We had the chance to catch up with young Netherlands based dj & producer Max Vermeulen. Find out what he had to say about his latest single “For You”, favourite plugins, growing your socials as an EDM artist and much more.
Can you give us the story on how your latest single “For You” came to life?
I started this song in the beginning of this year when we were still in lockdown here in the Netherlands. It started wit the piano in my studio and I also came up with the bass line there. I searched for a cool vocal and voilà “For You” was born. Really happy with the result! “For You” has already been supported by major artists like Sam Feldt, Plastik Funk and even got featured on international radio stations like Slam FM and Kiss FM.
What are the biggest challenges you face as an up and coming artist in the digital age?
Currently I think there’s so much talent out there. Nevertheless, a lot of producers forget to network with the right people and build their social profile. I think that’s a key point you need to nail nowadays. You are not just a producer. You are a brand. Besides that I think it’s important to get more attention on the mental health of producers.
What do you think makes a dj-set stand out and special?
You need to able to take your audience on a journey with you. Then you can stand out with a DJ set. It’s a really important skill is to connect with the audience. Nowadays a lot of DJs are not doing this. I think this can make your send stand out. Also play your own songs. Make edits of well known hits and check the reaction of the crowd.
Do you have a production routine or ritual?
I always start with the most important thing. The Root Notes and Chords. After that I just continue with everything else. If the fundamentals aren’t good, your track is never going to be amazing.
Most up and coming EDM artists have a hard time building their social media. How did you grow your instagram following to over 50k?
I started building my following on Instagram when I was 15. Playing a lot of shows in the Netherlands definitely helped a lot. I played in almost all the big venues. That’s a big factor of how I gained the following. Besides that I also dropped a lot of remixes and mashups which were very engaging for my socials. If you wanna grow you need to post continuously, release regularly and engage with your followers on a daily basis. That’s what I’m doing. Nowadays it’s hard, but branding is still key.
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Name your top 3 software tools for engaging in musical content. Explain why you think they’re awesome
Great plugin for fast Rhodes. Creates a warm and jazzy vibe. With a lot of great presets in it. Great alternative to Keyscape.
Great alternative for Serum. Plugin is free and it has really cool sounds. You can also find a lot of free soundbanks on the internet.
This is a must to save time. I use this one a lot of vocal recordings and pianos. It’s a dynamic eq. You can easily get that harsh and muddy frequencies out of your sounds.
How important are data insights for your (strategic) decisions?
I think it’s one of the most important things. If you can see how your song is doing in the platforms, you can react to that. These days there are so many different DSP’s, it’s not possible to check all the Artists Analytics of each platform everyday. ForTunes is an excellent tool to keep track of that.
What’s next for Max Vermeulen?
Scheduled some cool releases on exciting labels for next year. Really hyped for that. Also planning to do some shows again next year. Can’t wait to show you all the new music! Get ready! 🙂
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