Earlier this year, Toolroom favourite UK DJ/Producer Maxinne delivered a knockout EP, “Good Thang”, which featured super-talented fellow female artist Cami Jones on inclusive-focused imprint HE.SHE.THEY. Records. Buy/stream it here: https://heshethey.lnk.to/GoodThang.
Hailed as one of House Music’s most talented young producers, Maxinne continues to live up to these high expectations. Always committed to crafting soulful grooves in the studio, Maxinne has been busy releasing records on revered labels such as Knee Deep In Sound, Circus Recordings and Toolroom. Recent releases count industry heavyweights Marco Carola, Luciano, Diplo, Solardo and Danny Howard as vocal supporters and gain regular spins on BBC Radio 1.
On this EP, Maxinne focused on the dance floor: “I really wanted to make an EP with high energy that would represent the sound I love to make and play.” Good Thang and The Energy (featuring frequent collaborator Cami Jones) play with rhythmic drums, driving basslines and soulful hooks to keep listeners aching to dance, whether at a packed club or festival this summer.
To celebrate their EP and continued success, we caught up with Maxinne and Cami for an immersive chat about all things music:
How did you both get started in the music industry and what drew you to it?
Maxinne - I’ve always been into dancing and music from a really young age. When I moved to London years ago to study Dance at University, I started learning how to mix and going to House events. I started playing local gigs in London, and a year later, I learnt production. I fell in love with production and realised I wanted to pursue music as a career. I threw myself into music full-time when I left University, and from there, it’s built up more and more each year.
Cami - I got started after a bit of soul searching, where I realised that music was my true love and passion in life, and I wanted to work a job that never felt like work. I was lucky enough to do a competition called Your Shot in Australia which really helped me develop my connections and get a head start in the industry in Brisbane.
How did you first meet, and what inspired you to collaborate on music?
Maxinne - We first met about 7 years ago at a villa party in Ibiza. It was the Pacha after-party, and Maceo Plex was DJing as the sun was coming up in the morning. We got chatting and became really good friends after this as we were both doing seasons in Ibiza.
Cami - We met at a villa party in Ibiza! We started collaborating after working and DJing together and becoming super close through several seasons in Ibiza together.
Your recent release, “Good Thang”, on HE.SHE.THEY has been receiving a lot of positive attention. What is the inspiration behind the track?
Maxinne - I’ve always been into vocals with soul and sassiness to them. I worked with a vocalist to record the vocals, and I built the rest of the track from there. I made the track specifically with the clubs in mind and wanted it to be uplifting and driving with the baseline. I’m always pulling inspiration from different places; whether it’s from other music I’m playing or listening to, a specific sound I love hearing in the clubs or a vibe I want to create in my sets.
How did the collaboration with HE.SHE.THEY. come about, and what was your experience like working with the label?
Maxinne - Both Cami and I had previously been to their events in London, and we absolutely love what they’re doing as a label and events brand. We had been speaking to them about demos, and I sent across these two. They both felt very fitting for the label, and we couldn’t wait to release them on He.She.They. They’ve been so amazing to work with since the start and have been super supportive with everything.
What are your biggest challenges as artists today, and how do you navigate them?
Maxinne - I love spending time making music as I find it so rewarding, so for me, the challenge is keeping the workflow up whilst I’m on the road travelling for gigs. Touring is a lot of late nights, no sleep and a lot of time in airports, but over the years, I’ve gotten used to making music on my travels more, in hotels, and on planes. I’ve got a good pair of production headphones to work with, and when I get home, I’ll finish the tracks off. Even if I just make an 8-bar idea on the road, I can develop that at a later stage. It’s just about being disciplined and setting deadlines for your work.
Cami - For me, I find posting content on social media the biggest challenge. I got into the music industry because of my love of music, and I wish it could just be about that. Although I appreciate the possibilities we now have with social media, I find it challenging to also need to curate and consistently post content.
MAXINNE, you’ve played at some of the world’s biggest festivals and clubs - what advice do you have for up-and-coming DJs and producers?
Maxinne - I always believe that the more time you put into something, the more you will achieve the things you want. Since day one of getting into the industry, I’ve always worked on something pretty much every day, even if it’s for an hour, a few hours or until I go to bed. It could be on production, finding new music, sorting playlists, marketing, creating mixes etc. If you love it enough, you will want to put the time in. This plus being open to opportunities, networking and giving it 100%.
Cami, you’re a prolific vocalist - how do you prepare for recording sessions and songwriting?
Cami - Most of my lyrics come to me quite naturally, either throughout the day or when listening to or making a track. I’ve been songwriting since I was a child and find it very therapeutic, so it’s not something I find the need to prepare for. Being a producer as well as a vocalist helps me to understand how a track can be enhanced with vocals and vocal effects, which also aids in the process of being very intuitive.
Can you tell us about your creative process when producing music and what inspires you to create?
Maxinne - It’s different for every track, but usually, I’ll start with a main hook idea and then build the track out from there. I find that this way, you are getting part of the track done, which will really stand out first.
Cami - I often get inspired by hearing other tracks, DJ sets and in conversation with my friends. Sometimes it starts with lyrics and other times, I start by making a beat, and the lyrics come later. When working with other artists, it also changes. Sometimes I send vocal samples, and a track gets built around them; other times, I’m sent a track, and I create a vocal for it.
What’s next for both of you regarding upcoming projects or collaborations?
Maxinne - I’ve just finished a remix for a duo who I absolutely love that will be coming out at the end of July. I’m focusing a lot on my solo projects at the moment and have a bunch of music ready to be released. Along with this, I’ll be launching my record label very soon.
Cami - My next few releases include a collaboration with RN Ismo on Detlef’s label Issues and a collaboration with Andre Salmon, Michael Joseph and Francis Davila on Hot Creations. Max and I have a bunch of tracks that are currently unreleased - watch this space!
Finally, what message do you hope to convey through your music, and what impact do you hope it has on your listeners?
Maxinne - I always aim to create a certain feeling through my music. It’s generally club focused, and I spend a lot of time on the drum grooves and energy as I want to make people dance and feel uplifted. I like to have some soulful elements in my music, whether that comes through the vocal or a musical element. I want to make people feel something from the music I make.
Cami - I hope my music brings people together and unites them through mutual enjoyment. I am all about living life with maximum happiness, fulfilment and pleasure. I hope my music helps people to do the same, whether that’s getting them through tough times, changing their mood or acting as a soundtrack to the creation of special memories.
Maxxine and Cami’s “Good Thang” EP is available now via HE.SHE.THEY.: https://heshethey.lnk.to/GoodThang.