Culted Sounds: Mason Collective on Manchester, clubs and clothes

Culted Sounds: Mason Collective on Manchester, clubs and clothes

by Ollie Cox
6 min

The dynamic dance & electronic trio Mason Collective started like any other musical group does – just some kids being in the same scene with the same sounds and figured, why not band together? Unlike your Bristol pals, Blair Suarez, Adam Myles and Omar Guedar stuck together, and are now touring across the world.

From their homebase of Manchester, Mason Collective have the city’s entire history of culture-defining music to back them, playing at iconic venues like Warehouse Project and Sankeys. Even their own studio is like a revolving door of talent, constantly welcoming music nerds alike for a celebration of good tunes and great beats.

We caught up with Mason collective to talk all things Manny, musical and fashion inspiration, and what lays ahead with MVSON parties. 

2023 was a big one for you guys. What is the new year looking like?

Yeah last year was a special one. We had a few big releases on labels we’ve been working towards for a long time, loads of debuts, new countries and clubs and even a music video. We’re keeping the foot on the pedal this year, we have more music ready to go, a new edit pack with fletch dropping this month, we’re taking our MVSON party on the road to a load of different cities and we’re building a new outlet to release music which we’ll share more on very soon.

You have said previously that the Warehouse Project was one of the first clubs that you went to. How has it influenced you, and what is it like to perform at such a well-loved venue?

We were lucky to have legendary venues and events like Warehouse Project and (the now defunct) Sankeys in the city when we started going out. We had, and still have, world class artists and DJs performing every weekend, which taught us a lot. 

Adam: I used to go through my library on the bus to music tech college picking out tracks that I’d play if I ever got the chance to play WHP. So when we got the call up you can imagine how excited we were. Playing a large cap venue like that in your hometown with all your friends in the crowd is an amazing experience.

How has being from Manchester impacted your creative process?

Manchester’s always been a hub for young creatives. The scene’s super supportive here, everyone helps each other out. We have so many talented DJs and producers here. Our studio is in the same block as some of our friends like AJ Christou, Reme, Joseph Edmund, Fletch, Calvin Clarke etc to name a few so there’s a lot of ideas and inspiration flying around.

A lot of the time, you guys play one track each, bouncing off each other with an infectious energy. How did you guys first meet, and was there always such good chemistry between you all?

Adam: We’ve been good friends pretty much since we were in school. Me and Omar met through a mutual friend in school and we met Blair in Sankeys (we were probably about 16) which is where we also conceived the idea for our event MVSON. We were DJing separately, and started playing the b2b warm up slot at our first few MVSON parties which went down incredibly well. We just stuck to the formula after that.

How did you guys get into throwing events under the MVSON umbrella? What have you learned during this time? Do you have any standout stories/moments from your time-throwing events?

MVSON came about after a long conversation at the back of Sankeys one night about 13 years ago. At that time you kind of had to look and dress a certain way to get into the clubs in Manchester so  we just wanted to create a place where we can express our ideas through music, themes, decor etc, where we could play some real underground electronic music and where our friends could feel welcome. We’re super hands on with everything so we’ve learnt a lot. It takes a while to get the formula right, the unexpected can always happen and it happens quite a lot but you learn how to deal with it and you improve. We’re mad proud of the growth over the years.

The first standout moment that comes to mind was one of our legendary garden parties at (the now defunct) Mantra Warehouse in Manchester. I dunno what was in the water that day but kids were trying anything to get into the party. We found one kid on the terrace soaking wet after swimming across the canal fully clothed and climbing the fence. Of course we had to let him stay after that.

Your parties often have a theme or a dress code. Why is this?

Themes and dress codes are just another outlet for us to express ideas and the vision we have for the party. They add so much to the party, and create stand out moments that people will remember for a while. It gets people more involved with the party too.

Fashion is an important part of Mason Collective. What does fashion mean to you, and how does it impact what you do?

Fashion and music are a part of youth culture. It’s just another form of expression and it’s something we’ve always been interested in.

What are your top three Manchester brands?

There’s too many to name but some of them are; Gramm, Clints, Drama Call, also ByGibril, le merj, Cote.

What is your favourite city to perform in?

Manchester’s home and it’s where we built our core following so it’s always best playing here. Outside of that I’d probably have to say Miami. We went out in 2021 for what was supposed to be one weekend. It was for a show that actually got cancelled the day before we flew out. We still went anyway and ended up jumping on at a warehouse party. We got another booking for the weekend after, and then the weekend after that, and ended up staying for 8 weeks playing non stop. We met so many of our friends there and really got a feel for the city, so ever since that playing in Miami always feels like a second home.

Do you have any rituals that you have to do before a set?

Shot of tequila.

Finally, is there anything more you would like to share with us?

We’ve got music coming on a new platform which we’ll share very soon, and also a load of MVSON parties this year around the UK and Europe. Catch you on the road.

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