Our very own Maxinne has joined forces with vocalist Lauren L’Aimant, and the result? A stunning, uplifting single on Toolroom titled, ‘Tell Me Something’. We managed to catch up with the rising star, discussing her past collaborations with MOYA and Mizbee, to working with Amine Edge & Dance, as well as her fond memories of performing live and being a part of the #ToolroomFamily.

Hey Maxinne, congratulations on your latest release ‘Tell Me Something’ with Lauren L’Aimant, talk to us a bit about collaborating with Lauren, how it came about? Are you two good friends already?

Hey guys, ahh thank you! I met Lauren about 2 years ago through her manager and we met up for a studio session shortly afterwards and clicked straight away. I think this is so important with collabs so you’re both on the same page and vibe off each other when making music. We’ve been doing various studio sessions since, either together or remotely and I’m proud that ‘Tell Me Something’ is the first of our collabs to see its release. Laurens been to some of my shows in London and we’ve become good friends, I’m really excited to be releasing with her and can’t wait to do more in the future.

‘Tell Me Something’ is a deeper, more progressive track compared to your previous releases, tell us more about what inspired the track, what sounds and themes influenced you when creating the song? Where’s the perfect place to hear it?

In quite a lot of my previous releases they have that soulful/melodic sound whether that’s through the vocals or the lead sounds and stabs. In my first EP on Knee Deep In Sound the lead track ‘Dusk Till Dawn’ is a bit more progressive so I feel like ‘Tell Me Something’ is a bit of fuse of Tech House, with it’s chunky groove in the low end, and a bit more of a progressive sound which comes from the arpeggio and musical elements in the track. I love how this track came together really organically and from the heart. All the tracks I’ve released have been the tracks that have flowed really well in the studio, we knew exactly how we wanted the track to sound from the start. Being in lockdown has enabled me to explore slightly different sounds so it was nice to go a bit deeper on this one. The perfect place to hear this would be a big club sound system or festival.

Maxinne feat. Lauren L’Aimant – ‘Tell Me Something

You’ve collaborated with various vocalists in the past such as Moya, Mizbee and Niki Darling. What exactly do you look for when choosing who to collaborate with? Do you write the track with someone in mind, or does that come later after you’ve developed the track? Do you tend to start the process with specific vocalists and artists in the process from the beginning?

I love vocals that have a really soulful tone to them, and a bit of a raw edge. All of the singers I’ve worked with have this powerful style and soulfulness that really moves me. I absolutely love Laurens voice it’s so unique and has an amazing dreamy vibe to it. I work both ways, I love receiving vocals first as it inspires loads of ideas for the instrumental and I can usually lay down the idea pretty fast, but sometimes I’ve built tracks first and then the singer has written the vocal after. It’s different for every track and there isn’t necessarily a set formula I stick to, but I think this is what makes the whole process so much fun.

Is collaborating with new people something you enjoy? How has this changed during lockdown for you?

Yes I definitely enjoy it; I get really excited working with new people, as that’s where the magic happens. I love bouncing ideas off one another. Lockdown has definitely enabled me to collaborate more because we’ve had loads of time in the studio. I’ve done some wicked collabs that will be on my album and I also released a track with Amine Edge & Dance as part of Toolrooms T2 album.

Speaking of collaboration… You’ve been a big part of Toolroom’s #WeAreListening platform. How important is it for you to inspire female identifying DJs and producers? What’s the best advice you can give people wanting to get into the music industry?

Being present as a female in the industry definitely helps to encourage more women to pursue it and gives them more belief in themselves to make the first move. If I can inspire anyone by being myself and doing what I love then that is something special and I hope I can continue to do so along the way.

My best advice I could give might sound quite cliché but it’s to not give up, its not always a smooth ride but that’s like anything in life, to be successful you can’t quit, and It’s so important to have support around you to pick you up and encourage you. This along with knowing what your goals are and working towards them is really important. Break your goals down into small steps, weeks, months and work towards them daily, then over time you will look back and be like ‘wow’ I achieved all those things I set out to. Lastly, never wait for that ‘right time’ or ‘when you feel ready’ to get going, there’s no time like the present.

You have released a string of amazing club bangers with Toolroom, looking back, are there any personal favourite tracks of your which stick out, do you have any fond memories of working on them, playing them out live?

I loved making ‘In The Groove’ which was my first release this year, I’ve been blown away with the support it’s received on Radio 1 from Danny Howard and Annie Mac. MOYA was amazing to work with as well. I’ve got a lot of memories from last year playing ‘Get Up’ and ‘One I Want’ in my live streams in lockdown, they’ve both had a great response as well. The lyrics in ‘Get Up’ are really empowering and fitting for the time we’ve been going through in lockdown so I enjoyed playing that out a lot last year.

MaxinneGet Up

Maxinne – ‘One I Want

So, your debut album is tipped to drop later this year, is there anything you can tell us on its progress, is ‘Tell Me Something’ our first taste of what’s to come?

I’m going to keep the title a surprise until closer to the time but the album represents me and my sound down to a T and I’m so happy with all the tracks on it. The singers I’ve worked with on the album are some who I’ve worked with along my production journey, which only felt right, as we’ve built such good friendships.

Plus there’s some surprises on there which will be revealed but expect some big collabs and other singers as well. ‘Tell Me Something’ is definitely a taste of what’s to come on the album and there’s also a bit of a variety on there but all within my sound, so I feel like there’s something for everyone. A lot of the lyrics in the tracks are quite empowering and emotive which is what I really wanted to bring through on the album, I’m all about mindset and positivity so I wanted this to be conveyed well.

Live events are expected to return hopefully by the end of the year, are you looking forward to performing live and travelling internationally to DJ again? What have you missed the most the last year?

I really can’t wait, I feel like lockdown has really prepared me for when we go back to DJ’ing as I’ve got loads of my own music to play, and that has always been something I’ve wanted, for people to come to my shows and hear almost a full set of my own productions. I’ve made a variety of different styles but all within my sound so I can take my sets on a journey. It’s the best feeling seeing other people dance to your own music and I’ve really missed that. I’ve also missed meeting people and playing to a crowd and that excitement of the whole gig experience.

Maxinne live from Toolroom HQ

What is the first track you’ll play live when events finally return?

I think its got to be ‘In The Groove‘ as it was my first release to kick off 2021 and it’s such a party starting track so I also want to kick off my sets with it.

Maxinne (feat. MOYA) – In The Groove

What are your aspirations for 2021, and what do you hope to achieve this year?

I was blown away when Danny Howard and Annie Mac played ‘In The Groove’ on Radio 1 as that was one of my aspirations this year. I really respect what they do so was super grateful for their support. My goals which I set myself every year are to keep getting better at what I do, keep growing and to be the best version of myself. I would love for my music to be heard by more and more people and for DJing to take me to new and different parts of the world, I love exploring different countries and cultures. There’s also some exciting plans in place after my album is released which will be revealed closer to the time.