Flux Pavilion’s polymath-like ability to involve himself in all aspects of music cannot be understated. Known as Joshua Steele to friends and family, Flux is a singer-songwriter, record producer and label owner who plays the drums, guitar, saxophone and piano. His achievements range from releasing his first vinyl at 19 years old to selling out the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado twice, notching up a UK top 10 hit with Sway and having Kanye West & Jay Z sample his dance floor anthem ‘I Can’t Stop’ in addition to featuring in DJ Magazine’s Top 100 DJ’s 2015. Not bad for a guy who started out replaying jingles he’d heard on TV on his Casio keyboard.
Influenced by the likes of David Bowie, The Beatles and Frank Zappa in the early years, it was when he heard The Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers that Flux Pavilion knew he had found a musical direction he truly wanted to explore for himself. A deluge of musical projects followed, writing instrumental hip hop and dirty drum & bass, joining local bands and producing for other acts all while studying at university. But the major turning point for this unquestionably talented musician was a visit to London superclub Fabric:
“I never went to clubs because I didn’t feel accepted into that scene; it felt too showy, too well-groomed. Then I saw Rusko play at Fabric and it changed my perception of everything. He was jumping around wearing a big cardboard hat shaped like a bird playing the most outrageous music I had ever heard. I loved it.”
From that day forth Flux Pavilion was destined to rise, first to the top of the dubstep scene, and then to the peak of electronic music the world over. His own label, Circus Records, started alongside childhood friend Doctor P with the backing of D&B pioneer DJ Swan-e and Earl Falconer of UB40, has been responsible for unleashing some of the most successful electronic music that the underground has to offer, launching the careers of scores of new talent in the process.
Meanwhile Flux’s own output has gone from strength to strength, having worked on a diverse selection of original tracks and collaborations with Childish Gambino, Dillon Francis, Steve Aoki and Turin Brakes plus remixing for the likes of Skrillex, Jamiroquai, MIA and DJ Fresh. While most students are thinking about where to go on their gap year, Flux Pavilion was celebrating ‘I Can’t Stop’ being picked as Zane Lowe’s ‘Hottest Record in the World’ when at the time he was still living in student halls. Ever since, Flux’s music can now be found regularly cropping up in the playlists of MistaJam, Fearne Cotton and Eddy Temple Morris as well as drawing attention from Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre, Prodigy, Fat boy Slim and Christina Aguilera to name a few. Reaching new heights, Flux has recently been the first producer ever to be officially asked to remix the Star Wars theme song in what will surely be a highlight of his career to date.
The intervening years have seen Flux notch up three headline US tours, two headline UK tours, DJ sets at every festival worth mentioning — from Glastonbury to Reading, Coachella to EDC Vegas and beyond — plus live performances with Example, Foreign Beggars and Chiddy Bang. In that time Flux has continued to develop his signature sound, retaining the all-important energy that The Prodigy and Rusko inspired him with in the early days and undoubtedly inspiring a generation of electronic music producers of his own in the process.