Maritime Yacht Club is the creative brainchild of renowned UK tastemaker artist/Origins Rcrds label boss Josh Butler alongside longtime friend, talented singer/songwriter and fellow producer José Rosa – who co-wrote and provided the vocals for Josh’s iconic hit record ‘Got A Feeling’.
After more than a year in the making, 2023 sees the launch of this collaborative project, which has more to it than meets the eye. What to expect? Think sultry, vocal-led, commercially-tinged dance cuts with shards of deep house, breaks, jazz, electro, and much more.
Since meeting in 2012, Josh and José’s friendship has remained a continuous platform for creativity. The pair have continued to absorb nightlife together in Leeds and Liverpool and work closely on projects throughout the years – leading to the birth of Maritime Yacht Club.
EG caught up with Josh Butler to learn more about his new Maritime Yacht Club project, the drop of their new single, future endeavors, and more.
EG: Hi Josh! Welcome to EG. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. How have you been? Where are you based right now?
Josh Butler: Hi, guys; great to connect! I’ve had a really good start to the year, thanks. I toured the Southern Hemisphere for the first three months of this year, so I escaped most of the cold weather in the UK. I arrived back in England last week, and it’s been non-stop catching up with friends, family, and, of course, on studio projects.
EG: So, congratulations on the launch of your Maritime Yacht Club music project in collaboration with longtime friend José Rosa! You must be very excited to be able to share all that music with the rest of the world.
Josh Butler: Thank you! Oh yeah, I can’t tell you how cool it is to see this project all coming together. As you said, José and I have been friends so so many years now. We’ve made a lot of music in that time, but very little of it has ever seen the light of day. This project allows us to have a real outlet for the music we create together.
EG: Maritime Yacht Club has been in the making for a while now, right? How was the Maritime Yacht Club born?
Josh Butler: As I mentioned, we have always played around making tracks together, and of course, we wrote ‘Got a Feeling’ in 2013, which went on to have a life of its own, haha! But yeah, we only really defined a style or had a vision for our collaborations toward the end of 2021. The timing and circumstances in our lives at that time meant we reconnected on a much more regular basis, and both needed a new creative outlet. So yeah, MYC was born!
EG: How did the fact of being stuck in a pandemic affect the music you’d come to make? In which ways are Maritime Yacht Club and Josh Butler different in terms of sound?
Josh Butler: After probably a month of the lockdowns, all my motivation to make club-focused dance music was gone. Partly because a lot of my inspiration for that came from being in clubs and playing music to people and, partly, because I just couldn’t see the end of the pandemic and wasn’t in the right head space. I started an alias called Denton at that time, which was focused on doing collaborations with singers. That picked up some really nice support from Danny Howard, Sam Divine, Jess Bays, etc. I guess MYC is an extension of that. Collaborating with José on more radio-friendly records has actually helped me find my mojo to make Josh Butler records again, which will always be more focused on underground house music!
“The timing and circumstances in our lives at that time meant we reconnected on a much more regular basis, and both needed a new creative outlet. So yeah, MYC was born!”
EG: And now you guys are behind the drop of Maritime Yacht Club’s second single, ‘Change’? What’s this one all about?
Josh Butler: ‘Change’ is the second single from us as MYC. It’s deep and cinematic, but at the same time, it builds to something that is very danceable! We’re really proud of the sound design in this one; the lush synth melodies compliment the piano and strings, I think.
A lot of us have gone through changes over the past few years after the world events. José especially has some huge changes with the passing of his wife in 2020. This song sums up a big part of what this project is about for me. Emotionally-lead electronic music that is genuinely written from the heart. It also allowed us to really push our boundaries in terms of production style and techniques.
EG: Of course, ‘Change’ comes in the ramp-up to the release of your debut LP as Maritime Yacht Club. What can fans expect to find in your first full-length release? Is there a narrative or thread connecting all the tracks together?
Josh Butler: For me, the album feels really nostalgic. Lots of 80s and 90s synth sounds from keyboards like the Yamaha DX7 and Oberheim OB – X8. The beats range in tempo quite a lot, from some slower organic Brazilian-inspired rhythms to more upbeat modern dance music. To tie all this together, José has sung and played the guitar on many tracks. One of the main themes of the album is personal growth and overcoming obstacles that present themselves in our lives.
EG: What would you say is our biggest failure as a “scene”? What are some of the biggest problems DJs, producers, and performers come across in their industry?
Josh Butler: Trying my best not to sound like the old man in the room here, haha, but I do worry that statistics and social media have affected our scene so much now that music is often secondary in the success of an “artist”. I think that could be a problem for people trying to break through that are genuinely interested in music, as they have to be heard over the noise of influencer DJs. It also encourages egotism and narcism within the scene.
EG: How do you keep entertained when not in the studio? Have you checked out any good movies, series, books, or albums you’d recommend?
Josh Butler: Pretty simple pleasures, to be honest; I enjoy keeping myself active with exercise sports and yoga. Also, I enjoy learning languages; I got to a half-decent level with Spanish and started to attempt French. I’m looking at rebuilding my studio this year, so that will involve learning some new DIY skills, which I’m looking forward to actually.
“I think that could be a problem for people trying to break through that are genuinely interested in music, as they have to be heard over the noise of influencer DJs. It also encourages egotism and narcism within the scene”
EG: Can you tell us something about you that very few people know about?
Josh Butler: When I lived in NZ as a teenager, a friend and I dug up a weed plant from his parent’s garden and tried to get away without them noticing, hahaha!
EG: What’s next for Josh Butler? What particular milestones are you looking forwards to this 2023? Where can your fans catch you next?
Josh Butler: I’m feeling more motivated for my solo project than I have in a long time. So I am writing loads of new music, mostly deep house. I’m launching a new label over the summer to accompany Origins Rcrds and diversify our sound a little. And people can catch me across the UK, Ibiza, and the US over the summer. Then towards the end of this year, I’ll be heading back down under for a few months to see my family and get my hands dirty, setting up a little festival that I’m part of in Queenstown, NZ, called This Kinda Day (9th December).
EG: Thank you so much for your time, Josh! We wish you all the best for the future.
Josh Butler: Thank you, guys; answering these questions was really fun. Have a great summer!
Maritime Yacht Club’s new single ‘Changes’ is out now. Purchase your copy here.