It was always my big wish to get to interview Josh Wink, a legend behind the decks and owner of one of the most respected labels of all times, Ovum Records.
You just became a father, how does that change your life as Josh Wink?
Our son was born in October and it is a truly unique experience, not made for everybody that is for sure. It is amazing how much you can and have to learn from your children, before I was Josh – now I am Daddy. When i come home for example, I only have a few days before I have to leave again, and now there is my family waiting. Before I could take my time and do the things I wanted to do but now this all has changed – and for good. My girlfriend is doing the whole job when I am on the road so when I am back it is up to me to give her a break. The good thing is you have to set your priorities straight, get the most out of the time you are given and that is always a good thing. In regards to making music, I thought i would be really inspired and create this opus piece of music after my son was born, actually I feel very creative now, but simply do not have the time to go to the studio and work. So for me the biggest challenge right now is to find out how to balance who I am, either being Josh Wink, Josh or Daddy.
You seem to be having your roots in Philadelphia, are you a traditional man?
My father still lives in Philadelphia, my mother lives in Florida and we are lucky enough to have them on board as grandparents but I can also think of moving – some of the biggest artists retired in Europe, may it be Italy or somewhere in Spain, I do like the spanish way of living so this could become an option.
Maybe even Ibiza?
I get to be here in the summer time quite a lot. Right now I am speaking to you from an Ibizan house that my friends live in all year. The basic problem in Ibiza is the transportation, there are not enough flights – it got better than before but still this is the main reason why it would be difficult to live here when you have to travel a lot. What I like about the island is that the right people find each other sooner or later, and not necessarily in the clubs and trendy restaurants but rather somewhere in the countryside through friends.
You are such a perfectionist, do all the comments on your radioshows by yourself and always give it 110% – how do you find time to do all that?
Luckily there are airplanes. It is a weird combination because I hate flying, the whole travelling thing is very exhausting but it gives me the time to do things I could not do at any other time. When I prepare my mixes for the radioshows there are the voice-overs to do, as they go out to different radio stations around the world – one is the Sirius radioshow in America where lots of my colleagues have shows as well (Adam Beyer, Carl Cox and John Digweed etc.) so I have to listen to all the dj mixes I record, and do it the best job I can, I like to present my own music or the ones being released on Ovum, animate the people to go to my website and all this stuff, I guess it is important to be present and share the most with your fans.
So you do all the social networking by yourself too?
Actually I got told that my social networking is not enough so we found a company in philadelphia to help with it, they know us and the label and our philosophy. The tweets and the instagram I still do by myself. You could call me an oldschool guy who loves to do it all by myself but obviously this is impossible today so it is time to open up to certain people to cover all the needs of modern communication.
What would you say to somebody just starting that is the most important thing to be successful – obviously it is all about music.
Not necessarily, some people can become successful by having a team being brilliant in social media and if you have good looks and are an attractive man or woman you can become top ten or top 100 in, let’s say DJ Magazine without even having a release and all of a sudden you headline big festivals. This is somehow the beauty and the curse of the internet. It can open up a lot of doors including the ones that are made to steal your stuff right off the net. For the most part it is all about music and passion, myself I can say that I was born and raised wanting to live it, eat it, see it, feel it and be it 24/7, that is the only thing I know. On the one hand I am a renaissance man and one that is familiar with the changing times, not being the old dinosaur that cannot change. The most important is to embrace a bit of everything, not letting you be taken away by the current stream so you can help control your journey, not vice versa. For some people it is all about the limousines, the five star hotels, being on the cover of big magazines, the blowjobs, cocaine etc. etc., everybody shall be happy with what he is doing and for any reason, for me it is all about music.
That is what makes you Josh Wink. Tell us about Ovum, your label.
Having a label is a labour of love for so many years, a lot of what i get paid being on the road goes into Ovum, in fact without all that i could not run Ovum, despite that people think we do really really well I can say if you keep your integrity and follow what the music is in your heart and not trends it does not make it the easiest to run a business. but at the end of the day you feel good about yourself because you stay true instead of signing the hot hip new things only to sell records. I only sign records that I would play or really like to hear. So we constantly release music as from unknown artists to well known artists. It is a unique position to be able to choose the people you like to release on Ovum, the only thing I miss is to do more of my own music and release it there… To name a few I can say we got Dirty Channels coming and Bugsy with remixes from Dave Pezzner and myself, there is new stuff from italian Nico Lahs, a Technasia single, another one from Tom Middleton, there is a wide range of releases from Deep House over Tech House to Techno, some Minimal, stuff I am really looking forward to.
There are a lot of Americans coming lately, Promoters come to have an eye on Ibiza, how can you compare the both – or not?
Nothing ever compares with the lifestyle over here in Ibiza. What is now known as EDM – Electronic Dance Music – has become the pop music in America, several years ago Rn’B music stopped and for some weird reason it blended in with dance music. Usher started making dance records, David Guetta is working with Akon and Kelly Rowland, Justin Bieber is making Dubstep, someone like Skrillex is up in front. Besides the eternal discussion if EDM is real Dance Music or not, it is what it is, every kind of art serves its purpose. So it is kind of very cool right now in America but it is not my kind of music, years before it was the big Trance guys playing the stadiums, now it is this kind of Pop Dance Music. It helps to raise the awareness that there is Electronic Dance Music out there, if let’s say somebody gets to listen to David Guetta on Sirius Radio then he can listen in the hour after David someone like me and had no idea before who I am. It is like in the movie the Matrix, you take the blue pill or the red pill, how deep do you wanna go, is this enough for you or do you want to know more about it? Get to know that Tiesto used to sell Techno Records in a records shop in Holland or get to know the name of Jeff Mills because his records were sold there and so on. I have a lot of hope that people will educate themselves a little bit further and want a little bit more.
Last one, what about 2012 – what do you see happening?
It is funny, all of these years I wanted to have a kid and now I got one the year the world is supposed to end, 2012… Maybe the Mayans are playing a practical joke on us… One thing is for sure, the planet is a living organism, sometimes an organism has to die to regrow. Aspects of human life have made our quality of life the way it is, basically through Corporate America or, better said, the big Corporations of America, it is all about greed and the bottom line rather than about people and souls. The planet is changing so much, we had no real winter in Philadelphia, right now it is about 44 degrees, environmentally something will definitely happen. What is different as well is all the media we got on demand telling us 24/7 what is happening when and where – it used to be different before. We may have a hard learning to come, if we do not get it through intelligence we might have to learn it through catastrophes. One example – I dedicate part of my money to an organization in Africa that simply helps children to have access to clean drinking water through simple filter straw that you wear around your neck helping them to filter the water in order to not get sick of it. As long as those problems are so big we definitely have to learn a lot.
Where can people listen to you in Ibiza this year?
After having played Music On with Marco Carola on the 13th of July and with Carl Cox in Space on the 29th of July and oncw with Ritchie Hawtin on August 9th I will play for him again on September 6th.
Thanx so much Josh for doing this interview, we are happy to welcome you in our roster of the greatest DJs of all times.
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