Mark Maxwell: Warming Up With Prohibition's Resident DJ

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  • Saturday, 13 January 2018 13:35
Published in Music  
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Mark Maxwell is a resident DJ at Prohibition in Brisbane. Mark Maxwell is a resident DJ at Prohibition in Brisbane.

If you've partied at Brisbane nightclub Prohibition in the past year, there's a good chance you've been brought to the dancefloor by the turntable technique of resident DJ Mark Maxwell.

In the job for the past 12 months, Mark has mostly served as a warm-up act for the international touring artists that pass through the doors.

It's been a whole, new world for the mechanical engineer turned DJ who only took on a music career full-time in the past three years. “I've only been doing music full-time for about three years so it's actually really good to play a big room like Prohibition,” Mark says.

“[Red Bull Music Academy] was the catalyst for me quitting my day job to pursue music full-time.”

“The first gig I had there was Sunday at the start of January last year where Yolanda Be Cool came and played, so I did the warm-up set for them. That was right in the deep end, but it was heaps of fun and we had a good night.”

As resident DJ, it also falls to Mark to provide a thumping soundtrack for the weekly Saturday night party. For someone still relatively new to the DJ game, it's been one hell of a way to cut his teeth.

“There's a good slot on Saturday from 9pm to 12am where you can take the club from a completely empty dancefloor to build it up until midnight and then hand it over to the next DJ that runs through for the rest of the night. It's a heap of fun being able to do that.

“The warm-up slot is also great as well… trying to keep in mind the type of music that the main act plays so that you can try to lead the crowd toward that type of music whether it's more bass-house heavy or if it's more disco house kind of sounds.

"Being able to bring that to a point where it leads into [the main act] naturally, but you haven't already smashed all of the big hits before they come on. Those kind of jobs are the fun ones and the challenging ones.”

Before taking on a full-time DJ career, Mark worked as a mechanical engineer. It was taking a chance with Red Bull Music Academy that boosted him from part-time bedroom producer to a working DJ.

“That was the catalyst for me quitting my day job to pursue music full-time; that was three years ago [2014] in Tokyo,” Mark says.

“Red Bull Music Academy is a travelling set of workshops, gigs and events... Music has always been a hobby for me for the past 15 years or so, but that was the a chance for me to do it full-time and make a real go of it.

“I did an engineering degree, got a Masters in project management and was working for five or six years when this opportunity came around. I handed in my resignation, left the engineering on Friday and left for Tokyo the following Friday.”

Prohibition is open from 7pm Thursday to Saturday at 206 Wickham St, Fortitude Valley (Brisbane).


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