MAKO ‘Runs for Their Lives’ to Chicago


Courtesy Andrea Faulk

Electronic duo MAKO is scheduled to perform at Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave., on March 17.

By Kendrah Villiesse

Alex Seaver—producer, songwriter and vocalist in MAKO—did not always want to pursue electronic music. After graduating from Juilliard with a degree in classical music in 2011, Seaver decided to pack his bags and move to Los Angeles, to pursue a career in film composing. 

There, Seaver met the other half of MAKO, Logan Light, who was already on his way to becoming a DJ and introduced Seaver to electronic music. The two friends decided to submit a song to a Fruit Of The Loom commercial contest for the 2012 London Olympics and won. When asked for their name, they quickly came up with MAKO and have stuck with it ever since. 

The Los Angeles-based electronic duo has performed at major music festivals such as Lollapolooza,Coachella and TomorrowWorld. They also worked with top artists such as Avicii, Madison Beer and Rat City. Their first release, “Beam” has more than 25 million online views and SiriusXM anointed them as “The Next Big Thing.” 

MAKO is scheduled to perform at Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave., on March 17 during their “Run For Your Life” Tour. The Chronicle spoke with Seaver about his career, film composing and MAKO’s rise to fame. 

THE CHRONICLE: Why did you decide on MAKO as a name?

ALEX SEAVER:  The name comes from Light’s childhood. It is actually from a video game called “Final Fantasy” that he loved as a kid and still loves as an adult. It sort of means magical light. I didn’t know what it was; I just thought aesthetically it sounded nice and it worked. 

What is your creative process like? 

A lot of the time, I don’t start anything until I have an idea for a song, so it really has to start from a storytelling verse. I love when it stems from real life or experience or memories. As soon as I come up with an idea that feels like it’s ripe enough to sing a whole song about,  I will just write it over a piano or guitar-— very minimal. If the mechanics work and everything is there, then I usually produce it up and that can go a lot of different directions.  Some are very cinematic and some are  pop and dance. 

What has the success been like from the first release, “Beam,” to now? 

It’s been an amazing journey. I never thought I would be doing pop or contemporary music back when I was in school, and if I would’ve known what I would be up to now, I’d be really shocked. It’s a whole experience of getting to know fans coming to see you and singing your songs, seeing your songs get placed in film and TV. It is really an amazing experience. 

I am not really trying to make the most popular and famous songs as fast as possible. I just really love the slow progression from “Beam” to now. 

What is it like performing at major music festivals?

Being on those stages it is so ridiculously sweet; it is almost hard to remember because it goes by so quickly. I remember at Lollapalooza it had an absurd amount of people, and you just have to enjoy it while it lasts because those moments don’t always come. Lollapaloozawas special because we got kicked off after a few minutes because of thunderstorm warnings. An hour later, they called up and said, “If the second you can get back to the stage and play, plug in and just play.” So we were the first stage that started playing music again after the warning, so everybody just mobbed over. It was one of those luck-of-the-draw situations. 

Are you still composing for films?  

I have been working with this video game called “League of Legends” for a year and a half now. It is one of my favorite things that has come out of having MAKO. A lot of those guys listened to MAKO and reached out and brought me on board. Every chance I get, I will work with them.

What are you doing when you are not performing?

I am in the studio almost every single day, every single hour—it is almost depressing. I love to go watch movies, I love to go eat good food and hangout with friends, but I am a workaholic. 

What is your favorite part of being in Chicago?

I was introduced to [Chicago] through Lollapalooza, and I fell in love with the city. Everywhere I go, I meet people from Chicago and they say how much they love it—it is kind of weird until you actually get to go see it for yourself. I love that it has the aspects of New York City, the real city feel, but there is something about it. It is kind of the best of both worlds because New York was a little too crazy for me to live in, but every time I go to Chicago I am so happy.