Dubstep producer and DJ, Flux Pavilion will play Lincoln’s Engine Shed on Tuesday, October 16th, as part of his “Standing on a Hill” tour.
Flux Pavilion, real name Joshua Steele, has worked his way up from the underground dub music scene to become co-founder of music label, Circus Records, whilst racking up airplay on Radio 1 with hits like “Bass Cannon” and “Superbad”.
Although well-known across the dubstep circuit for his bass-lines and electro beats, Steele told The Linc it all started with a guitar: “It sounds clichéd, but I was always into music as a kid. I bought myself a guitar at 13. Everything else just took a back seat.”
However, Steele says he didn’t expect to make it into the industry at first: “I’d done some hip-hop and sent it to a few labels but didn’t hear anything, so I gave up hope on commercial success. But music is what I wanted to do, so I went to university, started writing tracks and posting them online and things snowballed.”
He laughs as he adds: “I was writing my first tracks in halls and annoying the new room-mates I’d met a few weeks before!”
Now with a full UK tour, a single with Example, and having been sampled by Jay-Z and Kanye West, things are just getting started for Flux Pavilion. Steele says he wants to keep his feet on the ground: “I still approach music the same way, with how I write and my general ethos.
He continued: “This is my life now. All I wanted was to be 24/7 working on music, videos, and going on tour. It’s the dream I had when I was a kid. It’s dawned on me that this is what I’m doing now. It’s insane!”
Fans of Flux Pavilion will know he is also partial to remixing tracks, from Nero to Jamiroquai. Steele explains: “It started off with ‘Gold Dust.’ I was a massive fan of DJ Fresh and when he approached me I was like, ‘I would love to do it.’ That’s the way I’ve always looked at remixes, trying to take something from the original and create a completely new track.”
Dubstep is certainly not a new sound, floating about first on the underground dance circuit and eventually working its way into mainstream music. Artists such as Skrillex and Nero have made it onto the daytime airwaves – and show no signs of leaving.
Josh says the popularity of dubstep can only be a good thing: “There’s a lot of negative connotations about what started underground and went commercial, but it’s an air around the whole thing that hasn’t penetrated it. I’m still hearing tracks that are getting me just as excited as when I first started getting into it.”
He continues: “Anyone can jump on it; it’s not a precious thing. I’ve never felt myself holding onto it. If Justin Bieber makes a dubstep album which is better than my stuff, or Skrillex and Nero, then fair enough!”
Single, “Bass Cannon” became so successful it reached Radio 1’s A list last year – something Steele says a small minority of fans didn’t like: “The first amount of backlash I got was through ‘Bass Cannon’ – just because it was getting played on Radio 1. The same people who were going mental over it a year before, all of a sudden turned their backs.
“It was the same piece of music and an identical piece of audio. I changed nothing. From that point, I thought: ‘I’m never going to understand this, so just don’t think about it.’”
Any negativity has certainly not held Flux Pavilion back. Single, “I Can’t Stop” has become a firm favourite on dance floors, along with newest release “Daydreamer,” featuring Example. Josh explained how the collaboration came about: “I wrote that track because I really wanted to do something with him. I was in my third year of university and he had to climb over bin bags and flatmates passed out in my front room. I even had a pink camping chair in my room.”
He continues: “He’d just had his first number one, so I was like: ‘Wow, I’ve got a number one artist coming round!’ But he was a guy that I met, sitting in my bedroom writing music. It was just as simple as it has been for the rest of my life.”
However, Steele says he is taking a slightly different approach with his material: “I’m kind of going backwards in a way. I started off playing guitar and acoustic nights and the new EP has two tracks I’ve sang on.
He added: “That said, it will undoubtedly be heavy. I try my hardest to write chilled out stuff – but then I end up turning up the bass and the snare. That’s how “Bass Cannon” happened. It was meant to be a relaxed song but I naturally couldn’t help it. It’s a thing in my bones which makes me do it.”
His Standing On A Hill tour includes more than a dozen dates, and features big beats from support act, Dillon Francis – another regular on the dub scene.
Headlining a UK tour at 23-years-old might seem daunting, but Steele says he is looking forward to performing: “I like to see it as a house party, because that’s how I started. I’m there playing music I love, and hopefully a room full of people love it too.”
Flux Pavilion is playing Lincoln’s Engine Shed on Tuesday, October 16th. He says it will be a first chance for Lincoln to hear new material: “You’ll see lights, lasers, music, me and Dillon Francis jumping around. This is the first time I’m going to be testing my new stuff on the UK audience. It’s the perfect way to see which tracks work!”
He continued: “I just want to get out there. I’ve been working on the new set, new stuff, new EP and loads of new music. Everything is new and fresh – so I’m hyped for every single show!”
Tickets are available from the Engine Shed’s website and box office, priced at £12.50 each.Tweet