After the responses on the previous interview featuring Wolfskind, I figured it was time for another one! Next up in this series are two other melodic deep house producers, also from Germany, by the name of MustBePlayed or MBP. Originally started out by Claudio, I found out about the project about two years ago. An impressive development followed, so it's about time we get to know them better!
Thanks for being invited, Selected Sounds! We are Claudio Hoffmann and Marius Havelt from MBP (MustBePlayed).
Hi guys! How do you actually know each other?
We've known each other for 7 years now. Our friendship started on a local event in our hometown. Claudio started MBP as a single project while living in the Netherlands for studying and he asked Marius to join in January 2015. Both of us could say that the whole project is also based on a really good friendship.
Before you developed your melodic deep house sound, have you tried out other styles? How did this evolve?
Well, both of us started as deejays for all kind of music genre and events. It was the perfect way to learn how to deejay. While being teenagers, we have tried many many music styles on our gigs, or should we say, we had to. Anyway, next to our melodic productions, we had a tech house release on a Dutch label called “1dayrecords”. It was really nice to produce something else than your usual style. We really love deeper beats and we will have an eye on this genre in the near future. Maybe there will be a deep house release next time!
Which artists give you inspiration?
It always has been artists like Disclosure, Flume, Andhim, Gorgon City and MK. We love the good old time of house music with a nice piano sound. But to talk about our productions, we would say that we always try to be independent. We do what we love to do and we hope others will enjoy our music as well.
How long does it usually take you to produce a new track?
This definitely depends on what we are going to produce. You may know that an original production always takes longer. But sometimes you finish a track, remix or edit on a single day. Of course if you need a clean vocal, then it will take you longer to record, cut and edit everything. Normally it is a period of time from one day to three or four weeks of producing, including steps like mastering, mixdown, recording etc.
Which are your favourite plugins?
We'd say that the market is full of good plugins for the different devices. We always try to work with a good mixture of pre-installed plugins and some from the Internet. To name a few of them, that we have really fallen in love with, though not always can be used for our productions: Nova-67P or Atom for effects, Dexed or MT Power Drum Kit2 for instruments and of course the good old Sylenth 1. We also love to work with Massive from NI.
Are you planning to create more originals, or will you keep focusing on remixes?
We definitely focus on producing our own original music. But if there will be a chance to remix artists like Gregory Porter or James Bay for example, why not! You always need to take the chances given to you. We will also release an EP this year, therefore we will fly to our friend's studio in Switzerland. It definitely will be a summer EP with some awesome remixes from producers like Bankewitz and many more known artists. As long as the whole music branch is changing day by day, you definitely need to focus on your own original productions.
You've collaborated with some well known (Kungs, Henri Pfr) and lesser known names, how does this influence you?
The most important point for us is, that we like to work with those so called unknown or lesser known artists, because you can help them to grow and you will gain from their knowledge and ideas of producing music. It is always a nice way to improve your own skills during the whole producing process. When we produced with Henri Pfr. or Kungs, none of us was a well known artist. The market wasn’t as crowded as it is nowadays, so you had the chance to collaborate easily. It is always nice to see how everything has developed, especially for our buddies Henri and Valentin (Kungs), who play some huge shows nowadays. We are really happy about the point that we had the chance to work with them and maybe there will be some time for a new collaboration in the near future. Who knows?
You've also played along big names such as Robin Schulz, which were your best experiences so far?
Well, to be the supporting act for an artist like Robin Schulz is always a pleasure for us. If we look back at that night we could say that it was a really special one for us. Our parents joined us during our show, as well as Robin's whole family. Over 4.500 people have seen a really nice show on that evening, so it was really amazing for us. But both of us would say that we had our best night in England, at Leeds Mint Club. We love to play in England, because the crowd is really adapting your music and it is nice to get them dancing to your tracks. You will never see guests who stop dancing during the break of a track and neither will you see any iPhones on the dancefloor. It’s really special to play in England.
If you could collaborate on a track with any other producer and a singer, who would you choose?
We would love to work with MNEK (from Ready For Your Love with Gorgon City) as a singer for one of our productions, or maybe Kimberly Anne (from Show Me Love with Sam Feldt). For a producer collaboration, maybe artists like Doorly or Möwe. And as you guys may know, there are so many other nice producers on the market, who we would love to collaborate with!
If you had to choose between only producing tracks or only playing gigs, which would it be?
As we have started as deejays, we always will love to stay in front of the crowd and to transfer the energy from our music onto them. So we both say that we would choose to play only gigs. But through our latest productions and the given feedback to our music, we would definitely miss a very important point of being an artist.
You're already on the melodic deep house scene for over two years. Which good and bad developments have you seen?
Looking back on the last two years, there have been so many changes for artists. SoundCloud has always been the number one platform for many DJs and producers. This particular platform has spawned artists like Lost Frequencies, Felix Jeahn, Thomas Jack, Sam Feldt, Robin Schulz, Deepend, Kungs, Henri Pfr., Sigala, Alle Farben and many more over the past years. It was really awesome to see how the whole music branch was influenced by edits, bootlegs and remixes in different ways. And how DJs got more and more attention in the music industry as a whole. The problem which came along with all this, was the illegal use of track elements (samples) from different artists. As well as the enormous amount of “producers”, the “channels” who gain money with reposts and the problem of using any kind of tune for your own tape.
Which way do you think melodic deep house is going to evolve?
We definitely think that the melodic deep house genre will become even more important than the existing EDM (progressive/electro house) scene. When you look back, melodic deep house has developed since late 2014, and we guess that elements like instruments, synths, pianos etc. will change from year to year, but the basics of this genre will stay the same. Maybe also tech house or breakbeats will become even more popular. But all in all you will always have a development of music.
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