10Qs with “Fear of the Dark” Artist MaMan


10Qs with “Fear of the Dark” Artist MaMan


Based in Groningen, Julian Steenbergen – better known by his stage name MaMan – is just the kind of artist we’re all about here at Nexus. With an original style and a rapidly growing audience, his nature-focused approach to electronic music production is both distinctive and captivating.

Incorporating elements such as bells and chimes, as well as what he describes as “ethereal atmospheres”, his music feels like a pure expression of nature and our connection to it. Amongst a crowd of artists all focused on finding the next high energy dance hit, MaMan’s music stands out for turning this recipe on its head and creating something that feels truly new.

Of course, it’s important to note that his music is about more than just the aesthetics of nature. Through his work, MaMan advocates for environmental sustainability, helping to spread the message about the importance of looking after the world around us.

And it’s not just fans who are loving his output. Nora En Pure has also been a strong advocate for his work giving him constant support and helping to give him a voice in the industry. And now other artists and even major labels are paying attention.

Going forwards, Steenbergen plans to focus on honing his performance skills, meaning that lucky fans are likely to have plenty of live shows over the next few years.

If you’d like to learn more about MaMan, his music, his production process, and what inspires him then be sure to check out this exclusive, Nexus Radio 10Qs interview.

Q: Before we dig in, what's next for you? (Please talk about current projects here)

I’m currently working on my upcoming releases – my new song with Anna-Sophia Henry is called ‘Wicked Game’ and it’s our rendition of Chris Isaak’s classic. This song has always been special to me, so I am super excited that I wrote my version of it with my friend Anna. Furthermore, I’m currently developing my live act, because I want to give the audience something extra, something a bit more special than just DJ sets. This way I can also go back to my roots by playing the piano and playing in bands.

Q: Tell us about a memorable moment from one of your live performances

Maybe one of my most memorable moments was the night when I organized my own house/techno event. It was a few years ago and I threw myself in the dark trying to organise an event by myself. In the end, when I finally was on stage, I felt so pumped and so happy that everything was finally happening. Friends and family came over, I invited great artists to play and the venue was amazing – I felt all these months of preparation were worth it. This tells me sometimes it’s not the music itself or my performance that makes a night memorable – it’s the period before the event where everyone puts in their dedication to make something possible.

Q: How does music impact your life?

Music impacts my life in so many ways, where to start… I breathe music, wake up with music, and go to bed with music. I either listen, make, or think about it every minute of the day. Most of my life decisions are based on my path in music. For example, I studied Geography at the University of Groningen (and finished it), but decided to go into music full-time right after graduation. I love geography and many other disciplines, but somehow music always stuck with me. I just can’t imagine a life without music, I’m sure it will be a big part of my life for as far as I can foresee.

Q: What's the most embarrassing song on your playlist?

Are we talking about guilty pleasures? I have a lot, haha. I have one type of music that has both friends and enemies – Eurovision. I used to hate this music when I was younger, I convinced people you cannot even call it “music”. Growing up, however, I think the songs countries submit always have some sort of edge to them. They sometimes introduce very interesting sounds, melodies, arrangements, vocals, etc. I can assure you that my Spotify Wrapped top 10 will have one Eurovision song each year (embarrassing?).

Q: What's the most ridiculous music video you've ever seen?

I need to dig deep into my brain for this… oh I remember one, this one is ridiculous: Salvatore Ganacci – Horse. What exactly is going on here? People hitting animals – Salvatore the savior comes in his glossy shoe car – Salvatore hitting the people – Driving back in his shoe with the rescued animals, makes sense right? Maybe there is some message about animal cruelty behind this video, that’s quite inspiring actually. Great video!


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Q: What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

That would be pistachio and stracciatella, so yum. Last year I visited Rome and nothing beats Italian gelato. We can learn from that in The Netherlands (for those 3 days a year when it’s warm enough).

Q: If you could solve one global problem overnight, what would it be?

Climate Change. I’m very aware of climate change and how the system works, which makes me a bit worried. I also try to convey this message through my artistry where possible. Unfortunately, there is not 1 answer and it cannot be solved overnight, but I believe everything starts with awareness and knowledge. As my name grows, I will try to leverage this more and spread the message to as many people as possible.

Q: If you had a time machine and could visit any historical period, where and when would you go?

Good question, I’ve thought of this before but never really found an answer. Every historical period has its perks and disadvantages. I’ve always been intrigued by the Medieval Times, but I don’t think I could survive for one day in these times, haha. A bit more recent, the 80s would’ve been pretty cool as well I think. I’m too young for this, but I would’ve liked to know what it is to live without the internet, oh well, I guess I’ll never find out.

Q: What movies have inspired you?

Don’t laugh at me – I only recently watched Kung Fu Panda and it’s amazing. I don’t know why I never watched it before, but there are some truthful life lessons in these movies. The inspiration for me from these movies was not necessarily the storyline itself – but these ancient Chinese and Eastern lessons and dialogues. I love spirituality and Kung Fu Panda is full of them if you realize what they are talking about. A kid’s movie or not, we can all learn something from it.

Q: Describe your most bizarre life experience thus far?

Hard to say, every single day I experience things that I never experienced before. One remarkable experience is the story about my campervan. Roughly two years ago I bought my van and converted it into a camper. About seven months later it was finished and I travelled through Sweden on my own. It was an amazing experience and once doing it you realize how interesting nature, people, and places can be when you live in the moment. In our everyday lives, we are so distracted and cluttered that we forget how it feels to just be. I would encourage anyone to travel, by yourself or with others, to new places and meet new people along the way.

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