Interview: How Mau P Went From Big Room Production To Tech House Star

Staying true to himself has always been the ground rule for Maurits Westveen, widely recognized as Mau P, the producer behind the groundbreaking Repopulate Mars track “Drugs From Amsterdam.”

Surrounded by musicians within his immediate family, the Amsterdam native cultivated a deep passion for music as an adolescent, diving into dance music production as soon as he learned how to work a computer.

With his rapidly growing fanbase and recent string of successful releases, one would think it’s the prodigy’s first time coming up in the scene, but in retrospect, it’s not. Mau P used to produce big room house under the name of Maurice West, landing performances at celebrated festivals like Tomorrowland and Ultra with support from Hardwell, W&W, and Armin Van Burren.

Now, the Dutch producer has shed some old skin and conquered a new milestone in dance music by tapping into his first love, techno.

“The music that I was into first was techno” shared Mau P. “I was going to techno festivals in the Netherlands and now it sort of looks like I’m on this tech house wave while that’s the sound I’ve been into since the start.”

Gaining the support of Reinier Zonneveld and Lee Foss, and winning Dance Song of the Year at the 2023 Miami EDMAwards, the young producer shows fans he’s nothing short of dedicated and daring to make a change.

Mau P took the time to sit down with EDM Maniac during Miami Music Week 2023 to chat about his past in big room house production, love for ASMR, and upcoming projects fans can anticipate:

EDM Maniac: Can you share a little bit about your growth from big room DJ Maurice West and who you are becoming now as a tech house DJ under Mau P?

Mau P: I really feel like it goes hand in hand with me growing up. Mau P is the natural evolution of me as an artist, I feel older and wiser now and of course, I have way more experience to build upon as an artist.

I’ve also watched a lot of other DJs perform and have listened to and learned so much more about music. I was doing serious stuff under Maurice West for six years and it was great, but at some point, I didn’t feel creatively challenged anymore. I felt the big room had kind of reached its capacity and I wasn’t inspired by it after that, so I started to perform different sounds. Messing around with what I liked at that time and well.. here we are. 

EDM Maniac: How do you feel about Drugs from Amsterdam playing a huge part in your success? Do you feel the need to keep up with this party lifestyle given its title?

Mau P: I don’t want to come off as anything that I’m not, especially on social media because there are already so many accounts on there that aren’t authentic.

Some people expect me to be this drugged-out guy. I get a lot of DM’s from people asking me “Hey, I’m going to Amsterdam. What should I do?” as if I’m some travel company because I made this song ha! But, it’s fun that this song is the leading thing for my career right now because it sets the mood at a party. It’s dark and mysterious, but also really energetic and has a big party vibe. It’s such an epic feeling to know that my music has been the anthem of the summer for people from all over the world. 

There are two sides to the song and its success, though. When I made the transition into Mau P, I was going to produce more underground, house-y, and deeper sounds. Not really intended for the masses. And what do you know, the first release I do becomes one of the biggest of the year.

Now, understandably, a lot of club and festival promoters envision me on a lineup that doesn’t align with my personal plans for Mau P. I want to share the stage with Camelphat, Hot Since 82, Jaimie Jones, Chris Lake, that type of artists. Because of the commercial success of Drugs From Amsterdam, I do feel like I need to prove myself in the more underground scene. 

EDM Maniac: Tell us a bit about your first North American Tour… How were you feeling as you planned it and introduced it to your fans? 

Mau P: Actually, two years ago, it was really my goal to do shows in the United States because the whole Maurice West thing didn’t pop off in the U.S.

I had meetings with many booking agents and the feedback was generally like, how do you plan to pull that off? There wasn’t too much confidence it would work. 

To now look back on this first tour with so many sold-out shows and my debut at some of the most iconic venues in the country like Space Miami is just an incredible feeling. I guess we did manage to pull it off in the end.

Image of Mau P by Tommy Reerink

EDM Maniac: You’re working on a Calvin Harris remix, but can you tell us a little bit about any other up-and-coming projects?

Mau P: There’s this track that I made called “Your Mind Is Dirty”, which has a lot of moaning in it. Ever since I created “Drugs From Amsterdam” and used the sounds of the city, like people talking and the subway departing, I wanted to keep doing that as a theme for songs.

I wanted to use samples from different situations and try to see if they had a purpose for a build-up. So now the build-up for this track is a girl reaching orgasm. When I play it, no one knows what to do, and gets super awkward and that’s the thing I like the most about it.

EDM Maniac: How do you balance staying true to your artistic vision with meeting the demands of your fans and the industry at the rate your career is growing?

Mau P: In Dutch, we have a saying, “You do everything with a little grain of salt” which means everything you do, you just take it very lightly.

I always think I’m just a weird, tall dude making music. Like, I make three-minute songs, put them on a USB, I play them, people like it, and that’s all. I’m not this big-shot guy and that just keeps me grounded. In the end, I make the music that I like and if that ends up having commercial success then so be it, but it’s never my intention when I’m producing.

There’s so much crazy stuff happening at the moment, famous people that want your attention or people wanting to make money off of you. The only way to [maintain] a balance is to try to stay grounded.

Featured images from Insomniac, Repopulate Mars, and Tommy Reerink

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