Exclusive Interview: Josh Wink

Josh Wink has become synonymous with high quality house and techno. Over a career that has lasted over 20 years he has proven time and again that he is capable of staying relevant and exciting, while also nurturing new talent and keeping his label, Ovum, going for 20 years – a milestone which he celebrated last year with a series of events, and remixes of classic ‘Are You There?’, plus a brand new original composition called ‘Talking To You’. Josh hits the capital this weekend with the Krankbrothers, so we grabbed him for a quick chat…

First off, last year was quite a big one for you with Ovum’s anniversary. How did you celebrate?
It was an amazing accomplishment having the label reach our 20th anniversary. In celebration of the 20th we did a remix package of one of my classic Ovum releases “Are You There” with remixes by Ben Klock, ROD, and Harry Romero. The Ben Klock remix went onto be one of the biggest releases of the year. We also did label parties and curated festival stages around the world.

What would you say were the highlights of your anniversary year?
We had some big releases including my first single in a while “Talking To You” as well as the “Are You There” remixes! We also had big release from Chymera, Harry Romero, Sebastian Mullaert and more. There were loads of amazing parties that we curated over the year. Ones that really stand out were the events at the Rex in Paris with D’Julz, Concrete in Paris with Ambivalent, our party during Miami Music Week at Treehouse, and I cannot forget celebrating on New Years Eve at Womb in Tokyo with M A N I K. It was a great year.

Having been involved with music for so long, how does it feel to still be around and still relevant after two decades?
I am happy and blessed to be doing what I loved then, today, and still have the passion for what I do now. Both as an artist, DJ and record label guy. It feels great to have made music 20 years ago that people are still playing, and to compose music now, which people are currently playing!

In the early years if someone had told you you’d still be making/playing music, could you have ever believed it?
Nope. I always was asked in interviews what I saw myself doing in 10 years. And I always said, ‘I hope to still be making music, traveling the world as DJ and artist and releasing music on Ovum’… And how about that? I still am!

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How did you picture your life in 2015 when you were first starting out as a DJ? Did you have a clear vision of the future or at least a dream of where you might be?
No, I didn’t get into being a DJ as a life career, as it wasn’t a thing at the time. It’s simply something that happened naturally and organically. Very different than it is nowadays!

How close is your current life to that dream vision?
Well, I still am making a living doing what I love and have passion for. So, that pretty much is a dream vision!

Did you ever have a low point where you considered leaving music to pursue another more reliable career path?
I never envisioned doing anything else than music. There have been low points for sure. It’s life!

Nowadays house and techno seem stronger than ever, what do you think has fuelled the growth in popularity of it all?
Not really sure. Maybe people have found the magic that I once found when I was a teenager. I simply hope it lasts for others as it has for me.

This industry can be very tough, physically and mentally, how have you adapted your lifestyle to deal with the strains of being a DJ?
It’s tough! I love my job but I hate my work! My work is everything else besides performing and creating! The travel, late nights and lack of sleep!

How has being a father has contributed to your ability to stay disciplined and be more organized?
I have been focusing more on being around as a Dad and partner. I really cherish the time that I am able to spend with my son at home and it has made me appreciate my home time a lot. This is how fatherhood as contributed to my life.

What’s been the most prominent effect of becoming a father on your music career?
I thought fatherhood would profoundly open the door musically. Where I would be immensely inspired to make music due to the birth of my son. And for me this hasn’t been the case. It has made me open my eyes and mind to loving a creature I helped create and made me aware that I can profoundly impact the positive upbringing of this creature by being around and present for him.

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How are you finding fatherhood now? You must be settling into it pretty well?
I love it but it sure is challenging! I am settling, but things are always changing which keeps me on my toes.

What do you enjoy most about being a father?
Simply being a father. It’s really something you can’t explain unless you are a parent.

What important lessons in life would you like to impart to your son?
Right now it simply is letting him know that he is loved and heard, and that he has the endless support of his parents. I look forward to learning and growing with him.

And what lessons do you think you’ve learned from him so far?
Patience!

What are your plans for this year? Any big label news or personal projects?
I have a lot of music to release. Last year was great. ‘… There are more goodies to come soon! I’ve missed making music and I have finally been able to get in the studio and create again just recently!

What are your views on the current state of house and techno? Do you listen to a lot of new artists/music?
There is lots of great music out there. You simply have to create the time to find it, as there is a lot of music to sort through. I listen to new music all the time. But not specifically electronic dance music.

Any up and coming guys who’ve caught your ear of late?
I’m lost with who is new and who isn’t. Great music is great music, regardless of they’re new or old!

Lastly, complete the sentence, ‘without house music I would…’
Be homeless.

Josh Wink appears at the Krankbrother Day & Night Terrace Party at Studio 338 this Saturday. More info and tickets here.

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