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Interview: Josh Rubin Shares About Collaborations, 'Playing With Fire' EP, And More

Music constantly changes, and sometimes the most epic stories emerge from unexpected places. Just look at Josh Rubin from Austin. His musical adventure began with the gentle touch of guitar strings and the soft melodies of pianos. Yet, by 2015, Rubin made a bold entry into the dance music scene, making waves with his powerful voice.

The year 2022 was a turning point for him. Leaving the cozy vibes of Austin behind, Rubin moved to the bustling city of LA. There, he honed his skills at the prestigious ICON Collective, a decision that underlined his deep commitment to evolving his craft. This passion is evident in his releases on renowned labels such as Monstercat, Seeking Blue, Bassrush, and Welcome Records. These tracks are not just an example to his talent, but they also resonate deeply with his dedicated fan base, the OVRTHNKRS.

There's a growing buzz about his upcoming electronic EP, titled Playing with Fire on NCS. But the highlight might be in 2023, where Rubin plans to transition from being just a vocalist to a live DJ, blending his singing with his productions. As Rubin's musical adventure unfolds, fans are eagerly waiting, sensing something truly special on the horizon.

We couldn't help be ask Josh for an interview, see all the details below.

Exclusive Interview

"Playing with Fire" is described by Josh as a representation of falling in love. How does the title of the EP tie into this concept and its dual nature?

Something I’ve learned through my experiences with love and relationships is how powerful and unpredictable it can be. Love is one of those things that can be the best feeling ever, make you feel like you’re on top of the world, but it can also completely destroy you and drive you mad. So that’s why I chose the name "Playing with Fire." Fire is something we all need and rely on to live in this world, but if we’re not careful, it can burn us and be very destructive.

Can you share the significance of the collaboration between yourself and artists like noll, Highlnd, and Francis Derelle in shaping the sound of "Playing with Fire"?

Every single artist I worked with on this EP is someone I’ve worked with many times over the years. My favorite thing about collaborating with other artists is the friendships and bonds that come out of those sessions. That, to me, is almost more special than the music itself, so once those bonds are formed, I tend to be drawn to working with the same people over and over.

With the track "Don't Want to Feel," you described the writing process as almost "effortless." Can you delve into the dynamics between yourself, Charlotte, Highlnd, and noll that facilitated this ease of creation?

"Don’t Want to Feel" was our second track that we all made together, so it was much easier to get the vibes going since we were all already comfortable with each other. It makes it easier to open up and share ideas when you know and trust the people you’re working with. For this track, we started on a zoom session and within a couple of hours, the whole song was written. It was pretty exciting for all of us!

"Save My Life" was a previous collaborative success between you, Highlnd, and noll. How has their relationship evolved since that record and how did it impact the creation of "Playing with Fire"?

At this point, I consider Highlnd and Noll to be close friends. We got to hang out quite a bit while we were working on promo content for "Save My Life," and we also did the acoustic video together. So with all that time together, we really got to know each other on a deeper, more personal level. I have multiple things in the works with both of them that I can’t wait to share.

What is the central theme of the single "Surrender," and what inspired its creation?

"Surrender" has kind of a bittersweet yet hopeful theme to it. It’s about feeling like you’re at your lowest point, ready to give up on love and relationships altogether, but coming to the realization that maybe all of those past heartbreaks were meant to happen so that you could reach this present moment. After all, life is all about duality and without the bad experiences, how can we truly appreciate the good? "Surrender" is about the willingness to give your all to someone even despite the past hardships and doubt that may come from that. It’s a reminder to never give up on love. You’ll find your person when you’re supposed to.

Considering "Black and White" was written nearly two years ago and kept aside for some time, what was the determining factor in deciding it would complete the EP?

I wrote the song during one of my LA visits when I was still living in Texas. Yetep and Klaxx saw that I was in town, reached out, and invited me over for a session. After about 4-5 hours of hanging out, we wrote "Black and White." We knew right away that it was a special track, but at the time, Yetep and Klaxx both had crazy busy release schedules. But we knew it would be wrong not to share the song with the world, and a year later I reached out about being a part of my EP. We decided that was the perfect way to debut the song.


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