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Singer, Songwriter and DJ Maxine Hardcastle is not restrained by genre. Having written, produced and sang on soulful, funky house tracks for Hed Kandi and The Ministry of Sound, she also has a number of Smooth Jazz releases, reaching NO.1 on the American billboard chart.
Born and raised in the outskirts of London, Maxine Hardcastle is just at the beginning of her music career. It would be difficult not to claim that music runs thought her veins – her father, the legendary 80s popster Paul Hardcastle made his mark revolutionising the sound of Pop with the record ‘19’, which subsequently Simon Fuller named the company ‘19 Management’. Mr. Hardcastle continues to dominate the American Charts with countless hit albums. If that wasn’t enough to claim artistic heritage Maxine’s brother Paul Jr is a saxophonist and producer, having performed on his fathers tracks since the age of Ten, he now produces his own material and is creating a huge buzz in the industry. His summers are spent playing to the loyal music crowds of Ibiza in which he has several residencies . Louis Hardcastle her grandfather was a credible tap dancer and Jazz musician, playing over 5 instruments flawlessly, touring his way around the world until the fine age of 80!
Maxine’s youth was typically spent attending ‘all things musical’. Trained in Ballroom, Latin American, Ballet, Greek and Street dance she has performed on numerous stages through-out the country. Acquiring A’s in both Music and Drama at GCSE and A Level, at 16 she was excepted to The ‘Italia Conti Academy’ achieving a Diploma in theatre arts. Credits during this period include singing live at the Royal Albert Hall , the Spice Girls Movie, dancing several times on S-Club television, appearing in the series I- dream, and co-writing and performing on ‘Hardcastle 4’ – all before she was 18! Since then Maxine has concentrated on writing and producing her own solo material, teaching herself digital music production and setting up a studio in her bedroom. She was determined to become musically self-sufficient and involved in each step of making music.
Subsequently Maxine wrote her first House track ’ It’s Gonna Happen ’ in 2007, immediately snapped up by global label and club brand Hed Kandi. This was released on the Summer Sampler and Beach House 2007 album. Buzzing by her first solo release she teamed up with Wez Clarke with whom she wrote, sang and played the keyboard on the track entitled ‘Another Chance’. It gained instant recognition in Ibiza and holiday destinations where the track sits comfortably with sun, sea and a mohito. Hed Kandi obliged again for her second signing and released the track on several albums including , A Winters Taste, Kandi Lounge , Beach House 2008, Live Verbier and American Ministry of Sound Albums. Well established remixer Richard Earnshaw also provided a remix on further albums. With her feet firmly in the terrains of dance music two further successful tracks were signed with Hed Kandi. ’ Bringing Me Back ‘, was released on Beach House 2009 album and several albums Stateside. The Mr. Vasovski Mix was released on Discopolis records and featured on ’Born To Dance Presents Essential House Miami Twenty Ten’. Wez Clarke was interested in Maxine’s music writing ability, taking ’ Walking with a smile’ , a soul/ funk track that she had written and remixing it into the house track that now appears on several Hed Kandi albums. Garage producers Control – s loved the hooky vocals and created an additional remix in 2010, this time making there own 2-step garage version. This reached the ears of respected garage artists DJ EZ and the Artful Dodger, achieving radio play on popular stations such as Kiss 100. Since the first release Maxine has performed her tracks live in venues all over the world, including Pacha London, Pacha Lithuania, Russia and The Maldives.
As Miss Hardcastle breezed through the audition for dance and pop sensation ‘Alice DJ’ her work with producers at Violent Music sparked a fascination with Ableton Live. This was an important moment in Maxine’s career who’s thought process was ‘I make my music in the studio alone, I don’t want to just be able to sing live, I want to be the DJ’. It was from this moment she entered the world of Digital DJing. Using her production skills she composed her own remixes and bootlegs, showcasing her favourite House and Electro tracks to audiences and weaving her live vocal talents into her set. She went on to buy her own CDJ’s, teaching herself to spin the more conventional way, the rest is history! Maxine may be relatively new blood on the DJ scene but she has already sparked a lot of industry interest – not many DJs we know leave the decks looping and get down onto the floor to sing in the crowd.
Recent highlights to date include touring for ‘Pink Poison’ in Lithuania and Russia, as well as appearances at Egg London, Kuredu Island Maldives, Dreamers Marbella, Mac Store Regent street, ’ Sandbanks Rocks ‘, The national polo championships alongside Dane Bowers and Brandon Block and also performing along side The Artful Dodger, Dirty Vegas, Kiss 100 DJs and Ibiza Residents. She has billed at highly respected club nights Dance Aid, Blow, Miss Moneypenny’s, Wired, Be Somebody, Femme Fatale, DiscoTech, Mother Funkers, Pukka Up, Undetected, Dirtbox, Tutti-Frutti, the Thursday Night Project and more.
Away from the decks and dance scene Maxine finds relaxation in writing and singing Acoustic and Smooth Jazz. She has co-written and performed on several of her fathers #1 Smooth Jazz albums. At the start of 2011 ‘A Different Kind Of Love’, a track co-written with American artist Nate Harasim who was voted up and coming Smooth Jazz artist of the year was added to American radio shortly before it’s official release. The song is the single taken from his latest album ’ Rush ’ and has sparked great interest within the American market.
So what is next? Maxine continues to spend time in the studio and DJing to crowds all over the world . She adds ’ Iv’e been busy in the studio collaborating with producers from America and Spain , Iv’e enjoyed trying new things and really excited for 2011. I would like to continue collaborating with more producers and would certainly love to work with my father again, in any capacity! Having had such a great response to ’ Different kind of love ’ I am very eager to continue with more tracks in this vein. In terms of DJing, House music will always be in my life, my trips abroad and to Ibiza especially have really opened up my eyes and broadened my musical taste. Although much of my released music is Funky or Chilled, when it comes to DJing I have a strong passion for deeper Tech house with tribal and balearic influences and love to incorporate this into my sets. I am humble to DJ’s who have been playing for the most part of there life, and I’m enthused by there determination and soak up there knowledge where ever possible. I’m so excited by the DJing events I have lined up for 2011 and beyond.’