‘Lover’, the debut LP from producer/songwriter/ singer George Maple is the soundtrack to a fierce yet fractured existence. Maple is the storyteller swaying in and out of control, triumphantly dancing through the mess and chaos of life’s sordid underbelly. The album pays homage to the muddled beauty and vulnerability of human intimacy in fractured times.
“A series of intimate events,” Maple says. “That’s the essence of this album... I lived and breathed every experience on this record.” It’s a journey that’s seen George Maple play many roles, from femme fatale to disco diva to fierce heroine, and endure many scars.
The record was written across 2 years and in various places all over the world, on the run between London, New York and LA; or as Maple says, “I would just go wherever the writing was, wherever the touring was, I followed the music.”
With a childhood spent in Australia seeped in musical influences (the likes of Fleetwood Mac, George Michael, Janet Jackson to name just three) and singing soul and jazz from an early age in pubs and bars in her hometown, it may come as a surprise that Maple spent the first year of her career remaining faceless, intent on retaining a connection between her audience and the music, rather than with any visual distractions. “I was far more timid when this whole journey began, recovering from wounds born from of a series of wonderful / difficult relationships and complicated love stories. At the time I was afraid of the limelight.”
“I was numb for a few years, afraid of experiencing life, I remained caged in unrequited love, pain, insecurity and self doubt, anything that was a fearful excuse not to let go and become a human being again. In hindsight It taught me a lot about fear and vulnerability.”
As time went on, Maple began to discover the visual realm as an extension of her creative expression, admitting that she has always written songs with a cinematic imagination, seeing images and scenes, but was afraid to play the central role.
As her confidence returned she began exploring new concepts and having new experiences. Venturing into the ‘real world’ of sex, money, power, greed, love, heartbreak, loss and victory, and consciously absorbing every dirty detail. She began taking her experiences and turning them into sonic and visual theatre.
“I opened up, and let go. I became more conscious about my visual decisions and began using my art as a way of expressing my real world, anything that was wrestling in my mind body and spirit.
Enter George Maple as leading lady.
This is Maple’s world. She is the CEO, the leader, the club queen. There’s no team of men in grey suits in boardrooms pulling strings; what you see and hear is her own uncompromising vision.
Empowerment is a thread that doesn’t just run through Maple’s personal life; it is the driving force behind her professional self and poured into the record. Maple is credited as the sole or executive producer on all tracks across “Lover.” She admits she was frustrated at trying to articulate her vision to the producers she was collaborating with, and tired of dealing with difficult egos undervaluing her contribution in the business sphere.
Maple realised that it was essential to push herself out of her own comfort zone, to fine tune her production skills in order to grow and take control - or as she puts it, “I never meant to be a producer, it happened out of necessity, I realised I need to write and produce and do everything I can on a track and then no one can fuck with it.”
“Lover” is the intersection of Maple’s fantasy and reality, presenting a record that amplifies her own observations and experiences of intimacy across the last four years.
The album can in part be charted by a series of standout singles which help to visually and sonically map out the story of the record. Maple has reveled in libertine abandon, celebrating freedom and loss of inhibitions and channeling the spirit of Donna Summer as club queen supreme in “Kryptonite”. She co- starred alongside male supermodel Jordan Barrett in the video for “Lover," struggled in chains in spectacular slow motion with What So Not and Rome Fortune in "Buried” and dominated male villains, driving black 80s corvettes in the Goldlink featuring "Sticks and Horses." The album is designed to be to absorbed as a whole though, ruminating on empowerment, vulnerability and pain, via themes of freedom, liberation and sexual expression. Tune into George Maple’s frequency and you’ll find her washing over you with subtle sensuality (“Pain”, “Hold Me By The Waist”) before switching to fully euphoric pulsating pop (“Hero”). The album’s many interludes propel the storytelling even further, providing a glimpse into the exploits and characters Maple crossed paths with along the way and dive deeper into her obsession with the beauty of chaos, mess, the grit, the ugly, and the primal.
