Mark de Clive-Lowe & His New Release: "Worth The Wait"
Originally from New Zealand, DJ/producer and keyboardist Mark de Clive-Lowe has long been at the forefront of the Nu-Jazz scene, blending jazz and club music, man and machine. What really sets Mark apart is that his original music and remixes often center around jazz played with real instruments. Releasing on labels from the likes of: Strictly Rhythm, Atjazz Record Company, Fania, & BBE to name a few. Staying true to his practice, Mark now delivers a wonderful remix of Jill Scott & Nils Wulker’s “Worth The Wait” under his own imprint MashiBeats.
Congratulations on your new release. How is it being received in your sets? & How are other club DJs responding to the release?
Thanks! It’s a real pleasure to put my spin on this track – one of my favorite vocalists – Jill Scott – singing a song written by one of my favorite songwriters – Nia Andrews. I’ve kept this one heavily under wraps but the couple of times we’ve previewed it for the dancefloor have been really special – the vibe is immediate and the heads always have this “wait… is that JILL ??!” moment. I’m excited to get it out into the world moving soulful dancefloors far and wide.
Tell us more about the track. What was the main inspiration behind it and what prompted the musical direction on this?
I met Nils when he was in LA working on his album this track is originally from – he was in studio with Feist-collaborator Mocky and Solange-collaborator Nia Andrews. I knew that with that powerhouse creative team working with him, something special was going to come out of it. I got to hear the demo of the track and loved the song straight away – when the album came out and Nia told me that Jill was now vocalizing her song, I couldn’t wait to hear it. Once I heard it and knew we had a brand new classic Jill Scott vocal in the world, I just had to remix it! I wanted to make the remix soulful with plenty of bounce for the dancefloor – keep it simple but sophisticated.
Production wise, what is it about the track that makes it work?
I mean… it’s all about Jill really! It’s hard to mess up a production when the vocal is so amazing. In combination with Nia’s songwriting I just had to make sure to not get in the way of the song. The remix also gets its drive and bounce from the bassline, and Nils trumpet solo adds the final touches of flavor.
What is the one machine, program, sound, drum machine, technique that characterizes your sound?
I’m a harmony guy – for me harmony is the heart of the music, so that’s often an identifiable aspect of my productions. I love the MPC approach with drums – even if I’m using Maschine or programming directly into a DAW, my mentality with drums stems from coming up on the MPC3000. Most of all though, it’s about marrying the musicality of a track with the melody of the vocal. Having it all work hand in glove together.
What is the one piece of kit that you simply cannot do without?
In this day and age, it would have to be the laptop (although I just had a major laptop meltdown and managed a few live shows fine after I pulled out the old school analog rig!). I do love the way technology has evolved – whether I’m in the studio, in a hotel room in Johannesburg, in the kitchen at home or on the plane, I can pull up something I’m working on and get busy. Or start something completely new whenever the vibe hits me. I do like going into studios with completely different equipment than what I would regularly use – that always pushes me in new directions and makes the creativity come out in fresh ways.
Any advice for your fans on how to make it in today’s fast-paced game?
Diligent work habits on a regular basis – waiting for inspiration is an amateur’s game; Mastery of the craft – be a student every day, learn something new, practice it until its a natural part of your creative language; Honor the history – everyone wants to make something new that’s never been heard before, but in order to be a part of the lineage of music history, you have to know that history. Not necessarily like a walking encyclopedia, but definitely beyond the confines of whatever style you see yourself in. Limiting your exposure to music because it’s “not house” or not whatever it is you might be making is limiting your own opportunities to grow and evolve your own sound and voice.