Manchester’s own Mason Collective discuss their musical firsts, from their earliest show at Sankeys to being starstruck supporting The Martinez Brothers.

With energy and style in full flow, Mason Collective are the trio who’ve been repping Manc club culture for over a decade. They’re the founders of club night, MVSON, a home for lovers of UK rave culture and an ode to the city’s club origins. Blair Suarez, Adam Myles, and Omar Guedar, the three DJs that make up Mason Collective, have spent the past ten years perfecting their label, all the while working on their own careers.


Inclusivity is at the heart of their parties. For years, door policies at some of Manchester’s clubs meant many music lovers were turned away. Having experienced this denial first-hand, the trio set about opening up their party to anyone who wanted to join them. All three the offspring of first and second-generation immigrants, it became of peak importance to represent the cultural makeup of Manchester and the rave scene. They tap into the all-accepting roots of house music, bringing a dynamism other club nights could only dream of. With self-expression running free, and energy in spades, MVSON’s become one of the city’s most-attended events. 


Known for its conceptual nature, the event’s vibe is dictated by a different theme each time, with Miami Vice and Caribbean style in the archive. And, just as crucial to the night’s uninhibited energy is the location. Blair, Adam, and Omar scout out the freshest locations for their MVSON nights, from Warehouse Project to Werkhaus. They’re soon to take to City Airport for MVSON World, which brings together the likes of Fleur Shore and Luuk Van Dijk on the 15th of July (and which you can find tickets for here). 


We catch up with Mason Collective, discussing ten of their musical firsts, from their earliest performance together to the first album they bought. 

First song you ever made?
We’ve all got projects that we made messing around as teenagers that are pretty trash. I think the first solo track that we made as Mason Collective was called “Echo”. It never actually got released but it pretty much set the tone for our sound.
First time you performed together as a group?
The first time we performed as a trio under Mason Collective was probably our first show at (now defunct) Sankeys Manchester early 2014. 
First CD or record you owned?
I think the first track in my current library that I started when I was about 13 is Massive Attack – “Unfinished Sympathy”. I had a few CDs before then but I was too young to remember. I’d love to know what they were but it’s probably nothing to be proud of.
First time you realised you wanted to do music full time?
We’ve been around music our whole lives and had been messing around with DJing and production since around age 13/14, but at that age you’ve got school to focus on. I went to my first festival when I was 15, Mad Ferret (which is now Parklife). That was a complete eye-opener, I’d never seen or heard anything like it. I think that was the point that I knew this was for me. 
First gig and first festival you went to?
Sound systems like Gash Collective and Daylight Robbery created a big free party scene in Manchester when we were in school and we were too young to get in the club so me and Omar would go to those quite a lot, Blair used to go to a lot of 4×4 raves around that time too.
The first festival I went to was the Mad Ferret festival in 2009. It was only Mad Ferret for one year though, when they returned as Parklife the festival grew and they brought DJs in like Jamie Jones, Art Department, Maya Jane Coles, Clive Henry etc. Was crazy for us to hear all these world-class DJs play in our back garden
First time you faced an obstacle in your career?
I think the first obstacle for most DJs is actually getting gigs in the initial stages. Local nightlife can be pretty cliquey, and when you’re a 17 year old kid with no credentials, just a few soundcloud mixes that no promoters could be bothered to listen to then it’s super hard. That’s part of the reason why we started our night MVSON, to give ourselves a platform. We had the support it’s still hard to get your foot in the door.
First instrument you owned?
Me and Blair started playing the saxophone when we were kids. I think we were both just using it as an excuse to get 45 minutes out of class at first but started to enjoy it once we got a bit better.
First time you felt like giving up?
I honestly don’t think any of us have ever felt like giving up. We’ve always had a relentless passion for what we do and regardless of how things could turn out we’ll always be doing this till we physically can’t anymore. The only time we’ve questioned the future of things was probably when the COVID pandemic hit. No one was sure when or if the industry would ever go back to normal, so we kept things going with live streams, socially distanced events etc. You just have to adapt and find a workaround in any situation.
First time you felt starstruck?
We were 17/18 when our night MVSON moved to Sankeys so twice a month we’d get to support world class DJs that we’d always looked up to like The Martinez Brothers, Apollonia, Marcellus Pittman etc. You see these artists like celebrities when you’re younger but everyone was super humble and supportive of us.