A true polymath, Flux Pavilion’s ability to involve himself in all aspects of music cannot be understated. Known as Joshua Steele to friends and family, he is a singer-songwriter, record producer and label owner who can express himself as well with the drums, guitar, saxophone and piano as well as he can behind the studio desk. Releasing his first record at only 19 years old, over the course of a decade at the top of the bass music game Joshua has sold out the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado twice, notched up a UK top 10 chart hit with grime MC Sway, earned a place in the hallowed DJ Mag top 100 list and had the legendary Kanye West & Jay Z sample his dance floor anthem ‘I Can’t Stop’. The excitement around the young producer reached fever pitch in November 2012 when a Santa Monica event in association with MTV was shut down by riot police; almost 3000 fans turned up to see Flux Pavilion headline a 1000 capacity venue. No one was hurt, just a lot of excited bass fans missed a chance to see the hottest ticket in electronic music. Not bad for a guy who started out replaying TV jingles on his Casio keyboard.
Initially inspired by the creativity and flamboyance of David Bowie, The Beatles and early Frank Zappa, 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 from instrumental hip hop to dirty drum & bass, joining local bands and producing for other acts all while studying at university. But the major turning point for this blossoming talent 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. Circus Records (his own label started alongside childhood friend Doctor P with the backing of UK dance music pioneer DJ Swan-E and Earl Falconer of UB40) has been responsible for unleashing some of the most innovative and dynamic electronic music that the world bass scene has to offer, launching the careers of scores of emerging talents in the process.
Meanwhile, Flux Pavilion’s own output has gone from strength to strength, producing a diverse selection of original tracks and collaborations with Childish Gambino, The Prodigy, Dillon Francis, Steve Aoki and Turin Brakes plus remixes for a range of top-tier names including Skrillex, Jamiroquai, M.I.A. 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’ while he was still living in student halls. Flux Pavilion’s music can now be found regularly cropping up in the playlists of Radio 1, 1Xtra, Sirius and Apple Beats 1 as well as drawing attention from Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre, Fat Boy Slim and Christina Aguilera. Reaching ever more intergalactic heights, Flux Pavilion was the first producer ever to be asked to remix the Star Wars Rebels theme song, a grand career highlight.
The intervening years have seen Flux Pavilion notch up three headline US tours, two headline UK tours and 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 Pavilion 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 himself inspiring a generation of electronic music producers in the process. 2015 saw Flux Pavilion release his chart-topping debut album ‘Tesla’, receiving many millions of streams worldwide (and counting) showcasing his diversity as an artist with jazzy hornfuelled groovers, soaring anthems and the signature earth-shaking monsters that have resonated through venues across the world. One of the many highlights was ‘Emotional’, his collaboration with a-list vocalist Matthew Koma which is as heartfelt as it is heavyweight, a powerful and moving ode to dysfunctional love. 2016 brought us ‘Feel Your Love’ featuring Jamie Lewis, a collaboration with NGHTMRE that took the bass world by storm and the gigantic ‘Savage’ with Whethan and MAX, demonstrating once again that when it comes to tectonic bass-quakes, Flux Pavilion’s hand always takes it to the next level.
Flux Pavilion continues to develop his versatility and creativity to this day, recently releasing his compilation album ‘Earwax’ featuring breakthrough artists and Circus veterans working together to craft a multi-layered and intricate sonic experience. His own ‘Symphony’ featuring Layna and ‘Pull The Trigger’ featuring Cammie Robinson are natural successors to 2017’s ‘Cut Me Out’ with Turin Brakes, subtle yet assured songwriting delivered beautifully via stunning vocal performances and lavish production. Explosive, crowd-pleasing collaborations with Meaux Green and Eliminate have most recently impressed and with much more material in the works, it appears Flux Pavilion will continue to discover new seams of creativity to pursue and there will be exciting new musical avenues to explore for many years to come.