“Lover” follows an acclaimed EP, Vacant Space released via Australian label Future Classic in 2014, 2015’s “Where You End And I Begin” and “Gemini”, her masterful collaboration with What So Not. Most recently she has worked with DJ Snake on 2016’s “Talk”, a re-crafted version of her original track "Talk Talk". Maple has also written for other artists and her writing and production credits include Snakehips, Flume and Tkay Maidza.
“There’s this duality to intimacy, it’s only place that we feel truly vulnerable and the only place we feel truly connected to another person and completely safe but we also feel so exposed. It’s terrifying, addictive, and beautiful all at once. It’s a really delicate line. That’s why the album is called “Lover”.”
- What do you think about Streaming platforms like spotify?
I think they're an incredible way to expose new music listeners to talent and artists. I'm very lucky to be an artist in the 21st century and connect with people all over the world. It allows people freedom to discover all different kinds of music in all different places over the world.
- As artist, what do you want to tell to world with your music? Where do
you take your inspiration from?
I am fascinated by the human condition, I hope to constantly be evolving and adapting to the world around me, taking inspiration from everyone and everything. It changes from day to day but this record is inspired by my obsession with intimacy and closeness in humans, I think it's a powerful force in this world
- Do you like the club scene in Asia? Where do you like to perform more?
I have performed in Bali and Jakarta before and it was very fun. I would love to perform in Asia in the near future
- Any advice for upcoming musicians?
your skills are your armoury, the more skills you have the more freedom you have to express yourself. never stop learning and find a good trustworthy lawyer!
- Please leave a message for your malaysian fans !
thank you so much for your support! I can't wait to meet you all and play music for you
Connect with George Maple here
@2017 Dj Mag Malaysia
Hailing from Italy, promising Italian duo Flaremode have been bringing some zesty beats to the EDM game as of late! Formed by long-time comrades Jonny and Francesco, since kicking off with their first release in 2013, Flaremode have gone from strength to strength – both in their productions and riveting on-stage performances. 2017 has been a game-changing year for the pair, who, first up scored themselves support from the biggest legends of the scene. With Nicky Romero premiering stunning floor-filler “Best Of Life” on Protocol Radio, to Timmy Trumpet dropping “Drill Machine” on Tomorrowland’s monstrous mainstage, it seems as though Flaremode are riding an impressive wave to stardom. Back with a vengeance, these exotic Italians are ready to make a statement with their latest release “Cocobolo,” which will be available on newly-launched EDM imprint CAPSLOCK. Comprising of foot-thumping basslines, a body-shaking melody and groovy synths, “Cocobolo” will immerse you into a fantasy festival world!
Flaremode – Cocobolo, already played by names like David Guetta, Quintino, Dannic, R3hab, MAKj, Mike Williams, Ummet Ozkan, Promise Land and many more, is out now via CAPSLOCK Recordings!
Malaysian based Trance DJ & Producer hailing all the way from Penang Island, this is Othman M. Musa also known by the name as Digital Rush. Born in Penang, Malaysia on January 1995, Digital Rush started his career in the music industry since 2014.
Back In 2010, listening to tracks like Armin van Buuren, Cosmic Gate, Aly & Fila, etc. gave him a change and grew in love with trance music. Othman Musa (Digital Rush) had the inspiration of making his own music. Influenced by world class trance producers like Aly & Fila, A.R.D.I, Cold Rush, Richard Durand, Markus Schulz and many more, Digital Rush joined Sonic Academy in 2013, an online academic music course learning under James Dymond, one of the most top leading trance producers in the world. After sometime , he began building the trance scene in Malaysia, releasing his tunes on small labels at first but that never stopped him from achieving bigger ones.
In 2017, Digital Rush had signed his biggest tune ever made called 'Forever Forgotten' on Armada Music's new sub-label Interplay Recordings by Alexander Popov. It was his biggest achievement he had ever gone through the years of his experience. World premiered by Armin van Buuren on his radio show at #ASOT835, the tune had massive support from many international and local trance Dj's and also people from all around the world with his emotional, uplfited and entrancing style of taste. Also massive support from other radio shows hosted by famous trance producers. After the success, he then continued to make more great tunes and collabs with other great artist.
