If one wanted to check out electronic music’s wide-ranging global appeal, then surely a recent and useful place to start is Ukraine. In the shadow of neighbouring Russia for so long, in recent times it’s made a serious play of its own, with artists like ARTBAT entering the dance music scene and flourishing internationally. One man who looks every bit as set to embark on a similar trajectory is Ukraining DJ/producer Max Freegrant. A seriously skilled musician, Max’s sounds have already won the hearts and minds of some of the scene’s biggest and most renowned names: think Axwell, Above & Beyond and literally dozens more artists of that calibre. Like everyone else, 2020 has meant Max has had to slow down a bit, but if his latest releases are anything to go by, he’ll be firing and ready by the time the clubs come back into the fray. Indeed, listening now to his latest release, the exceptional sounds of Elon on Mars, we’re tipping this man for the very top by the time this pandemic hopefully comes to a halter. We caught up with Max for a quick chinwag recently, touching on everything from A-list support to his alter ego to his production processes. Enjoy! 

What’s been good and bad for you about 2020 so far?
The worst thing that has happened this year is COVID 19. I think most people on our planet will answer that, and I am no exception. I really hope that it will all end soon. On the good side, I was able to put my time into studio work and label management and got a good result.  

You are in good form in the studio right now – what makes you so creative? Thanks! Yes, I’m in pretty good form right now and you can hear that in my next singles, which will be out before the end of this year. It’s all about the inspiration that give me my family and little child. 

You recently worked with Slow Fish – why link with them and how was it? Slow Fish is my second alter ego I’m always using this name when I make progressive deep and melodic house productions. 

What’s it like to have support from  a wide range of DJ A-listers like Above & Beyond, Eric Prydz, Steve Angelo, Grum, Paul Oakenfold and Axwell to name but a few? It always motivates, you understand that you are on the right way and your music worthy of attention.

You have worked with some huge labels – do you always make music with certain labels in mind? It was like that before. For the last few years, I have been focusing on making music for my own label Freegrant Music. Our team completely changed the style of the label, switched from trance music to progressive house and melodic house side and these changes give a good result.

Where do you start on a track, always in the same place or whoever the mood takes you?I always try to start with the main melody and then play it with the rest of the tracks (bass, kick, other synths, pads, etc). 

Are you formally trained, do you have any playing skills on piano or guitar etc? As a child, I studied at a music school. But then it didn’t interest me, I never finished my studies. Anyway, I got basic piano skills that helped me in the future.

How do you find the  emotion you do to put into music? Where does it come from? It all comes unexpectedly, ideas come in all sorts of places and situations. I can sit for lunch and some interesting melody appears in my head, I try to quickly get to my home studio and record it.

What was the last album you listened to and what was it like? A few weeks ago I listened to Jan Blomqvist’s first album – Remote Control. I am a huge fan of this talented artist. His music inspires me to work even harder in the studio! 

Keep up with Max Freegrant on Facebook, Instagram and Soundcloud. Max Freegrant & Slow Fish’s Elon on Mars is out October 23rd.