ITM’s Honour Roll #12: Josh Wink

It’s a particular approach, to remain consistent and to keep your integrity intact, particularly at the moment when there are some really big commercial possibilities. Some artists they will chase that, or they’ll decide that’s something they want to be a part of.

That’s fine, I don’t knock anybody in their plight, the direction and their journey, for doing what they do. So much of this industry is fickle, and based on rumours and small talk, Twitter comments and this kind of stuff. But if someone has their route that they want to follow, it’s not my place to say whether it is good or bad. I got into this music because it happened upon me, it was just something that I did, and I wanted to do, and I didn’t know how to do anything else.

The fame and the success and the fortune and everything that came, it was just a byproduct mistake of doing something that I wanted to do. So many people now get involved because they solely want their face on a magazine. The champagne, the limousines, the models, the blowjobs in the booth. It’s a different thing when you look at how people get into it these days, how they see it and what they want to emulate.

Marvin Gaye – Got To Give It Up (Josh Wink 2012 edit)

It must be an interesting time for you, because things have changed in the U.S. the past few years, reaching mass appeal in such a short time; but you’re someone who has been there for the whole journey.

It’s pop music, that’s how I look at ‘EDM’ as they call it. I have a radio show that’s on Sirius XM, Profound Sounds, so the stats are something like 22 million subscribers, 44 million listeners, and there are two electronic stations. Most of the music on the station is the big room stuff – Swedish House Mafia, and then you’ve got your Paul van Dyks, your Tiestos, your Sander van Doorns, Paul Oakenfold. That style of music, and then there’s a couple of people that don’t do that; solely just Adam Beyer, myself, Carl Cox and John Digweed.

But pretty much the whole station is ‘EDM’. The phase-out of RnB music in America really helped start the whole dance music in America. Usher really kinda started it off, and people like David Guetta really started working with artists like Akon and Kelly Rowland, making RnB a more dance-orientated market rather than traditional RnB. And now it’s a generic kind of pop music; it’s pop, that’s just what it is. Things turn around, things go back after fads and trends die. It’ll have its course.

But if someone gets interested in electronic music through hearing a Swedish House Mafia track, and next thing you know they can dig deeper, and go to Discogs and see that Steve Angello had a release on Subliminal, and then they can check out Subliminal records, and Erick Morillo, and Erick Morillo had a remix on one of his albums from Josh Wink. Next thing you know, someone simply getting into music for this commercial dance appeal will find something else like me, or Jeff Mills, or Joey Beltram. You never know. So I look at it as a positive now.

How much do you see the popularity of the ‘EDM’ stuff feeding back into the underground?

I think there will always be a balance of everything. EDM and underground music, whatever. I mean, you’ve got Erick Morillo’s track I Like To Move It by the Mad Stuntman and Reel 2 Real. It was used in a huge motion picture [Dreamworks production Madagascar in 2005], kids were saying, “I like to move it, move it,” when originally it was an underground dance song. Everything has its purpose. Artists cross over and become big.

Tiga went from being an underground name, to a more pop-orientated vocal artist, though he’s kept his underground credibility. People like Get Physical Records and M.A.N.D.Y. cross the line of going into the underground/overground realm, and someone like Luciano has an underground record label, and puts out underground music, but so many people know about him now. He becomes more of a commercial name, though the music that he releases and plays is still really cool and raw. So you get your balance, and everything will serve its purpose.

The boundaries aren’t always so easy to draw. Looking at a festival like Tomorrowland, your Ovum stage still felt like a proper underground party.

That’s such an insane festival, those line-ups and all those big names. Underground and overground, big stages and small stages, everything that’s there…it’s just amazing. It’s the fourth year we’ve been asked to do that arena. Last year we had a bigger line-up; we had Dubfire and Loco Dice. It’s funny because Richie Hawtin had them this year as his headliners on Sunday. This year we really wanted to go a little bit more, “you gotta know” kind of thing. A lot of people may not know, or may only know a little bit about Sneak, Derrick Carter and Mark Farina.

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