With already one of the biggest hits of last year under his belt, we sat down for a chat with ‘Waves‘ hitmaker, Mr Probz.
Netherland based artist, producer, singer, and songwriter Mr. Probz releases his second single ‘Nothing Really Matters’ this month, following on from his multi – platinum selling debut single ‘Waves’ (Robin Schulz remix) which reached #1 in 39 countries, Top 25 in 60 countries and was named No.5 overall in the Official Charts Company’s biggest selling singles of 2014. We caught up with the man himself to find out a bit more.
Tell us where it all began for you – what was your initial journey into music
Growing up I was always a fan of music but didn’t have the money to buy records so I always hung around record stores and listened to all the albums through the store’s headphones until I knew them buy heart. Back then I never pictured myself to be a performer though. When I started writing it was more of a outlet that just grew into something that I could see myself doing for ever.
and getting signed?
I never signed an artist deal. My label has a licensing deal with Sony/Ultra for ”Waves” and we recently decided to take it a step further and collaborate on my first official debut album.
How does your hometown and the Netherlands compare to cities like London and NY for example, for it’s music culture?
Apples and pears, I guess. There’s always some things that might be an excess in one place and might be missing in the other. Apart from the fashion and the people there’s always something in the air wherever I go. It’s hard to put in words.
How did your environment and surroundings inspire you as you were growing into an adult?
When I first started writing it was only to try and put on paper what weighed down on my mind. Later I started experimenting more and let other music genres inspire me up to a point where I could be inspired by the most random things. The how and why is something I wish I could tell you but what I can say is that it was always a personal and intense process. As soon as I would see a memory or scenery playing in my head I was right there and whatever emotion or pain went through me would come back in real time.
Can you tell us about the first song you ever wrote and what it was about?
The first rap verse I wrote could quite possible be the weakest 16 bars known to man. Let’s go to the next question.
Do you feel like songwriting is a means of escapism for you?
It’s the best way I know. If I don’t make music or feel like I’m being creative I’ll probably loose my mind. When I’m in the studio working it’s almost like I’m chillin’ in the eye of class 5 tornado but as soon as I step out..
Your songs seem relatively personal. Do you ever feel a sense of vulnerability when you’re singing them to crowds of thousands of people?
Always. Watching someone in the crowd singing that’s your lyrics word for word is something I wish everyone could experience. It’s amazing. Also, when I get really personal messages on social media from people that are going through rough times and how a song helped them it always reminds me of why I do it and that I have to keep going.
You’ve had an incredible 12 months – can you pinpoint any career highlights from your year?
One of the highlights of last year was performing in front of a hundred thousand people in Norway and that the crowd was singing so loud that I couldn’t hear myself on the monitors so I just sang along. There are so many highlights it would take me a week to make a list.
‘Waves’ was huge and has catapulted you into the mainstream – How do you intend to follow-up such a huge anthem? Are you concerned about being a ‘one hit wonder’?
I don’t really think about doing the same thing twice in general. What’s the fun in that? I could easily stick to one formula but most of the ‘one hit wonders’ only got stuck in that lane by making concessions and following trends. I don’t feel the need to.
‘Nothing Really Matters’ is equally as stunning – can you tell us more about how the track was born and what it means to you?
Thanks! It started with an idea that my boy Giorgio Tuinfort had with Akon. It was a completely different concept at first that Giorgio played me over a skype call. Soon after that we had a session and as he started playing the piano I took some parts of the sketch and used it as a foundation for the song and wrote the rest around it.
How will the album sound? Will it reflect your diverse taste in music?
The first project that I released was ”The Treatment” and it was mostly Hip Hop and me rapping. It took me a while to record and produce the record because I wasn’t really sure which way I wanted to go with it. After Waves I decided to finish it and put it online for free so I could start on a new chapter. This new record will definitely reflect my taste in music and will also have a lot of elements in it that I’ve always wanted to try and work with ever since I started singing.
If you could work with any other artist, or have another artist guest vocal on your track, who would you choose, and what would that track end up sounding like?
I don’t really have a list of artists because you never know what the energy will be like if you meet face to face but if I had to choose I’d probably go for someone like Ed Sheeran or Lana Del Rey. If I knew how that would sound I’d probably be in a studio recording it right now.
‘Nothing Really Matters’ is out on March 22nd.