He may be the relatively new kid on the block, but Josh Butler has been making waves all over the dance music circuit. His approach to music has been simple – incorporate elements from all the genres he enjoys to put out something fresh, and unique. After moving back to the UK from New Zealand, he immersed himself into production and defining a sound that he could call ‘his-own’. He’s spending his summer playing at the White Isle, and before he jetted off, I managed to get to speak to this talented young man about his music, future projects and the fact that he was quite the handyman..
Hey Josh, hope you’re well. How are things going for you at the moment?
Hi, I’m great thanks. Everything’s going really well.
I see that you’ll be playing at Sankeys, Ibiza as part of the Magna Carta nights – can you tell us a bit about this night and the concept?
Yeah I’ll be playing for Magna Carta every couple of weeks over the summer. Last year was wicked. The concept of Sankeys is the focus on music. It strips clubbing back to basics, no big light shows or dancers. Just a dark room with one of the best sound systems on the island.
So talk us through your style of music, and your approach to original compositions… is there a specific method you follow?
I feel my productions can be kind of varied at times as I enjoy so many styles of music. I like to incorporate my favourite elements from different genres. That’s half of the fun for me, the freedom to create anything I feel like at the time.
You’ve had a few releases on MadTech – the latest being your collaboration with Marck Jamz “Captivate” – tell us a bit about the compilation and how the track came about?
Marck and I had been chatting for a while. I sent him over some instrumental tracks which he wrote some lyrics to. I then went back and worked them in to the song that became “Captivate”.
The dance music scene in the UK is extremely varied, and as you were born in the north of England, what were the primary areas of dance music that stood out? Did that influence the direction that you wanted to take?
When I was younger I was mainly clubbing in Manchester and Liverpool at Drum & Bass parties but because I’ve always been in to lots of types of music, I had a different group of friends. I would travel around the country with to festivals and events such as Tidy Weekenders.
I absolutely love your collaboration with Bontan and Vula! ‘Live My Life’ is such a catchy track! How did you guys come up with the concept for this track?
Thanks very much! Bontan and I were introduced to Vula last year…we spent some time in the studio and played her an instrumental track we made. She wrote the lyrics there and then. She went in to the vocal booth and jammed it out, it all felt so natural and effortless. That makes it really special for me.
You’ll be playing at the Parklife Festival in June, tell us a bit about the festival and the acts you personally want to get a glimpse of?
I’m defiantly going to be staying around for Sasha & Joris Voorn b2b and I hope I can catch Grace Jones too.
So 2014 was a pretty incredible year for you, tell us about the biggest highlights of the year?
Highlights of last year have to be playing South Africa, New Zealand & Australia and working with Vula & Josh Barry on the projects with Bontan.
Over the time you’ve been producing music how have you changed and evolved on your style of music?
I used to play harder and faster. Over the years my tempo has slowed down and I feel my sound is becoming more organic.
You’ll be heading off to Ibiza again this year – besides the Magna Carta nights, which is the one event you look forward to?
I will be playing a one off b2b show with Bontan for Defected at Amnesia, I cant wait for that!
How do you psyche yourself for : a)Club Gig and b)Festival? Do you like to pre-plan your sets or do you just gauge off the crowd and work with it?
I never have a pre-planned set. I think it takes all of the fun out of Djing and totally against why a DJ is a DJ. We are there to build an atmosphere. The only way to do that properly is to feel the mood of the crowd, know what music to play and when!
If you weren’ta DJ – what would you be doing?
I was pretty good at wood work in school, so maybe a carpenter/boat builder living back in New Zealand where I grew up.
Your upcoming projects that you can tell us about?
The one I’m most excited about over the next couple of months is a remix I have done for Fatboy Slim ft. Macy Gray. Part of the re-release for Half way between gutters and stars.
Finally – the one track that you wish you could remix, in the near future?
Faithless – Insomnia
Check out his mix for our podcast below: