Following the recent release of his mammoth track ‘Alternate,’ London based DJ and producer Josh Parkinson sits down with DMC World Mag to discuss new music, D-Vine Sounds and his radio career…
Hi Josh, welcome to DMC! Firstly, where are you in the world and what are you doing right now?
Heyyy DMC! I’m currently nursing a naughty hangover in Miami! Ha. I played the DVine Sounds party yesterday and coincidentally it was my birthday too…so you can imagine how that went!
Before we get into the nitty gritty, what would be your go-to karaoke song?
Ooh nice. It would probably be ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ by the Rolling Stones. I fully get into Mick Jagger mode! I used to hate Karaoke when I younger but I think that’s because I used to look at it as people really trying to finally give it there shot – like the X Factor contestants who won’t take no for an answer ha. First time I actually did it was in Hamburg. I remember it because we were in a bar opposite a Streets gig….that we didn’t know was on! We bumped into Mike Skinner in the street. Was so annoyed to have missed a Streets gig that was happening over the road while we were belting out ‘I’m A Barbie Girl’ with some German locals haha…
Congratulations on the new single ‘Alternate’. How did it feel to have the track premiered with Pete Tong?
Thank you! It was real nice. When I was making it I was a bit worried I was pushing the sound too far and didn’t know how people would react. Then having Pete Tong play it out the blue was class. Having him play it is one of the best nods of approval you can get really.
How did you get introduced to producing and at what point did you realise you could make a career from it?
I started making music because I was/am an MC and was finding it hard to get tracks to record on. I’ve always hated having to rely on people for things so I just wanted to be able make the beats myself. I started going to a community project in Ramsgate every Wednesday called The Pie Factory. They had a quality studio (which we could also rent with a technician for £10 which was a touch) and about 3 pairs of decks for us all to learn to DJ on. They had a few mics too so a load of us would try and MC. Tommy of My Nu Leng used to go to the same nights. It was an amazing thing for us at our age. I would have started a lot earlier on my own if I had been able to afford the equipment. Not many people know, but the money came from the unlikely source of winning the game show Total Wipeout haha. I never looked at it as a career option (although making money from it). It was always just out of passion, which I think is the best way for it to be really. From an early age it was always what got me going.
You’re also a resident DJ for the UK’s best House Music station, Select Radio. What is the biggest difference between your performances at shows and on the radio?
I love doing Radio. You get to play a really mixed bag of records because you’re not warming up for anyone or not at peak time or anything. So sometimes I start my sets with a bit of lofi deep stuff or disco and build up to some heavy rollers. Or you can just do a total mash up of styles and sometimes come out with some class mixes you wouldn’t of ever really tried before. When I perform live, dependent on set time or who I’m alongside, I Mc/host my own sets. There’s such a “no mc’s on house” attitude to the 120-124bpm vibes. I understand that yea totally, some really wouldn’t suit it as it can be aggy. But for me it’s all about just sitting nicely in the tune, good vibe lyrics – never over riding it. Something I’ve been complimented on before is knowing when to shut up, haha. It sounds simple, but some people really don’t know when to.
Sam Divine and D-Vine Sounds have been supporting you a lot, how did the connection come about?
I first met Jess Bays playing alongside her at a couple of nights. NYE 2018 I was in Bali and saw Sam Divine was playing that night at the W. I messaged Jess to see if she could hook it up (which she did – Boss) Then I went and met up with Sam and her husband, the don DJ Hatcha. We had a right laugh and ended up hanging out for a few days after. I was writing a track whilst I was out there and finished it on the airplane back. And coincidentally that was the first she signed. I love my DVine Sounds Gang. They are quality, such good energy and good vibes all the way.
Who has been a big influence for you and your production style?
Originally when I first started making music, Skream was a massive influence. Then more so Redlight, Breach etc. Now it’s more Camelphat, Chris Lake, Fisher, Claude Von Stroke and quite a few others actually. But, at the same time I’m not really sure who you’d say I sound like.
If you could collaborate with any other producer, who would it be?
I would probably be shitting myself in case I couldn’t come up with the goods on the day, but Bonobo would be amazing to work with! You could go so many directions with him. If I were collaborating with someone who had a more Tech House vibe it would be with Chris Lake and Fisher.
Can we expect more music and a tour from you this year?
I’ve just signed another new one called ‘Be Your Lover’ to Another Rhythm that should be out in a couple weeks. It was great news to wake up to on my birthday that 3 new tracks are wanted by a couple of labels. The tracks being – ‘Mango Fingers’, ‘Smokey Title’ and ‘Make You Wanna Do Right’. So happy days! I haven’t got a tour as such but doing a new residency called Assembly over 6 dates throughout the summer between 93Feet East and Cargo.
Lastly, what was your favourite track from 2018?
I think it has to be Angelo Ferreri – ‘I’m Talking To You’. It’s such a tune, just a feel good track. I was doing a lot of daytime summer sets and it always got every going. It mixes really nice with a naughty bassline too to switch it up.
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JoshJDPParkinson
Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/joshparkinsonofficial