In the vibrant world of dance music, a few artists enjoy such a rich and eclectic career as Mason. From his early beginnings as a child television star, he evolved into a touring violinist for Tiesto, a pop chart sensation, and a guerrilla party mastermind, ultimately establishing himself as one of the most productive and collaborative talents in Europe’s dynamic electronic music landscape. You can check out his latest release here: https://snd.click/MEOW016.
Mason embodies the essence of diversity and versatility in music. He’s a crafty sonic alchemist, churning out chart-storming records one day and composing exclusive tracks for fashion powerhouses like Dior and Hugo Boss the next. Yet, his creative prowess doesn’t stop there; he’s also the genius behind numerous underground anthems that have set the dance floors ablaze.
From electrifying global audiences with sweat-drenched DJ sets in clubs to leading captivating performances with his ‘Mason & The Masonettes’ live ensemble, Mason’s artistry is a kaleidoscope of ever-changing hues. He consistently blurs the boundaries of conventional music, pushing his creative envelope to deliver an immersive and thrilling experience to his audience.
Mason is a multifaceted musical virtuoso who thrives on innovation and reinvention. His intriguing journey and unyielding commitment to keep things exciting for himself and his listeners make him a shining beacon in the European electronic music scene.
On the cusp of his fourth album, ‘Chroma Panorama’, released on his Animal Language imprint on Friday, November 10th, we invited Mason to join us for the first-ever edition of our newfound Label Lounge series:
Thanks for joining us today. Where are you talking to us from, and what have you been up to over the last few weeks?
Hey! Mason here. I’m based in Amsterdam but travel a lot ☺ For The last 18 months, I’ve been working on my album Chroma Panorama, which’s out on November 10th – so I’ve been quite busy on that. And then there are always shows. Besides running a label, I tend to write/produce a lot of music for all sorts of purposes, like other pop artists and such.
Introduce your record label and tell us about the influence and vision behind it.
I started it at the end of the zeroes. Back then, I had some records on daytime radio, so labels kinda expected that side of me; while I’m a bit of a stubborn bastard who likes to make all sorts of tunes, also much weirder bits. Starting my own Animal Language label gave me the platform to release whatever I want whenever I want. There’s no bigger master plan behind it than that. Oh, and we throw a lot of weird guerilla-type raves under the Animal Language flag.
What artists have released on the label, and what artists would you like to sign music from in future?
By now, quite a few people have had their music one way or the other on my label: Malikk, Bruno Furlan, Gettoblaster, Louis La Roche, Loulou Players, Ant Brooks and many others. But also a bunch of pop artist features, such as Roisin Murphy, Jocelyn Brown, (Run) DMC, Marcos Valle, Zoot Woman, etc.
What do you look for when curating releases for your label?
I’m not too fuzzy about style as long as it feels fresh and original. As an artist, I don’t like to repeat myself, and also, as a label, I’d find it dull to release something with a vibe I heard many times before. It needs to stand out one way or the other. Tunes have the potential to be a timeless classic.
What release on your label has had the most significant impact and why?
My first album was released on Animal Language, which had quite a few bigger records on it, like Runaway (that hit some pop charts) and ‘You Are Not Alone’, which got a lot of love. But there were also a bunch of oddball records over the years, like ‘March Of The Lizard’ from an 80-person symphonic orchestra. Or the Drum Kid EP, where we asked artists to use only seven drum sounds and nothing else to write a track with. Ah, so much stuff over the years; it’s hard to pick out a favourite.
What other labels are you currently enjoying and why?
I think Higher Ground by Diplo is on point at the minute, releasing a wide variety of stuff but always fresh sounding. Then there are labels I have always supported and worked with over the years, like Skint, Sweat It Out, Toolroom, and Another Rhythm - as well as many boutique labels I follow.
What is your favourite track ever released on the label and why?
That’s a bit of an impossible question. I also don’t have a favourite kid. But there were some gems that I felt never got the recognition they deserved, like ‘The GC’ by Josh Parkinson and ‘Kariega Cruise’ by Boogie Vice.
What characteristics make a good label boss?
Good ears. That’s why a lot of DJs own a record label.
What advice do you have for other potential label bosses and aspiring artists?
Never follow a trend. But do keep track of what’s happening out there: not to copy, but to avoid the clichés and sounds others are already doing.
Lastly, what can we expect from your label in the coming months?
Well, first of all, my own Mason album comes out on November 10th. It’s called Chroma Panorama and features all sorts of wonderful creatures like Dragonette, Jack Garratt, Sweetie Irie (Gorillaz), Sophie Barker (Zero7), and many others. Also, there’s a 100th Animal Language release that’s coming your way soon!
Mason’s ‘Chroma Panorama’ album is available from November 10th here: https://snd.click/MEOW016.
Tickets for Mason’s album launch party at Ministry of Sound London on November 17th are available at www.ministryofsound.com.