Now he is having future releases on VANDIT Records and Black Hole Recordings. Supported by Armin van Buuren, Mhammed El Alami, Liam Melly, 2nd Phase, Standerwick, Alexander Popov, Richard Durand, Woody van Eyden, Paul van Dyk, James Kiedis and many more! His young age never stopped him from taking the lead in the next generation of trance producers and representing the malaysian flag all the way and one of Malaysia's upcoming hope. Watch out for this guy on the go!
'Forever Forgotten' is another one of those hyper-melodic masterpiece no Trance fan can get enough of. Emotional, uplifting and entrancing, this cut is pure as can be and sublime addition to the Interplay catalog.
This man is truly the modern day Mozart. Andrew Rayel has been a blessing not only to our ears, but the entire trance community through all of the incredible music he's released. Greats like Armin Van Buuren sing his praises and there's not question why, the man is quite talented. The man just turned 25 this year and what a year it's been, from playing Tomorrowland and EDC to releasing his very own album, 'Moments'. We are honored to feature him this month on the cover and we hope you enjoy the interview as much as we did!
Your new single "Home" ft. J. Mendelsohn has just been released.
What's the story behind this track?
YES! Home is part of my MOMENTS album which is my second artist album, and to be honest the whole story or point behind the album is about creating or remembering those special MOMENTS in life you know? At the end of the day we can only take what we remember or those special occasions that are intangible in our life, and HOME is a track title in that is all about where you are, who you are, where you come from, and most importantly where your family and loved ones are from.
You are being really busy with your Asian Tour but, what do you really think about the asian club
ASIAN cultures is truly unique, they have so much love to share, so much energy to give, and I simply love coming here overtime and gets more amazing after every time.
You are about to perform at Zouk Club in Kuala Lumpur, do you feel excited about it?
100%, always excited to play in KL, a big rayelfamily culture down there and can't wait to give them another memorable experience!
What do you think about the future of trance music? It will evolve soon in something different?
Trance or music in general will always evolve, every artist in our genre is putting something unique in our world which makes trance what it is, you can never limit a genre or force a genre to be a certain BPM or SOUND only u know? To me its all bout melodies, euphoria , emotions and energy, thats what trance means to me.
Any advice for up n coming producers?
Be yourself because others are already taken, keep your head up high, and keep trying!
Please, leave a message for your malaysian fans!
Malaysia! Im super excited to be coming back and bringing your my album world tour, its going to be an insane night!
ANDREW RAYEL has been alternately referred to as “the modern day Mozart,” “the next Armin van Buuren,” “the pride of Moldova.” Considered a rare talent even in the highly competitive field of tech-savvy global DJs and producers, RAYEL is a classically trained pianist and musician whose soaring melodies and original compositions have the power to move all who listen. Possessing an otherworldly talent that draws fans from beyond the world of electronic dance music, RAYEL is also a workaholic, constantly striving to master his craft.
Born Andrei Rata in 1992 in Moldova, RAYEL’s talent as a musician is innate and he comes at music composition with the open-minded attitude of youth backed by an education in music theory. He is the example of the next-generation of electronic dance music (EDM) producers. At age 13, RAYEL began producing original music, and today, his signature sound can be described as being melody-driven, piano-based, harmonic in tone and euphoric in feeling.
Said RAYEL of his choice to focus on the genre of electronic music known as trance, “Trance was the perfect solution as it is a combination of melody, harmony and energy, elements that I prefer the most.”
RAYEL’s big break came in 2012 when his music caught the attention of Armin van Buuren. Van Buuren in turn featured RAYEL’s music on the former’s wildly successful global radio show, ‘A State of Trance’ (ASOT), exposing a whole new world of listeners to the young Moldovan’s sounds. RAYEL’s early tracks, “550 Senta,” “How Do I Know” featuring Jano, “Aeon of Revenge,” “Aether,” “Deflagration,” “Musa” and “Zeus” all made it onto the ASOT radio show and those tracks were often voted “Tune of the Week” and “Future Favorite” by listeners.
