A DJ and music producer has released his first single with the support of a record label.

Maximus Stephanos, 23, from Rickmansworth, went to York House School by Croxley Green before moving to Thorpe House in Gerard’s cross and then completing his A-levels at Sandringham School in St Albans.

His first label released track, JB’s Love, was release last month called with ToneArtistry Records.

The song is a blend of genres drawing inspiration from house and disco. The vocal sample is taken from the late James Brown.

I spoke to him to find out more…

Times Series:

Was your creativity encouraged at school?

I think that at school you are never really encouraged to think about music as a career which is a shame really because the way the music industry is nowadays, there really is an opportunity for everybody.

I used to feel that because I never achieved past grade three in piano, that I would never do anything with music in a professional sense in my life.

If there is one thing I could wish that would be encouraged more, it would definitely be the composition and production element of music, rather than lots of theory work. Music technology has become so advanced now and it’s also so much fun. I feel that children across the board would really benefit from exploring all of the wonderful production equipment that is now available for relatively cheap.

Describe your sound

I feel as a DJ and producer you should never put yourself in a box or genre of music. even if at that moment in time you are only listening to one kind of sound. I have found that as I’ve got older my musical interests have changed dramatically.

When I was growing up my mum used to listen to a lot of country and western music, Dolly Parton in particular. My dad used to teach aerobics so he would listen to a lot of high energy dance and trance anthems, I remember first hearing the incredible sounds of the late and great Robert Miles, as well as the iconic 90s dance anthems from people like Baby D and Gala.

I feel my sound is continuing to progress, drawing inferences from house, garage, disco and techno. I like to think that during a DJ set I get an opportunity to play a selection of sounds that really describe who I am as a person.

Which artists inspire you?

I draw a lot of inspiration from UK artists and because I listen to such a wide variety of genres, from singers like Adele and George Michael, to Abra Cadabra and UK rap collective Harlem Spartans.

As a DJ, guys like Amine Edge and Dance, Tough Love and Vintage Culture massively shaped the kind of house I enjoy listening to. I remember first getting introduced to Tough Love through a friend and then being on stage with them at an Audiowhore event at the Coronet, in Elephant and Castle. The venue is quite historic and has a capacity of well over 2,000. I think that was the first time I probably looked out on a sea of people and could see the power of music and what it could do to people. That moment has provided me with a lot of inspiration to keep chasing my dreams.

Tell me about the new record

JB’s Love is my first piece of work to be signed to a label. The track draws musical influences from disco, house, blues and jazz as well as using a vocal sample taken from an interview back in 1992 from the legend that is James Brown. I made the track with summer in mind and I feel it definitely captures the feel good, sunshine weather we (sometimes) get in England.

What have you achieved so far in your career?

I started to DJ in October 2015 and in January 2016 I began producing my own material. In the February of that year I was invited to join the team at S-Dance Radio where I had a weekly Friday night drive time show. I stayed at S-Dance for a little over a year before leaving to set up my own online station - House 559 Music Radio.

I’m so grateful to S-Dance because they believed in me from the beginning of my career and provided an awesome platform for me to get my sound heard across London. From playing regularly on radio I started to get bookings at venues like Lightbox London as well as securing a residency at a well-established London party, Deep Vibes.

2017 saw me play my first international booking at Spring Break Festival Portugal. It was an absolutely incredible experience to go and DJ in another country and I hope I get more opportunities to explore the world and play music.

Do you have any favourite venues in Watford?

It’s been a really long time since I’ve gone out in Watford. In fact, so long that the clubs I used to go (Oceana and Area) are no longer there. PRYZM and Hydeout look super cool though and maybe one day I’ll get the opportunity to play there.

Listen to his music at soundcloud.com/mstephanos