Josh Samuel has come a long way since learning to play the piano at the tender age of five. Tying down four residencies in his home city of Liverpool, supporting the likes of Tong, Gou and Voorn on the ones and twos plus now about to unleash some monster tracks of his own on some of dance music’s finest imprints. DMCWORLD decided it was time to check in with the main man…
How was your DJ / producer career influenced by your upbringing in Liverpool and seeing your brother go down the same route, is there anything in particular that influenced you?
Liverpool’s nightlife scene is absolutely amazing at the moment, in fact it always has been. My brother Dan was a DJ in Liverpool nightclubs for a few years and sitting watching him mix vinyl in his bedroom instilled my love for dance music. I went to my first large scale dance event in 2010 to watch Tiesto with my mate and brother. I was only 15 and it was an 18+ event, looking back on pictures I have absolutely no idea how I got in! Although that music isn’t my vibe anymore, nor do I produce anything near that vibe, that was a turning point where I knew music was for me and I wanted to be a DJ.
How has your music taste evolved since immersing yourself in music at the early age of 5 from playing the piano?
Being completely honest, I couldn’t stand playing the piano as a young kid! My parents were adamant I persevered. They would say “you’ll be glad you have it in your locker when you’re older”. They were right. I grew up listening to all types of music from indie, metal, RnB, soul, all which i think have shaped the way I listen and appreciate music. All my mum had me listening to was motown! Even now, unless i’m producing/playing or listening to demos, I very rarely listen to dance music. I suspect if you asked most DJ’s they’d say the same.
Having landed a huge signing to Gorgon City’s label with new EP ‘Paradise’, this marks your second ever release following ‘Dance Power’. A great achievement so early on in your career, how did this release / signing come about?
Late last summer/autumn I set myself a goal to get my tracks signed to REALM, I knew I had tracks that would perfectly fit the style of the label and the type of music Gorgon City would play. I’ve been working closely with Grahame Farmer from Data Transmission and he’s helped guide me along those uncertain initial steps into reaching out to labels. Although it had been four or five months of looking for a reply from Gorgon City or their team, the whole process was a lot longer and it seems to have paid off with the four tracks they’ve signed.
Can you share with us a bit about the production process behind the new EP?
‘Paradise’ was a track I worked on in summer 2019. It was heavily influenced at the time by Hot Since 82, as about a week after its first or second draft of Paradise I ended up supporting him at Creamfields and chanced upon him having a listen. He said the track was seriously well produced and had great elements, that’s when I knew it had potential! I kept revisiting it making tweaks over a few months and finally finished it around Christmas.
For the B side to the EP, A.B.A.S., I gathered inspiration from many other tracks and combined it all into one. The main inspiration being a track by Eats Everything called Burn. I wanted a really darker feel to the track and Eats had that down perfectly in that song. His track didn’t have any main line synths running through and it couldn’t be a track of mine without a synth!
Do you have any plans for more new releases in the near future, any in particular you can share with us?
I do have more music coming with REALM in the near future but a track that has had heavy support from the dance giants Camelphat is coming on Solardo’s imprint Sola very soon, so keep your eyes peeled.
You seem to have racked up a lot of support from fellow DJs already for your talent in the booth and in the studio, who would you say are your biggest influences for your music / style?
My productions over the last year or so have dramatically changed, in my opinion, for the better. As I’ve developed, my style has shifted slightly and it’s been nice exploring new stuff and finding the path I want to take. I find influence in so many artists in the industry; Rebuke for the way he uses his synths, Eric Prydz for his drums and Camelphat for their choice of vocals on tracks.
You’ve held multiple residencies across Liverpool whilst playing huge festivals like Creamfields and Sankeys festival. How eager are you to get back on the clubbing scene once the pandemic is over, are there any particular clubs / festivals on your bucket list that you’re keen to play?
I think every DJ in the world is itching to get back behind the decks as they once were. I’d love to play at Parklife festival, it’s a huge well known festival in the UK and very close to home, I’ve been attending for years and to play would be very special. Clubs? Too many to mention them all but Printworks would be a top goal for me, however far away that might be!
How have you been spending your time during lockdown?
Maintaining creativity in the studio for the first few weeks of lockdown seemed easy at first as I had unlimited time to myself. As the weeks passed it did become more difficult, time away, whether that’s a few days or even a few hours, helps clarity. If I’m not making music, I spend time playing Call of Duty with my mates on the xbox.
Any final words for our readers?
To bedroom producers like me out there, don’t give up. Chase the dream, if you really want it, you’ll get it. To everyone else, you’ll be seeing a lot more of my name and my music very soon, so be ready!
The Josh Samuel ‘Paradise’ EP is out now on REALM