DJ Max Graham

(Livewire guest on September 2001)

Someone once called Max Graham's rise to fame "meteoric". From 2001-2004 he went from local to international through a couple of lucky breaks, incredible talent, and years of hard work.

Although born in the UK, Max began his career in an unlikely house music city: Ottawa, Canada. Max and his friends created a small Sunday night party which, through hard work turned into the legendary Atomic nightclub. This residency (from 1995 through 1999) paved the way for Max's diverse sound, inspired by the Sasha-esque progressive music of the time. It was at this venue that he honed his skills with weekly 6-hour sets.

After gaining attention in eastern Canada, Max decided it was time to take things to the next level and he subsequently relocated to Vancouver to write music. During this period, from late 1999 to 2001, Max wrote the hit songs that put his career into overdrive: Airtight, Tell You, Barnone, Shoreline and remixes such as Bullit's • Cried to Dream, just to name a few.

Some of Max's original songs were chosen to grace the mix CDs of the best in the business, including Tiesto and former tour-mate Paul Oakenfold. Airtight held the coveted #1 spot on the influential Balance Record Pool chart and was nominated for a Juno Award - the Canadian version of the Grammy • in 2001. After gaining recognition as a producer, Max was asked to remix tracks for acts such as Delerium and Uberzone as well as for reputable record labels like Hooj Choons.

It was these songs that helped gain the attention of some of the biggest industry players. Max was offered a monthly residency at the world famous UK club Gatecrasher; he was regularly flown from Canada to Sheffield to open for Paul van Dyk and others. In addition to renowned clubs vying for Max's turntable time, Paul Oakenfold promptly called and offered Max tour dates as well as gigs in the world's clubbing capital, Ibiza.

Although it was his original material that first got Max noticed, his diverse style, coupled with unique mixing and scratching performances, has been instrumental in impressing the masses on a global scale. His successes became evident when in 2001 Max was voted #23 in the world in DJMag's Top 100 DJs poll, the highest new entry that year. This poll, which is based strictly on public votes, is considered the most prestigious and accurate gauge of a DJ's popularity. Max has not left the top 100 since 2001.

Last year, after touring in support of his mix CD, Shine, Max launched his own label, Shinemusic, with an original production Coastline. He has since released his own reworks of the much talked about Do What U Want by JaseFOS. Shinemusic is reflective of Max's diverse musical taste. It has always been difficult to classify Max's DJing style, though melodic, pumping, high quality dance music are certainly words that come to mind.

2005 is set to be Max's most prolific year to date. Not many records create the kind of buzz that his new single - Max Graham vs. Yes - Owner of a Lonely Heart, and his vocal hit, I Know You're Gone - feat. Jessica Jacobs have received. These productions are being played by industry leaders Sander Kleinenberg, and Armin van Buuren, as well as Grammy award winners Deep Dish, and BBC Radio One's Pete Tong.