We recently spoke to dutch DJ prodigy M-High about growing up, his favourite spots in Amsterdam, and his relationship with the PIV crew in our latest artist feature.
Growing up in a family of musicians and audiophiles, M-High has been involved in music from a young age. Growing up through the era of affordable music technology and through the internet, a means to distribute it, the dutch producer has been pushing music out since he was in school. Now he is older the fruits of his work are finally starting to bear.
Infectious, groovy basslines and memorable melodies are integral to M-High’s sound which has captured the attention of labels such as Whoyostro and Blind Visions, as well as bookings at upcoming gigs at Fabric and BPM Festival, it seems the young DJ is ready to make his mark on dance music.
Interview & words: Callum Martinez
What were some of your earliest inspirations growing up?
When I was younger I would always listen to a wide range of music. Think of things like Massive Attack, Soulwax and Underworld, but also bands like the Beatles and Rage against the machine! I always would like the songs that included weird production techniques. (At the time I obviously didn’t know these were “special” or “Unique” techniques). A good example of this is Radio Gaga by Queen. Being a 9-year-old kid, I loved this song because of the sounds used in it. When I got older, I discovered these sounds were made using synths. Looking back, this was the reason I loved the song so much, basically because of its electronic nature. I guess I always had a thing for synths! When getting in my teenage years, I discovered the usual suspects of house such as Kerri Chandler, Paul Johnson and Lil’ Louis. This is where my love for house started.
When did you start producing music?
I grew up in a family that did a lot with music. My dad always worked with HI-FI audio and my mum played in bands. Because of that, our place always used to be filled with music and I started playing guitar and piano at an early age. When I was young, I discovered what a DJ was, and someone told me that if I ever wanted to be a DJ, I should also make and release my own music. So, I downloaded FL studio!
I think I was around 10 years old back then. I used to make and upload songs to Soundcloud every day after school and spam it to all the people from my class. I did this under a lot of different aliases and started to discover what kind of music I liked best. I tried making every genre, but things would always go back to the classic four to the floor 126 BPM beat! This went on for a long time, until I started sending music to labels and eventually started releasing deep house music as M-High.
Can you tell us your favourite club and best place to buy records in Amsterdam?
The first thing that comes to mind is the Marktkantine, a club in Amsterdam. I’ve had the best clubbing nights here compared to the other clubs in Amsterdam. I love the vibe and soundsystem in there. But of course, it totally depends on the vibe you are looking for. If you are looking for a bit of a more “serious” then BRET is also really dope, I also love going there. When getting new records, I always go to Rush Hour and Killa Cutz. I actually bought my first vinyl over at Rush Hour, it was an EP by Boo Williams. Still playing that one in a lot of sets!
What is your favourite party memory?
I have so many good party memories, but the first thing that came to mind is a recent memory. Back in July, when parties were allowed here in the Netherlands (unfortunately for a very brief moment!). I was playing at a festival, It was one of the first parties after the lockdown. The day started our all rainy, but during the day the weather got better and better. I stayed for the entire day, and one of the DJ’s that played after me, played Free by Ultra Nate. And at that exact time, the sun came through and shot out a ray of sunlight on me and the people in the crowd. It was the first time in almost two years that I was able to do what I loved the most. And here I was with my friends, doing what I love the most, joined by all these people dancing. This was the point that I realized how much I loved playing and how much I had missed it. I had goosebumps all over my body and I still do every time I think of this moment.
How did you relationship begin with PIV?
I went to a party where Prunk and Chris Stussy where playing. I was hooked immediately and the day after, I sent both of them a DM. In that DM I thanked them for the party and asked if they had time to check out some of my music. They really seemed to like it and Prunk played one of my tracks on Strafwerk festival the next week! Someone made a video of that moment, and it went kind of viral in a lot of those “ID” groups on Facebook. After that moment I just kept sending music to Stussy and Prunk, and eventually I got to know them better and better. The rest is history! I guess it always starts with the music. 😊
If you could do a B2B with any DJ in the world tomorrow, who would it be?
I guess this is a bit of a cliche, but I would say Kerri Chandler. Not only because he is one of the founding fathers of this genre. Also because he usually puts a piano next to his DJ set. This is something I’d love to do in the near future as well. I would love to play some piano solo’s over Kerri’s instrumental, or vice versa of course! 😊
What projects do you have coming up?
Oh man! I have a lot of exciting stuff coming up. I can’t spill too many beans, but I’m working on releases on a lot of different cool labels. Also, I’m doing a remix for a dutch house and techno legend, I can’t say who it is, but let’s just say that if he wasn’t here, the entire Dutch DJ scene would look completely different! Even though we are almost at the end of 2021, a lot of M-High stuff will be released before 2022 is here. I cannot wait to show everyone what I’m working on.
M-High’s next EP ‘By My Side’ is out on PIV on the 24th September which you can pre-order here.