The Duality of Mau P: An Underground Advocate Becomes a House Music Vanguard

Mau P‘s journey didn’t begin in pursuit of the spotlight’s glare—it unfolded in the dimly lit corners of the underground, where the energy is raw and ambitions run deep.

Fortune had different plans for the breakout DJ and producer, who, despite his underground inclinations, has released a slew of major commercial hits in short order, beginning with the infectious anthem “Drugs From Amsterdam.” Since then, Mau P, whose real name is Maurits Westveen, has become nothing short of a seminal figure in the electronic music landscape as he bridges the gap of house music’s past and future with unparalleled finesse.

Mau P.

Tommy Reerink

In the heat of Miami Music Week, caught up with Westveen for a sit-down interview at The W Hotel. He shared insights into his musical journey thus far, which has oscillated between the allure of commercial success and the raw, unfiltered essence of underground dance music with each intriguing chapter.

There’s perhaps no better illustration of this dynamic than Mau P’s latest Beatport #1 hit, “Beats For The Underground,” which has not only dominated charts but also blitzed the world’s warehouse parties and club dancefloors alike—all after evolving through six different versions.

“The fun thing was that people were noticing small changes I added in each version of the song,” Westveen recalled of the track’s unique trajectory. When he noticed the rips on YouTube alone were garnering hundreds of thousands of views, the decision to ultimately slate it for an official release was a no-brainer.

With a background rooted in the stylings of big room house music under the umbrella of his former alias, Maurice West, Westveen’s transformation into Mau P started as a daring plunge in the throes of the pandemic.

Indeed, the artist’s shift from the festival-friendly sensibilities of Maurice West to the underground panache of Mau P has not been without its ironies. “Drugs From Amsterdam” catapulted him into the limelight far beyond the smoke-filled rooms of the underground scene he’d come to cherish.

“They wouldn’t let me be underground,” Westveen jokes, reflecting on the track’s unexpected success. “We wanted to dive more into the underground sounds and with the first track we’d already messed it up.”

Despite the whirlwind of success, Mau P remains immensely grateful for the journey and the choices with which it has afforded him. However, the rapid growth was not without growing pains.

“Nobody knew what Mau P was and what we wanted to accomplish here,” Westveen says of the time immediately following his breakout success. “We had to be so careful about picking the lineups, and which parties to play and what remixes to do.”

Ultimately, he believes that navigating these opportunities has been a privilege, allowing him to craft his path with intention and authenticity. “It’s easier to have that problem [of choice] and be able to say ‘no’ to a lot of things than to have to do it all over again starting small from an underground perspective,” he adds.

Mau P.

Tommy Reerink

Mau P’s success is emblematic of a cultural recalibration, one that seeks to honor the rich history of house music for loyalists while propelling it forward through a modernized lens for the next generation of producers. In his unique position at the intersection of these worlds, he is both a beneficiary and a catalyst of that shift, appealing to a desire for authenticity and depth that the dance music community has been yearning to revisit.

“The most interesting thing for me, ever since I started doing Mau P, is that the genres and sub-genre borders in-between have faded away,” Westveen says. “I feel like a lot of people don’t know what to label songs anymore.”

The blurring of stylistic lines is an indication of a broader evolution. And it’s in this melting pot of genres that he finds rhythm with an audience who is increasingly indifferent to labels, yet deeply connected to the essence of what makes dance music resonate across generations.

This ethos extends into Mau P’s live performances, the arena where he truly shines in sharing his passion and unique vision for the future of underground dance music. He says that despite initial expectations for him to deliver a set of Beatport Top 100 hits, his true determination lies in showcasing the unheard. It’s here, amidst the energy of the crowd, that he thrives in his craft, educating and elevating audiences with sounds that defy conventional categorization.

Fortunately, he’s earned increasingly more visible opportunities to do exactly that. Mau P was recently booked to perform at Coachella’s ambitious new stage, Quasar, marking another milestone in his broiling career.

He also just announced the largest outing yet in his “Baddest Behaviour” party series at Brooklyn’s Under The K Bridge Park, where a marathon open-to-close set promises an unforgettable experience for nearly 7,500 attendees. Tickets to the show, which is scheduled for September 13th, are on sale now.

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