Love Drunk Off “My Humps”: How Nostalgia Took Joshwa Over the Hump, Catapulting His Career
Dec 13, 2022
3 min read
It was a song that captivated audiences young and old alike. Overtly sexual in theme, this hit Black Eyed Peas single sparked controversy amongst parents and critics due to its title and scandalous lyrics. For teenagers coming of age in 2005, “My Humps” was a rambunctious siren call for those who wanted to drop it low on the high school dancefloor.
A decade and a half later, Fergie’s infectious vocals are once again summoning those same teenagers to revelry, thanks to the nostalgia-inducing ingenuity of U.K. producer Joshwa. The tech house banger has been instrumental in catapulting Joshwa, who partnered with Lee Foss on the project, to prominence.
Prior to the success of the salacious record, the British house DJ was gaining notoriety with singles like “Energizer” and “Party’s Jumpin” on Foss’ Repopulate Mars imprint, the latter of which samples Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice.” It would be a similar use of turn-of-the-millenium vocal samples that would eventually lead him to partner with Foss on “My Humps.”
Speaking on their collaboration in his Gray Area Spotlight interview, Joshwa recalls sending Foss an early version of the song. “He played it out and then asked me to work on it together to finish it, which is now the track you hear today,” he said. “The buzz around it after Lee and John Summit first started playing was crazy.”
And crazy it was. The single could not have come out at a better time, as the electronic music landscape was under the spell of early millennium reminiscence. Between ACRAZE’s “Do It To It” and Dillon Francis’ “Goodies,” Joshwa and Lee Foss’ “My Humps” was yet another gift to millennial ravers.
As the unreleased track made its rounds through the festival circuit, it quickly became one of the most sought-after IDs. Joshwa recollects his inbox getting inundated by requests from DJs. “Every DJ was asking for a copy, and it was getting played worldwide,” he said.
To date, “My Humps” has garnered over 30 million streams on Spotify alone, attesting to the power of nostalgia. Fortunately for those with fond memories of the early aughts, Joshwa can’t seem to let go of the past either. In 2022 he released his remix of Madison Avenue’s 1999 dance hit “Don’t Call Me Baby,” much to the delight of 30-somethings everywhere.