Insomniac’s Metronome series features mixes from some of today’s fastest-rising electronic stars, as well as championed legends. It takes listeners deep across a wide range of genres, movements, cultures, producers, artists and sounds that make up the diverse world of electronic music.
Max Styler burst onto the scene when he signed to Dim Mak on his 18th birthday. The young artist found himself in the center of a whirlwind year that saw him playing his first DJ gig via an opening slot for Above & Beyond in front of thousands. Soon after, he fast-tracked his way through high school to concentrate on a career in dance music. They say overnight success takes about 10 years, and this statement rings true for Styler, who’d been working toward his dream since the age of 8, when he first stepped onstage as a guitarist in his first band. Now, as he grows up in the industry, his sound is continually evolving from the grimy electro house that first got him noticed, to a markedly more mature, genre-breaking style.
His newest project—his debut album, Heartache, out November 11 on Dim Mak—offers a sharp juxtaposition to his first releases on the label. The nine-track LP sees Styler taking a huge leap forward stylistically, from the intensely layered and powerful “Gold” with Devault and vocalist Luciana, to the titular track, a languid cut that features Colt Matthews and is dripping with sultry soul. Throughout the album, Styler explores a sound that allows him to express a broad range of emotions. Altogether, Heartache defies genre classification and puts Styler in a league of select artists who have both mass commercial appeal and significant underground clout.
In his Metronome mix, Max Styler goes for the gold and journeys effortlessly through the heart, body, mind and soul with the style and finesse of a seasoned pro.
Heartache is quite a bit more melodic than your last album. What inspired your change of direction?
I’ve never really been married to one particular genre. I think as I’m getting older, my music style/taste is just changing. Heartache was how I was feeling at that moment. I was in the mood to write something slow and chill at the time, and then Heartache was born.
Do you plan to keep your sound varied?
For me, music comes from a place of how I currently feel and what inspires me. I can’t tell if that will change or not the next time around, but I do welcome change, and I’m not afraid of it.
What have you learned since joining the Dim Mak family and being exposed to Steve Aoki’s intense work ethic?
I honestly share Steve’s intensity for work. He is a high-energy, no-sleep kind of person, and I think I’m naturally drawn to people like that. I’ve learned that just being signed to a label doesn’t mean that everything comes easy. Just because you’re up to bat doesn’t mean you’re going to hit a home run. When I signed to Dim Mak [at] 18, I really didn’t know much about the industry, but Dim Mak and Steve have both been there to help guide me on my journey; I’m very grateful for that. Also, shout-out to my boy Autoerotique for believing in me from the beginning. I believe everyone’s journey is different. Whether it is luck or hard work, in the end, it all comes down to the quality of the music.
You said in an interview with This Song Slaps that your parents used to go to your shows. Now that you’re touring more often, how are they providing support for you?
Yeah, my parents are super into watching me DJ [laughs]. My dad definitely enjoys the music more than my mom, but I think they are warming up to the whole music scene. Now that I’m busier, they each play a major role in my career. My mom handles all of my touring logistics, and my dad handles all of my accounting. I’m fortunate to have such a dedicated team behind me and such supportive parents.
- Track List:
Max Styler & CXLOE “Awakening”
BeauDamian “No Know”
Nire ft. Nani Castle & Nini Rey “Hopscotch” (Tony Quattro Remix)
Grandtheft & Jesse Slayter “So Wavey”
Jack Ü ft. Kai “Mind”
Sigma “Nobody to Love” (Max Styler Switch-Up)
graves “No Sunshine”
What So Not, ZHU “Touched for It” (Max Styler Smashup)
Max Styler & KARRA - ID
Major Lazer ft. Justin Bieber & MØ “Cold Water” (Boombox Cartel Remix)
RL Grime & Djemba Djemba “Valhalla”
Max Styler & Audiobot “Rule the World”
Boombox Cartel & Quix ft. Anjulie “Supernatural”
San Holo, Galantis “We Riseaway” (Max Styler Smashup)
What So Not “Divide & Conquer”
Flux Pavilion “I Can't Stop” (Ekali Tribute)
RÜFÜS DU SOL “Innerbloom” (What So Not Remix)
Bang La Decks “Utopia” (CRNKN Remix)
graves “Dong Song”
Ty Dolla $ign ft. Future & Rae Sremmurd “Blaśe” (Whethan Remix)
Max Styler, Devault & Luciana “Gold”
Mr. Carmack “Pay for What” (Alexander Lewis tmb Flip)
Kaytranada, Dabow, Kendrick Lamar “Killa Cats Like That Freestyle”
Max Styler & graves “Fly”
What So Not ft. George Maple “Gemini”
Max Styler & Colt Matthews - ID