dj john gibbons

Interview: DJ John Gibbons Drops Brand New Banger, ‘Hotstepper’

DJ John Gibbons has just dropped the official remix for Ini Kamoze’s much-loved classic, Here Comes the Hotstepper.

The feel-good tune, Hotstepper, is the ultimate track to get you dancing this summer, and proves why Gibbons achieves ongoing success with upbeat remixes.

Gibbons said of the future hit:

“Hotstepper is a track I began work on a little while ago and having had success with reworks of ‘Would I Lie to You’ and ‘PYT’ in past years, it felt like this was the perfect single for me to complete the trio of classic covers and smash into summer with a bang! It was such a pleasure to work with a vocal as iconic and fun as this and I’m incredibly excited for everyone to hear what I hope will be the feel-good track of summer 2019!”

After amassing over 165 million catalogue streams and going Platinum with several singles across Australia, UK and Ireland, Gibbons has found himself on Spotify playlists such as Motivation Mix, UK Top 50 and Massive Dance Hits.

Not only has the DJ garnered support from the like of Radio 1, Radio 2, Capital and Kiss FM, he has also supported huge names in the music industry, including; The Chainsmokers, Justin Bieber, Tiesto and Alan Walker.

After raking in over 30 million YouTube views, performing across major worldwide festivals, and selling out two headline shows, John Gibbons will be hosting his own residency at BCM Mallorca this summer – which has played host to the likes of Steve Aoki and Martin Garrix.

His international status is going from strength to strength and with his brand-new and refreshing take on, Hotstepper, he will undoubtedly continue his successful streak of fresh summer bangers.

We got the chance to chat to DJ John Gibbons about his new single, his musical guilty pleasures and why he lives by the words, ‘Fun, energy and power’.

Hey John, hope you’re good! How would you describe yourself and your music?

Hey, great to meet you! What an interesting question, not many people really know who they are and for me it’s a lifetime journey of discovery. But, right now I would describe myself as a conscious point of attention experiencing the third dimension of our holographic multiverse! So, how does that translate into my musical life? I like to connect with people through my music and bring some fun, energy and power into the experience of the listener; whether that’s on radio, TV, online or at my live shows! I describe my music as fun, energetic and powerful. ‘Fun’ because I feel having fun is at the very essence of our existence on this plane. Having fun allows us to use or imaginations, create, and tap in to higher levels of consciousness. ‘Energetic’ because energy is the binding force of the universe, the building block upon which our very existence lies, and like music, connects us all. Finally, ‘powerful’ because only when we realise the depth of our own power and begin to utilise it in a positive way can we truly reach our potential.

Tell us all about your new single Hotstepper!

It’s a cover of the Ini Kamoze classic of the same name, the original being a song that reminds me of memories of childhood holidays spent on the beach without a care in the world. Music was always central to my childhood and the song brings back vivid and wonderful early memories for me. I’ve reworked it completely in my own style and am very excited to bring it to a new audience – who I hope will appreciate my fresh and dance-floor friendly take on a true classic.

Why did you choose this song to remix?

A couple of years ago, when I first signed my record deal, I decided I’d love to reboot and release a number of my favourite tracks from childhood for a modern audience. These were Charles & Eddie’s ‘Would I Lie To You’, ‘PYT’ (Pretty Young Thing) by Michael Jackson, and Ini Kamoze’s, ‘Hotstepper’. Having already had great success with the first two tracks, I’m delighted that ‘Hotstepper’ is now about to hit the airwaves, marking a personal milestone for me, and I’m very excited to see how it performs!

So, what made you go into music?

Since early childhood I’ve always experimented with music, singing, playing piano, doing radio shows and immersing myself in many different styles and genres. I’ve always loved dance music too. I’ve extremely broad musical interests and while I was never a ‘raver’ or even a regular clubber in my formative years, I was always particularly attracted to dance music and the unique reactions it seems to elicit in people. There’s something raw and untamed about the heartbeat-mimicking effect of a 4/4 kick-drum and it continues to have a hypnotic effect on me, tapping into something deep and primal in the subconscious. DJ’ing and producing music just seemed like the most natural things in the world to me and once I played my first gig I was hooked and knew that music was the only career for me!

Do you face difficulties in producing your own music?

While I don’t necessarily find the act of producing music particularly difficult, re-working a classic track can be quite nerve-wracking at times! In the case of ‘Hotstepper’, with the 1994 original being such a classic, I trod very carefully along a fine line between being faithful to and doing justice to the Ini Kamoze version, and modernising the song with a 2019 audience in mind. Thankfully, based on early reaction to the song I seem to have achieved that; making the long hours of proverbial blood, sweat and tears worth it! The best part of making music is the energetic rollercoaster that’s guaranteed every time I sit down to create. From the excitement of the initial spark of a new idea, right through to the satisfaction of seeing a crowd react or sing along to a track. I find the entire process to be exhilarating. I feel that music should always elicit some sort of emotional reaction in the listener and I’m lucky enough to experience the thrill of seeing others react to mine – I’m very grateful for that.

Name a guilty pleasure song people wouldn’t expect you to listen to.

I rarely feel any guilt associated with music but one that I tend to get a lot of stick for is James Blunt’s ‘You’re Beautiful’ – I just love it! I’m also partial to a bit of Lionel Richie on the drive home from gigs. There you have it; my secret is out!

Who have you loved working or collaborating with?

Many people for many different reasons but my long-time collaborator, Scimon Tist, tops the lot. Despite almost coming to blows in the studio more times that I care to mention, we have a special musical bond that seems to transcend the sum of our individual musical abilities every time we work together. He’s a man who shuns the limelight but is a true talent and I’m very happy to have worked with him both in the past and on into the future.

Who do/did you dream of collaborating with?

I’m a big fan of The Weeknd and vocally I think he’s so perfectly suited to what I do, that our track would undoubtedly be the biggest moment in both of our live shows – let’s do it Abel! I also really like Sam Smith and in terms of a link-up within dance music, I think a John Gibbons/Calvin Harris collaboration would be off the scale – maybe we could put Stormzy on vocals for that one! Of course, Freddie Mercury would be another if he was still around; I reckon he would’ve loved my music!

Finally, if you were to skip 5 years, where do you see yourself?

Sitting in my sea-front studio with a cup of delicious Bulletproof coffee – having just completed my first stadium tour and put the finishing touches on my third album – watching Celtic wrap up their 13th successive Scottish league title! I’ve a long-term view of where I see myself, I’m acutely aware of what it takes to achieve all that I aspire to and provided I continue to enjoy what I do while connecting with and making some people happy along the way, then the journey continues. I have the power, you have the power, we have the power…

Go and check out John Gibbons brand-new summer hit now! Tweet us @CelebMix to let us know if you love it just as much as we do!

Written by Jodi

Journalist. Radio presenter. Music enthusiast. When I'm not writing, you can find me listening to the radio, reading, eating, binge-watching series (in an impressive amount of time), or on a plane to anywhere other than England!
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