He has just released a spine-tingling new single titled "Pull The Strings" featuring Selah Sue, and we were very keen to hear more about the release from the man himself. Introducing the super talented MAVERICK...
First things first, please tell us a little about yourself… who are you and where are you currently based?
My name is Wim Thijs, a Belgian electronic music producer, currently releasing music as Maverick. I aim for genre-bending productions, with a wide range of influences. I’m mostly inspired by hip-hop, soul and new electronics. Oh, and I love vocals… and women.
How long have you been making music properly for? Do you remember what made you first want to write it?
It started about 15 years ago, I used to play a lot of jungle and drum and bass sets (AKS) back then. I also hosted my own jungle nights in my hometown Leuven, Belgium. I was heavily into the ragga-jungle revival sound… that’s what basically sparked my need for making beats. Chopping up hip-hop and funk breaks, speeding them up, adding crazy basslines and stolen reggae acapellas. It gradually evolved into different genres. I started experimenting with hip-hop, dubstep, breaks.... aaand now we’re here ☺
What do you enjoy most about being an artist?
The fact that whatever you create in your studio, behind your computer or your piano… if it’s recorded, it's never “game over”! What I mean is that your musical work literally lives on. People can listen to it, have an opinion about it, can dance to it, have a glass of wine or good… conversations to it. It can make them happy, or sad, melancholic… even years after you released a track.
Recently a guy came up to me and said he just got into a song I made like 10 years ago, that’s truly amazing. And also the fact that I don’t have to work in a bank… that’s also pretty enjoyable.
Where do you mostly draw your inspiration? How would you describe your individual sounds to those who haven’t heard it yet?
On an aesthetic level I mostly draw my inspiration from other music that gets my attention, in various ways: It could be a clever arrangement, a great vocal, cool drums, sloppy bass lines, the vibe and sound of a particular song… in whatever genre: from soul over rock, to footwork and back.
Other inspirations include movies, long and pseudo-intellectual bar-conversations, books, stupid Facebook posts and all the other crap I come across while being alive.… Whatever makes me smile, or hate or love.
We love ‘Pull The Strings’ with Selah Sue. How long did you work on it for? What do you feel Selah brought to the track?
Thanks! The track actually had very long development phase. The first idea I wrote for Pull The Strings was in 2015 already…. It was just a basic beat with some synth-chords and and an arpeggiator sound. I send it out to Selah because I thought it could really fit her. Selah Sue and me go way back, she was in my first band and we always stayed in touch. We actually did three tracks together for Maverick.
What does Selah bring to the track? A hell of a lot of soul! She’s one of most talented songwriters I ever worked with and she almost instantly nails every track I send her. Selah’s feel for timing and harmony is out of this world.
After doing a few vocal takes we kind of ping-pong the track back and forth until we both feel comfortable with it. That’s how I usually work with vocalists or collaborating musicians. For me, the most challenging part is usually finding that right “sound” for a track, that moment where all the elements fall into place.
Are you happy with the final result? How have fan reactions been?
For me as a producer, it’s really hard to say, “Well now the track is completely finished and I’m super happy.” It’s always a bit of a process of letting go. It’s more about setting a deadline and hoping that you’re happy enough by the time you have to release it, haha.
But to be honest, I couldn’t be happier with the end result. I have the feeling that everything blends together well. And reactions have been just amazing, from all over the world.
Where do you see your sound progressing over the coming months/years?
I want to release a lot of new stuff in the coming months, we’ve got a lot of tracks lined up! Next to that I want to be able to do a lot of DJ sets and gradually evolve into a live projects again. I really miss the buzz of being on stage, because I’ve been in the studio for such a long time.
How my sound will progress is more difficult to say, it depend on which crazy music I get into in the future.
If you could work with any artist (alive or dead) on a track, who would you choose and why?
Etta James, just because… well, it doesn’t really need that much explaining, right? She’s just AMAZING. And maybe Roy Ayers; that dude has some serious soul.
Get to know Maverick further in this little introduction film: