During last years we have seen Londoner jozif cement himself as a unique musical voice in the world of electronic music. Far from just programming beats that make you jack, his music is some of the most beautiful you will hear, with lush string arrangements, emotive pianos and golden synths coming together into soundscapes that will melt your heart as well as warm your soul.
Currently putting the final touches to his debut artist album and accompanying Live show, whilst simultaneously Co-writing the Kerb Staller debut album & Live show alongside cohort and production partner Matt Tolfrey, 2016 is shaping up to be a ‘Live’ one. Coupled with releases on Music for Freaks, Exploited and the resurgence of Fist or Finger, as well his continued world wide residencies at Bedrock and Desert Hearts.
We had the chance to have a short talk with him abording some key musical topics.
Electronic Groove: Hi jozif, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. How’s has 2016 been treating you so far?
jozif: It’s been great thank you. I’ve been very busy in the studio; have lots of new music to play to everyone.
Electronic Groove: That’s exciting! Going back in time, how did you started to get involved with electronic music? What are your first memories as a DJ?
jozif: My older brother got me into it via his mix tapes and his illegal techno parties he used to run. From there it kind of progressed to proper full-blown nightclubs. Sounds cliché, but as soon as I saw the DJ, with the whole club listening to his ever move… I knew that’s what I wanted to do. Subsequently, I spent the next couple of years practicing and hassling every single promoter I could ﬁnd.
Electronic Groove: Let us know about your relationship with John Digweed and Bedrock Records. Has he been an influencing figure in your musical trajectory? Are you still working with Bedrock?
jozif: I sure am! I’m still playing with him at various places around the world (the Mimi boat party is still the highlight in my opinion) and have some demo material that we’re taking over. As far as an influence, it was him and Sasha that really got me into the whole technical side of Djing. Listening to those early, amazingly well mixed tapes and seeing those near perfect shows really showed me how an amazing, well-planned mix could change the shape of records.
Electronic Groove: What other artists have been parts of your growth as a Dj or producer?
jozif: From the early days it was Tony de Vit, some old hard techno guys, some Drum and Bass like Mikey Finn – lots of dreamscape / fantasia DJs. Guys like Eric Morillio, Sasha and Digweed for the more technical Djing stuff. As far as productions wise, I’m still being influenced now but early on it would’ve been Charles Webster, Jimpster, lots of West Coast stuff like Lawnchair Generals, Iz and Diz, Doc Martin, among others.
Electronic Groove: You recently did a lovely mix for our EG After series. Can you let us know the inspiration behind it? Are you into afterhours or would you prefer to play during the night times?
jozif: Thank you! I basically tried to recreate the way I played at the recent Desert Hearts festival back in April. It was a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon in the San Diego hills, surrounded by lots of beautiful and colorful people – so it was a happy housey vibe full of new productions I’d been writing over the winter. To be honest I love to play at anytime, I like the after vibes cause I feel you can be a lot more free in what you play, I don’t tend to be too experimental or too left field normally, but if the moment arises there’s no thing better that getting to play those records you skip in normal club setting.
Electronic Groove: Most of the tracks on the set have vocals. Was this planned or just a coincidence? Do you think that vocals are an important part of dance music now days?
jozif: I love a good vocal! Lots of my own stuff has vocals on it, whether fit by myself actually singing or using somebody else. It’s just great for a hook and I love a good sing a long 🙂
Electronic Groove: We saw you are working on a Joyce Muniz remix, can you give us a sneak peek? Any other EP’s coming soon?
jozif: Sure thing…
As I said earlier, I’ve been hard at work this winter writing lots of new music, so I have a bunch of stuff coming out. An EP on Music for Freaks, a Kerb Staller EP (that’s mine and Matt Tolfrey new live project with vocalist Duncan Jones), an EP for Desert Hearts, an EP for my old family crew Culprit, this remix for Joyce Muniz, and a remix for Alinka & Shaun J Wright on Love Crimes.
Electronic Groove: You are London based at the moment, which are your top 3 clubs you would recommend in the city?
jozif: Fabric is still no.1 for me, but Phoenix is also really good – also it’s not necessarily a club, but the Toi Toi parties have some of the best music in the city.
Electronic Groove: Apart from music, what extra curriculum activities are you fond off?
jozif: I love sports – weather or not its playing or watching, I’m addicted!
Electronic Groove: What’s in the pipeline for the rest of the year? Any special gig or festival you are excited about?
jozif: I’m excited about my Kerb Staller album that looks like its going to come out at the end of the year, followed by accompanying some live shows. I’ve written a personal album that’s full of my more slo-mo song based material. Desert Hearts Festival is upcoming again soon which is always the highlight of the year for me, and I’m looking forward to going back to Ibiza for the 1st time since my residency at We Love… Sundays at Space ended 2 years ago.
Electronic Groove: Thanks for your time jozif. Have a great summer!