Prodigy ‘Out Of Space’CD single I bought as a kid. Later on when Les Rhythmes Digitales released ‘Darkdancer’ that got me really inspired.
Florence and the machine – You’ve got the Love – Mark Knight Remix –one of the tracks of my early visits to Ibiza.

Q: Can you recommend a hidden gem in your home country that would be perfect for a rave?

Well we do these guerilla raves that are called the Animal Language Kafe Rave. We pick 4 really crappy bars, pizza places or whatnot, and come and rave there with a few hundred party people and a sound system on wheels. We do it for 10 years now, and it’s my favorite event in the world. It’s all rather secret, we announce the meetup location a few hours before to our audience, but it’s always packed.

You can get the idea here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySwEaFnyzEY  

Q: Could you tell us about your upcoming releases and plans for the year?

I’m about to release my album CHROMA PANORAMA on Nov 10,something I’ve worked on for quite some time. On the album I’ve had the pleasure to have made tracks with Dragonette, Jack Garratt, HouseGospel Choir, Sophie Barker (Zero7), Sweetie Irie (Gorillaz) and so many others. Also about a dozen musicians and whatnot contributed. I know a dance album is against where the industry moved to with playlists and whatnot, but it’s also an outlet for what I wanna make myself that I hope my fans will appreciate – an album is a great platform to present more than just dancefloor tunes.

Q: Can you share a fun fact about yourself that most of your listeners are probably unaware of?

I can’t see stereo depth / 3D, so never throw something at me. Unless it’s really large.