Interview with Maxim of Prodigy
You may know him as the fierce MC behind Prodigy, but Maxim has extended his artistic ventures yet again as he embarks on a U.S. tour to showcase his own skills behind the decks. Having recently paired up with MC Cianna Blaze and with new music in the works, we wanted to catch up with Maxim to get to know the multi-dimensional artist better.
Keep reading to find out what was on his playlists backstage at Prodigy shows, how he manages to keep a balance within his life, and what else he’s working on at the moment. Don’t miss him TONIGHT at Voyeur – get your $10 tickets HERE.
You’ve been involved with electronic music for over two decades now. What has it been like to see it progress over time? What have been some of your defining moments?
I haven’t really assessed the amount of time i’ve been in the scene – but I still enjoy it! One of the highlights for me was performing on stage with Rage Against The Machine in Japan.
We literally went on stage with them and I was freestyling with the guys. It was great.
An overwhelming number of artists refer to Prodigy when asked about their musical influences. Did the band have any idea how widely influential they would become?
It is something that I focus on but, yes, I realise we have been a big influence on a lot of music out there. It’s all good – if you can inspire people to push music forward, then I feel I have done something positive.
Your ascent into DJing began when you started playing backstage after Prodigy shows. What could we have found on your playlists back then?
I basically played hip hop, rock and funk. Everything from Public Enemy to the Clash to James Brown to the Specials.
By partnering with MC Cianna Blaze, you’ve broken the stereotype of performing with a male MC. How did you two meet? Do you think there’s a need for more female MCs in the industry?
I wanted to do something different from the stereotypical male MC.
I met Cianna through a mutual friend, and we clicked straight away. The more I worked with her I began to realise how talented she was, so we started to write music to put into the DJ set that she can perform live. This has taken her away from the ‘Hype MC’ I originally intended her to be.
She is my voice when I am behind the decks, and she adds sexiness to the the show as she is an attractive girl.
Most importantly she has a good voice. One of the key things for me in being an MC is having a dope voice. Some female MC’s voices are so high, that they grate on you after a while.
The industry is getting more female MCs. They are getting their props now. It’s a long time overdue, but they are here now.
You’ve mentioned before that mental and physical fitness are important to you. How do you maintain both while juggling tour schedules, a family, and other obligations?
It’s very hard, but this is my life, and this is what I enjoy doing. It’s important to have balance on all levels, and to feed each part equally so no part suffers.
As far as the band goes – we all have families, so we work the touring out amongst ourselves. Over the years we have created a good touring structure.
Without mental and physical fitness I would have been burnt out years ago, but today, I feel I am at my peak of fitness mentally and physically.
Aside from music, you’re also involved in visual art. What prompted you to start painting? Do you draw inspiration for your music and visual art from the same sources?
To be honest, the reason I got into art was because I needed some paintings for the wall space in my home – I wanted to buy some art and visited a few exhibitions.
When I was told the prices, I thought “I can do that!” So I went home and started painting. Then I realised I was really enjoying the freedom that art gave me – you can do anything you want, there are no boundaries.
As the years went by, I did a few commissions for friends. A friend of mine (Stuart Semple), who is a much respected artist, saw my paintings and said I should put on an exhibition. I did have doubts, but I trusted his opinion and here I am 11 years later.
You’ve just embarked on your U.S. tour and will be releasing music on the we Are noize (wAn) imprint. What else is in the works for you?
Yes I’m excited about being in the US on tour. I love touring and meeting people – travelling and playing music – so I’m looking forward to the next US tour already!
we Are noize is just an outlet that a couple of my friends and I have set up, that we can use to put out the music we have created.
In 2014 look out for Cianna Blaze. You will be seeing her skills soon, also.
I will also be working on my next art exhibition in the UK, and hope to bring that to the US sometime in 2014.
And we have the new Prodigy album coming out next year… I think that’s enough on my plate for now, don’t you?