Josh Bones | tech/deep house DJ & producer from New Zealand
Introducing Josh Bones
Can you introduce yourself? who are you and where are you from? What are you doing in your day-to-day life?
My name is Josh Baines and my stage name is Josh Bones. I’m a tech/deep house DJ & producer based in New Zealand. Outside of music my Monday – Friday grind is in sales for a holiday club
Latest release ‘I Know’
We would love to know about the production process of “I Know”, can you tell us how the track came about? What was your source of inspiration for the track? How much did it cost from start to finish? What issues did you run into?
The production for ‘I Know’ started during our COVID lockdown back in April 2020. The first few tracks I produced during this time (which have since been released) were tech-house tracks and after watching a production course by OC & Verde, I wanted to produce something more melodic but with a darker tone and vibe. Because we were in lockdown at the time, I found it challenging with the mixdown and referencing, as typically I’ll reference on so many different speaker types from apple headphones to club PA’s. A piece of software that was an absolute lifesaver was Sonarwork’s Reference 4, which calibrates your headphones to give a flat frequency response in order to achieve a well-rounded mix down without the need of a professional studio environment. The before and after will blow your mind!
When did you start producing? How did you discover music production? And what made you decide to start producing?
I started DJing 10 years ago, predominantly mixing Hip-Hop. It wasn’t long before I wanted to learn how to produce, record and compose. So, for 3 years I studied Live Sound, Sound Engineering and Audio Production. After discovering artists like Disclosure, Hot Since 82 and Gorgon City, I was sold on producing and DJing house music.
On average, how much road testing or feedback from friends is needed before you call a track finished? Tell us something about this process.
When it comes to writing the track, I know it’s ready for the mixdown when I feel there’s enough elements to keep the listener engaged and entertained. I have a few friends who I send demos to but most of the time I just go off my own judgement. I like to make my own decisions on what direction I want the track to go in. For the mixdown and only after a lot of blood sweat and tears, once I can listen all the way through at a low volume and not notice anything (volume, EQ etc) that takes my attention away from the overall track, I know I’m pretty much there. For years I could never finish a track because I would never commit to certain writing ideas and/or mixing decisions and go around and around in circles and eventually lose my creativity or motivation. It had a lot to do with confidence in myself and I have countless number of tracks I’ll never do anything with, but it’s definitely helped with my creativity and my overall writing/mixing process.
Dj-ing or Producing music
Definitely DJing! For me there’s no greater feeling than reading a crowd (whether I’m playing house, hip hop, pop or classics) and building a dance floor and hearing/seeing the reactions from the crowd when they’re really enjoying the music.
Is there a difference in style between the music you produce and the music you play in your mixes? Tell us something about your track selection for mixes.
At gigs I very rarely only play Tech/Deep House. Most bar/club gigs I play for a minimum of 4 hours and I’ll mix everything from Nu Disco, Tech/Deep House, G-House, Night Bass, Techno, Hip-Hop and classics etc. I’ll just read the crowd and go from there. I take a similar approach with festival gigs. I like a lot of variety in my sets to keep things interesting and different from the rest. I’m a sucker for playing house bangers that have sampled hip hop vocals, or at least with a sample from a well-known song that people are familiar with. People love hearing things they’re familiar with and it brings everyone together.
What is your favorite style of mixing? What do you like so much about this style?
When I’m DJing live, I tend to do fairly quick mixes to keep the energy alive. I have my playlists pretty well organized and it’s very easy for me to change genres, vibes etc. Most tracks have multiple cue points saved so it’s super easy for me to jump anywhere in the track. Sometimes it’s nice to let the track ride out and if the crowd are absolutely loving it, I’ll play it through. I’ll almost always mix in key to ensure each mix sounds musically pleasing to the ear and not like a train wreck of melodies/riffs.
Can you describe to us some highlights of your career so far?
2020 overall was without a doubt the highlight of my career. I got to live my dream job! Get paid to stay at home and make music haha. During lockdown I got two tracks signed to Barbecue Records (Australia). I held my own weekly radio show on Physical Radio and performed at two festivals (before and after we had COVID in our community).
What more can we expect from you this year? Any releases or special events you can tell us about?
I have a number of unsigned tracks that I’m hoping will get signed. My goal this year is to play at a few more festivals around New Zealand and continue to build my brand with another few releases. Watch this space!