"Music is all intertwined, there is no good or bad, I love so many styles of music, that I think taking bits from everywhere and my influences has allowed me to do this"
Over the years Maher Daniel has been an artist who has truly crafted his work, and has proven this on the international dance circuit. With countless releases on some of the top labels in the industry, Maher has shown his diversity not only as a top class producer but a top class dj. Playing globally at some of the best venues and festivals around the world making him continuously in demand.
In 2015 Maher took some time off to really calibrate his sound and craft. At the same time to work on the birth of his Label The Other Side. With his debut album feelings From The Other Side getting praise, and support from some of the best in the industry, he set the tone for the label, which has really taken shape into a well respected entity in the industry.
Currently doing label showcases world wide, his brand has set itself as a top tear clubbing experience bringing smiles all across the board form SXM festival in St Marteen to Uberhaus in Beirut Lebanon. Its also given him a platform to really express himself musically, his dedication to the music has seen him grow relentlessly with 2019 providing to be one of the label and Maher’s biggest year collaborating with Ricardo Villalobos and releasing work from Faster, SIT, Sammy Dee and up and coming work from Petre Inspirescu.
We had a chance to talk to him, so enjoy your reading our interview below to find out more about Maher’s work, wide-spanning influences and favourite music.
Hi Maher! Where can we find you right now? How did you start off your day?
Im currently at home in Barcelona, just doing some label work before I go to the studio, I started off my day with a run on the beach with my dog then a HITT workout. This is how I start everyday as it gets me moving through out the whole day and sets my mind straight.
What was your first foray into the world of electronic music?
Well I was 14 or 15 my brother came from Montreal to visit in Dubai and brought back a cd by max graham which he was listening to in the car, at first I was not impressed, I was a punk and alternative head so to me I did not consider this music, but then when I made the move to Montreal a year later, he opened up my eyes to a whole new world and I think thats when I really got sucked into the world of electronic music.
When did the idea of starting a project begin to take shape? Has it always been something you’ve wanted to do?
As a voyeur I never really thought this was what I wanted to do, but then I slowly started playing his records and him and his friends taught me the ins and outs, slowly but surely he moved to Dubai for work and left me his collection, from there I decided to be a little more serious, and things started moving forward from there. Residency at stereo in montreal then production, next thing I know I was signing records in 2007 to the Likes of Get Physical, Bedrock, Souvenir and more.
Which artists have your interest these days?
My main inspirations come for the likes of Ricardo Villalobos, and the whole Romanian crew. Since the first time I played with Ricardo in Montreal my whole concept of music changed and been trying to find myself as an artist, which eventually came about 5 years ago.
How do you manage to combine such disparate genres? How do you manage to give them unity and harmony? What do they have in common for you?
Music is all intertwined, there is no good or bad, I love so many styles of music, that I think taking bits from everywhere and my influences has allowed me to do this, its really hard to explain the thought process but I think I've managed to translate this.
Tell us about your relationship with Villalobos, when did it start? What do you admire about him?
I met Ricardo the first time in Montreal around 2009 when he played with zip at mute Picnik Elektronik, then after that had the opportunity to play with him at stereo where I held my residency, from there we got closer, and built a relationship, which evolved to collaborating with each other last year. The most I admire about him is his honesty and humbleness, he believes in music and the people and energy that surrounds him. This is very rare in our industry and I think this is why our connection is strong, because I feel the same way.
How do you deal with C19 confinement with your work? Has this situation influenced your creative perspective? What social and musical implications do you think this situation can lead to?
I was lucky to be stuck in Montreal with friends so it made things easier, it was difficult because my dog was not around but it was the cards I was dealt. It was really an interesting moment as it helped me get majority of my second album done, which is a completely different sound, more ambient, and electronic based for listening. This was something important for me to do as Ive always wanted to get into post production for film, so In excited to hear the final outcome.
So what music are you currently obsessed by? Have you picked up any records recently that you have been playing in every set or have been listening to every day?
Ive been really spending my time listening to old school hip hop and ambient music, Erik Hall, Steve Reich, Marconi Union. A tribe called quest, the roots, Gangstar. Ive done a tone fo record shopping but have not played anywhere since march, so really waiting to test them out.
What tracks would you recommend us to liven up the confinement?
I woulds not say track but I would say listen to Erik Hall - Music for 18 Musicians.
Can you tell us something about your current or future projects?
Well the label is going really strong the next release which is our 10th is Dubfound with Rhadoo remixes then the last of three Ep’s with myself and Ricardo Villalobos and hopefully my album before the year ends.