Josh Wink, the prodigious son of Philly, a pioneer of techno, house, and other kindred genres, effortlessly defies their limits. Whether he’s riding the wave or creating a new one, Josh Wink’s music is always experimental and influential. His sound is the epitome of cool, fearlessly exploring the boundaries of musical conventions and never settling for anything less than extraordinary. With a trailblazing spirit that’s second to none, Josh Wink remains a force to be reckoned with in the world of electronic music.
Today, we caught up with Josh Wink to talk about his latest projects, social media, Ovum Recordings, playing at Austin’s Seismic Dance Event, and other topics.
EG: Hi Josh, it’s great to have you back at EG! Where are you right now, and how have you been?
Josh Wink: Hello all. I am at my home in Philadelphia, getting ready for my annual Winkdown party to celebrate my birthday! I don’t do as many shows in my hometown as I used to, so it is always great to see many familiar faces from over the years.
EG: Sounds like good times are coming! By the way, congratulations on the release of the Higher State of Consciousness remix package! Can you tell us more about how you selected the remix artists and the direction for the remixes? What inspired you to pursue this project?
Josh Wink: We wanted to be involved with a diverse group of producers that wanted a challenge and whose music I enjoyed. We didn’t want to go the big commercial route with remix styles.
EG: We’re excited to hear about your upcoming remixes on labels like Ellum and In the Mood. How do you approach remixing another artist’s work, and what do you hope to achieve with your remixes?
Josh Wink: I like remixing tracks that inspire me to push my creativity. I love being able to open people up to the power of interpretation and perhaps to introduce my production sound to a new audience of listeners.
EG: Ovum has been a powerhouse in electronic music for years now. Can you give us any hints about what’s coming up next from the label?
Josh Wink: Thank you! We are happy to keep on pushing our vision of music through Ovum. We are fortunate to have an impressive roster of talented artists/producers for so many years! I have a new personal single coming up next. A retro Josh Wink minimal monster called ‘A Tension Attention’. Very excited about this.
EG: You’re an iconic figure in the electronic music industry, known for pushing boundaries and creating new sounds. What motivates you to keep exploring new sounds and taking risks?
Josh Wink: It’s easy and natural when music has been a passion of mine for years! I can’t and won’t be bored if I keep on exploring. And by taking risks I challenge myself, as being stuck in the comfort zone is where one’s creativity stops and perishes.
“I love being able to open people up to the power of interpretation and perhaps to introduce my production sound to a new audience of listeners”
EG: With so many years of touring and producing under your belt, how have you seen the music industry change over time? What do you see as the future of electronic music?
Josh Wink: The most consistent thing in life is change. So, over the years, things change of course. It’s not saying that it’s an easy thing to deal with – but things change for good and for bad, and social media has been the biggest factor. (Well, the internet and digital lifestyles). Kind of hard to predict where things are going. But I have hope that it will go in a positive forward-moving direction.
EG: Speaking about social media, this is a hot topic these days. What’s your approach to social media as an artist, and what role do you think it plays in the industry?
Josh Wink: I personally dislike and become sad about where it’s taken the music industry (and normal life too). But knowing this, I realize it’s become standard and important. However, I and others have noticed that talent isn’t necessarily reflected and true in social media popularity.
EG: Gender equality has also been a topic of discussion in the music industry. What are your thoughts on the issue, and how do you think we can promote equality further?
Josh Wink: I believe that gender and equality have always been a big topic, at least in my life… Simply let people be people and humans be humans. Love.
EG: Should artists have a voice in politics or social issues? If so, how can they use their platform effectively to make a difference?
Josh Wink: Sure, why not. If it’s a passion or a strong opinion on theirs. Voice it! It starts with believing in something strongly and being willing to go out a limb, and share ideas and opinions and do something. Sometimes doing a post or a tweet isn’t enough though.
EG: With the Seismic Dance Event coming up, how do you prepare for a live performance? Do you have any routines or rituals before you take the stage?
Josh Wink: I love the spontaneity of what I do when I perform live. So, sometimes I have an idea of what I want to do (after hanging out in the venue before my performance), but that idea usually goes someplace else. I love being influenced and inspired by the crowd’s enthusiasm at the venue. I do not have routines.
EG: Are there any artists on the Seismic Dance Event lineup that you’re particularly excited to hear?
Josh Wink: I am excited to see my old friends Chris Liebing and Nicole Moudaber. Seismic always curate such a good, diverse line-up. I am Interested in checking out Testpilot, as I know Joel always does some cool stuff under his ‘techno’ moniker.
“I believe that gender and equality have always been a big topic, at least in my life… Simply let people be people and humans be humans”
EG: As a performer who has played in many different countries, how does the experience of performing in the United States compare to other parts of the world?
Josh Wink: It’s becoming similar nowadays. Big lineups, big productions. At one point American festivals lagged behind European festival concerts. For clubs, the USA is still a little different than the rest of the world (but similar-ish now). There was a huge issue that being in the USA you have 21 and older laws, and around the world, you can get into clubs at 16 or 18 and it was part of their culture. The USA always was lagging behind because of this I feel.
EG: For up-and-coming producers and DJs looking to make their mark in the industry, what advice would you give them?
Josh Wink: Follow your heart. It’s a very competitive market now. Do what you feel, and believe in your passion, regardless of the temptation of money or likes (social media), as money and social media have blinded us to see one thing…
EG: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us, Josh. We can’t wait to see you at Seismic!
Josh Wink: Can’t wait! Thanks!
Catch Josh Wink at the next edition of Seismic Festival in Austin, Texas. Get your tickets here!