Soon, Armada Music sub-labels A State of Trance and Armind were releasing RAYEL’s original tracks and remixes and he became a go-to producer when high-quality remixes were in urgent demand. RAYEL has remixed Hardwell, Markus Schulz, Dash Berlin, Tiësto, W&W, Zedd, Bobina and music by many other artists including van Buuren himself. RAYEL’s atmospheric signature has helped earn him praise and support amongst fellow global DJs and fans alike resulting in mainstream festival and underground club popularity. More current remixes include the ANDREW RAYEL remixes of Armin van Buuren’s “Embrace” and Rising Star featuring Betsie Larkin’s “Again.”
As a DJ, ANDREW RAYEL exudes an unbridled enthusiasm for the music he plays and his onstage performances are electric and filled with physical energy. Drenched in a well-earned sweat after every set, RAYEL earns his position as the band-leader of the crowd before him, stirring up their passion as much with his music selection as with his bodily vigor. He has DJ’d the world’s biggest festivals, including: Ultra Music Festival in Miami; TomorrowLand in Belgium and TomorrowWorld in Atlanta; Stereosonic in Australia; Global Gathering in the UK and other countries; Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas; Electric Zoo in New York; Transmission Festival in various countries; Ministry of Sound in the UK; Dreamstate in San Bernardino; Electronic Family in Amsterdam; Zoukout in Singapore; and Together Festival in Thailand. RAYEL is also a regular on the lineup at various ASOT stages around the world. Nightclub residencies see ANDREW RAYEL onstage at superclubs including: Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub in Las Vegas; Marquee and LAVO in New York; Ushuaïa Beach Club in Ibiza; Zouk in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur; Escape in Amsterdam; and Ministry of Sound in London.
In a track-driven era, the work that goes into composing a full-length studio album is often more difficult than it’s worth, hence the dearth of truly outstanding artist albums by electronic dance music producers. RAYEL’s was an exception. His debut studio album, Find Your Harmony (Armada), was released in 2014 and it contained 18 stellar tracks and songs so strong as to force the entire industry to sit up and take notice. That album brought music-lovers the now trance classics, “Dark Warrior,” “One In A Million” featuring Jonathan Mendelsohn, “Miracles” featuring Christian Burns, “Daylight” featuring Jonny Rose and others. The Moments studio album will again spotlight Jonathan Mendelsohn with the addition of trance music stalwarts Emma Hewitt, Christina Novelli and Eric Lumiere, among others.
RAYEL’s Find Your Harmony album was the inspiration for his current radio show of the same name. The ‘Find Your Harmony’ radio show regularly draws listeners from around the world and features ANDREW RAYEL sharing his latest musical finds with his listeners, building new fans each week with his carefully curated show.
In between studio albums, RAYEL has kept a frantic production pace in-between touring with singles to slay the dancefloor, including, “Mimesis” with Alexander Popov, “Chased” with Mark Sixma, “EIFORYA” with Armin van Buuren, “Take It All” with Jochen Miller and more.
ANDREW RAYEL’s music appeals to a wide audience and he’s a darling of dance radio. In the U.S., RAYEL’s music, full DJ sets and interviews have been broadcast on SiriusXM Radio, Dash Radio, Nexus Radio and FM radio stations including KLUC-FM Las Vegas, WPRO-FM Providence, Radio 105 Miami, Evolution Radio | iHeartRadio and many other radio stations.
In 2016, RAYEL released a series of singles from his hotly anticipated sophomoric studio album, Moments, which is due for release in 2017. Those singles included “Winterburn” with Digital X featuring Sylvia Tosun, “Once In A Lifetime Love” featuring Kristina Antuna, “Epiphany” and “All Systems Down” with KhoMha.
ANDREW RAYEL embarks upon 2017 with the release of his Moments album. Along with the album itself, RAYEL will embark on a Moments world tour that sees the Moldovan prodigy pushing himself out of his comfort zone with intricately produced shows that include custom-designed visuals and choreography and music by ANDREW RAYEL. New performance concepts will be implemented on the Moments tour and it will surely win over fresh fans while rewarding loyal ones. For ANDREW RAYEL, life is a race against the clock and there’s no time to waste.
@2017 DJ Mag Malaysia