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Mark Villa

Interview: we caught up with talent Mark Villa during ADE

Amsterdam Dance Event is the place to be for one entire week to meet industry finest. Great people, all for the love of music.

We were invited by the Dutch Mixmash Records to do some interviews. Do check them out as they have some very nice artists on their roster: Laidback Luke, Inpetto, Mark Villa …

The latter, a great down to earth youngster, was our target of today. We sat down to talk about his music and experience at the Tomorrowland festival.

Mark Villa, artist name of Martinus Haase, is a 16-year old Dutch producer and upcoming DJ talent. At the age of 14 Mark attempted to join a (Mixmash Records) demo drop. Running out of time to hand in his demo, he luckily got his shot of feedback afterwards from the A&R team.

In a relatively short period of time he showed progress in his producing skills with the mentoring help of A&R specialists at Mixmash. About a year later Mark Villa started his real adventure in the EDM world, dropping his first record ‘Venture’, signed at Mixmash Records. With the support of big artists such as Laidback Luke, Lucas & Steve, Blasterjaxx, David Guetta and Don Diablo his aim is to join these huge names in a short time.

As a reward he played at the majestic Tomorrowland festival in Belgium last summer. Talking about a peak at a young age! Time for an interview!

Mark Villa
We cought up with Mark Villa to talk about his releases and experience at the Tomorrowland festival.

So Mark, tell us a bit about yourself.
Well, for starters my real name is Martinus, I am 16 years old but already but I have been making music for about 5 years. It’s my passion, it’s what I love to do the most.

You played at the Tomorrowland festival last summer. Obviously a fantastic experience. Tell us something about it!
This was obviously very special. So special that I have no words to accurately describe it. Awkward as well. Awkward because I was playing this major festival at my age. Of course, I am very grateful for this chance and it was a special moment in my life. The vibe and atmosphere at Tomorrowland cannot be described in just words. It was amaaazing!

You shared the stage Super you&me stage with Laidback Luke and other Mixmash artists. How did that feel?
Just phat. It wasn’t the main stage, but perhaps one of the biggest stages at the festival. It looks like a main stage at a normal festival. It’s so big! It felt fantastic.

How does it feel to make people twice your age jump like their life depended on it? Must be an awesome feeling?
It feels a bit crazy. But I like doing it. I got great response during and after the festival and it feels so special that I got to experience this.

What comes after an experience like this? What are your goals?
To be honest I don’t know yet. I am already doing so many cool things. If I have to say something then maybe Ultra main stage or a top 10 hit perhaps. I don’t actually expect this to happen at this very moment but it would be so awesome of course!!

If you need to choose between Ultra or that top 10 hit, what would it be?
Wow, that is a difficult question. I think I would go for the top 10 hit. Making music is what I do and love doing the most. And perhaps when I get that top 10 hit, the track will get played all over the world by other great artists which will then also take me to new places.

When playing at a huge festival like Tomorrowland, do you easily connect with the other artists?
Well, it all feels natural. People easily connect backstage. One way or the other you get introduced to others in the scene. So at Tomorrowland, I got to meet the great Tiësto, Hardwell, Armin van Buuren and some others. They are all kind, open-minded and normal people.

If we may ask, do you then only talk about music or collaborations?
Haha, it depends. Mostly it’s just funny chit chat. And yes, sometimes you connect and talk about business.

Last August you released ‘No mercy’ your second track on Mixmash records. Is the response what you hoped for?
Super! It amazingly got 1 million plays on Spotify in the past week. I never expected this to happen. So yes, I am very happy. Also, the track got picked up by Tiësto, Don Diabolo, Blasterjaxx, Lucas and Steve, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. Unbelievable these guys are playing my music.

If you compare it with your previous release ‘Venture’, how is that?
‘Venture’ was my entrance into the scene. It was a way to introduce my sound to a broad audience. Venture, in my opinion, made more impact than ‘No mercy’.

The sound feels different though.
True, but my signature sound can surely be heard on both of the tracks. I want to keep this signature sound, it is ‘my sound’ so to speak but I don’t want to do the same thing over and over gain. I want to stay fresh with my music and put something new in every time I come up with new work.

If we look at the future then, how do you think Mark Villa will sound like? Trying a new genre?
I would love to produce different genres. Trap, Future House … maybe something jazz-influenced. I work with different instruments and I want to use them all in my productions. So yes, maybe I want to be like an all-round producer not strictly focusing on one genre. It would be nice to even produce for other artists. Hip Hop would be a fantastic challenge. Look at what Calvin Harris is doing for example. Obviously I really like his work.

You are still young, so you have enough margin for growth.
True that. But I believe people at the age of 40 or above can be doing what I am doing at my age. Age should not restrict people in doing and achieving great things. Just start with making great music and the rest will follow.

Would more darker techno be something for you?
Hmm, not really. I do play some more techy tracks in my sets but these are more commercial. So no, no real dark techno for me.

Who is on your list to play a back to back set?
Don Diabolo for sure. I had Laidback Luke on my list but that already happened. Martin Garrix would be a dream as well.

Where do you draw your creative influences from?
From other genres for when I am producing. For gigs, I always keep an ear open. I surely look at what others are playing or what people recommend. And I keep a close eye on the charts.

How do you prepare for a set when you know there is so much music released?
I look at major labels like Spinnin, Armada and other labels to pick some of my tracks.

In another interview, an artist mentioned the following:
“If we just focus on releasing music for the sale of music, and not for its real purpose, which is to be listened to, we are doing a disservice to the music and the artists who create it.”
Please give your opinion about it.
Difficult to answer. Sometimes I think a track needs some time to shine, it can take up to two months for a track to grow into its full potential. But sometimes I do think that releasing music very fast can work. Martin Garrix for example, released 7 tracks in a row.

It feels like he is doing the audience a favour and people loved it. So for him, it worked.

How long does it take for you to get a track ready?
It depends from track to track. I cannot really answer this. Sometimes I have a writers block. And sometimes I even leave a track saturate when it’s like 90% ready. I leave it unfinished for a while to pick it up and work on it a bit later with a fresh mind. A track is never actually finished. But for me, it feels finished when it’s released.

In the next few weeks, there will be some new work. So stay tuned for new Mark Villa tracks! I am sending them to labels at the moment and I am very curious how the feel about my new beats. So yes, really soon there will be fresh work.

Looking forward! Thank you for your time!

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It matters little whether you are an artist or a visitor, the love for music is the unifying factor.

We are a magazine & record label dedicated to quality underground electronic music. We do not look for just any music or anyone, we are looking for music, and people who create memorable experiences, that inspires and invokes emotion. Let’s create timeless music.