Flux Pavilion (born Joshua Steele) is the dubstep artist that non-dubstep fans are most likely to have heard. That's because Kanye West and Jay-Z turned Steele's "I Can't Stop" into "Who Gon' Stop Me," a car speaker-rattling track on the duo's album "Watch the Throne."
The British producer has a string of other genre hits to his name, including "Bass Cannon" (an appropriately named track that's a mainstay in sets for just about every EDM act who has played at a venue like New York's Webster Hall) and a more recent collaboration with Diplo's Major Lazer, "Jah No Partial."
He's back at it again with "Blow the Roof," an 8-track EP that hits the web on Jan. 28. HuffPost Entertainment is exclusively debuting "I Feel It," a glitchy joint that sounds like a French version of your favorite video game theme song (listen above). The rest of the EP features standout collaborations with buzzy artists like Childish Gambino (Donald Glover's rap persona). Ahead, read our emails with Steele, in which we discuss what Kanye and Jay-Z did for his career, what he hopes to accomplish with the EP and what he wishes would change about the EDM scene.
This track feels a bit like an 8-bit take on a more electro, French-touch type of sound. What were you listening to while making it?
I adore French electronic music on the whole, it wasn't anything in particular that I worked with, I don't think. French chord construction is something that I have always found pretty inspiring when I'm writing. I was always setting out to do something French on this record.
The presser for the EP notes that you avoided "trap-tropes," and congrats on that. What else were you trying to avoid while producing the new EP?
Thanks -- I don't feel I was trying to avoid anything, but more in a sense trying to explore something new with each track, which in turn didn't allow me to linger too much on a single sound or idea. It was important to me for this EP to contain some slightly different shades of sound even though it's quite an upfront collection of tracks. I think you can hear that the inspiration for my sound comes fundamentally from the dance floor, but the inspiration for my composition comes from many different places.
Do you feel a bit freer as the dust settles from "Watch the Throne" buzz? Is there more pressure to re-define your sound?
Not at all. I've been working on this record for the past two years of my life, things have happened to inspire and excite me in my career, but the catalyst for creation is always purely the enjoyment of creating it, I try really hard not to feel pressure from my achievements because I don't think it's really that necessary for making good music.
In what ways, if any, did hearing Kanye and Jay's take on your track change how you saw your own music? Were there any realizations that came out of that that made their way into this EP?
It reminded me that I love hip hop. I love the groove that good hip hop music has, Jurassic 5 beats are some of the most effortlessly groovy pieces of music I have ever heard, not too mention the entire Dilla/Madlib side of things. The Jay-Z/Kanye thing kinda made me see the hip-hop in my own work and tantalized me to bring it out a little more. It's something I'm definitely exploring in my writing.
You worked with Donald Glover on "Do or Die." From Kanye/Jay to Azealia Banks to Angel Haze to Childish, what do you think of this rap-rave wave? What are some of your favorite hip-hop/rap albums or tracks?
Hmmmm, such a hard question. Donald was an absolute pleasure to work with, I'm a big fan of his output for sure. I just recently slipped back into "The Chronic" and I wasn't disappointed! I could never choose a favorite I'm afraid, but its always got to have groove (so obvious right?).
To those who weren't paying attention, dubstep came up pretty quickly, and some of your tracks were among the posterboys of the more aggressive variety that blew up in the states. What's next for the genre, and what's next for you as an artist?
As an artist, I'm gonna keep writing and see what comes out. I don't feel like I'm done with this sound. "Do or Die" has sparked up something in me. I can see hip-hop and dubstep sliding together, it was always there but with trap coming back into the picture decent vocalists are sure to follow. Well, I hope so anyway, would love to get someone like Frank Ocean on a hook. Bass music does have some very key characteristics right now, but I still don't see any limitations.
What's one thing you find inspiring about the scene as you tour, and one thing you wish was different?
I am always inspired by the connection that people have with music. It's a unifying entity and I think it does a lot of good for the human race. I wish that people would realize that writing music electronically doesn't mean a thing in terms of creativity or skill. Just because you can play guitar doesn't mean you are a musician, just because you use a laptop it doesn't mean that you aren't.
The tracklisting for Flux Pavilion's "Blow the Roof" EP, out Jan. 28:
1. OneTwoThree (Make Your Body Wanna)
2. The Scientist
3. Double Edge (feat. Sway and P Money)
4. Blow The Roof
5. I Feel It
6. I Still Can't Stop
7. Do or Die (feat. Childish Gambino)