Mark Villa – Mixmash’s Rising Star

by Kristine Kennedy and Michael Beas

LIVE at Amsterdam Dance Event 2017 

Do you remember what you were doing at the age of 16? Probably struggling to wake up daily for high school, completely overusing the ‘my dog ate my homework’ excuse, and balancing a mix of time for sports and time with friends. Then, there’s Mark Villa. At the ripe age of 16, this young man is a nothing short of a star in the eyes of many, including none other than Laidback Luke. The duo even collaborated on a fresh new track, “Rise,” that should definitely have a home on your playlist!

  While we were at ADE, we had a chance to meet this youngster and also see him perform at the Skyline Sessions by Lucas & Steve event that week. We were taken back by the talent and poise he possessed. Needless to say we’re so excited to watch him continue to develop and prosper through a much-decorated career in this industry. Here’s what Mark shared with us. Raver Magazine: Tell us about your music. A lot of people your age are probably devoting too many hours to video games while you’re devoting those hours and more to furthering your career. We want to hear your story.   Mark Villa: Well, when I was in middle school around 9 or 10, I started listening to Avicii and his track “Fade into Darkness” really made me fall in love with dance music. I was really inspired so I started looking up Avicii’s production methods. I started messing around to see if I could get the melodies I had in my head into the computer successfully. This was mostly a weekend thing for me at that time because I still had to go to school during the week. Then when I was about 13 or 14 music became more of a full-time thing. I wanted to learn as much as I could in the shortest amount of time. I really wanted to take this to the next level and find my own sound. I met up with Mixmash soon after and from them on we have been working together.   I’m really lucky because I started very young so I had a lot of time to really develop my music.   Raver Magazine: So it sounds like Avicii was a big inspiration for you. Have you met him yet?   Mark Villa: Yes, he was. I would love to meet him. Of course, he’s just focusing on releasing music now, so I don’t think I will run into him at a festival anytime soon. But maybe one day we’ll be able to work on a track together. He did play my latest single in his podcast! Raver Magazine: What’s it like working with Mixmash?   Mark Villa: It’s been great! They’re all so friendly and they really help me out. I basically have them to thank for my career so far. They have built my career and now we are all exploring those next step opportunities, working on a lot of new music and future collaborations.   Raver Magazine: What did your parents say when you told them you wanted to pursue this career in music at such a young age?   Mark Villa: They have always been helpful and supportive, even doing simple things like helping me download a music program. When I was younger I was living at my mother’s house mostly and she knew a lot about computers and programing so she helped a lot. My dad and I would always listen to music together. I’m very lucky to have such supportive parents.   Raver Magazine: How do you balance your music career with school?   Mark Villa: I currently go to a music school – Herman Brood Academie. It’s also where Martin Garrix went. The school is great. They help me develop business-wise with contracts and stuff. They also help with making music and how to make various sounds. With this school, I can really just focus on my music and not have to worry about anything else taking up that time during school hours. In the years before going to this music school, I started to struggle with finishing homework and studying for tests while trying to give time to music and also going to shows. But now I have much more time for music!   Raver Magazine: Do you ever feel any pressure with having big-name DJ’s supporting you?   Mark Villa: Sometimes I do, mostly when it comes to finishing up a track. This industry wants you to keep supplying new music consistently and the moment you lose focus or lose track of time, you start to feel some pressure that you need to finish the track in time. For everything else, there’s no pressure because I do what I love and I try to give my 100% every time. The Mixmash team is also great because instead of pressure, they give me guidance.   Raver Magazine: Outside of music, what do you like to do for fun?   Mark Villa: I used to play tennis, but I quit to devote that time to making music. I wanted to give it 100% so things got pushed to the side while I got into music. Nowadays, sometimes I will still play tennis but not competitively like in the past. I like to chill with friends and watch videos. It’s important for me to keep my friends and family close to me even though I am spending the majority of my time focusing on music.   ]]>