Wax Motif's House of Hits: A Q&A Behind the Turntables
Dec 18, 2023
8 min read
Dive into the dynamic career of Wax Motif, the Australian-born, LA-based DJ and producer known for his musical artistry. With a string of chart-topping successes, including his acclaimed "House Of Wax" tour and sold-out shows in cities like New York, Dallas, and Miami, Wax Motif has firmly established himself as a household name in the house music industry.
In this exclusive interview, we dive into the highlights, challenges, and creative evolution that have propelled him to such heights. Discover the secrets behind his chart-dominating tracks, collaborations with industry giants like Zhu, and his role as the driving force behind Divided Souls Records.
What unique experiences have you had in 2023 that have shaped your current direction?
I’d say it was mainly a lot of time in Europe this year; events like Tomorrowland and Ibiza allowed me to check out a ton of other DJ's and parties, and I also played at festivals that are outside of my usual zone, like Lost Lands.
You've previously mentioned wanting to create music that resonates with you personally. In 2023, how has this philosophy shaped the music you've produced so far?
I generally try not to think too much about what other people want when it comes to my music, so everything I do is generally shaped by this philosophy. I think as a producer, you spend so much time with an idea, crafting it, getting the release ready, and then promoting it, that I feel like you have to love it the most out of anyone.
This year, I feel I’ve been able to learn a lot of new techniques and try a bunch of different sounds, but I always want to make sure I’m executing that at the highest level production-wise, so overall, I’m pretty happy with the results.
What has been the highlight of your career in 2023? Can you share a memorable moment that stood out to you?
There have been so many. I’d say probably playing the main stage at EDC was a highlight. Also, the whole House Of Wax tour has been a huge highlight too. Being able to sell out my own shows in many cities like New York, Dallas, and Miami and just engaging with the die-hard fans has been amazing.
How has your sound evolved in 2023? Are there any new influences or genres you've been exploring?
Right now I’m exploring the deeper, darker house and techno side of my production. I try not to think about genre too much. If I can ask myself ‘is this a good song?’ and the answer is ‘yes’ then that is what is most important to me.
How has running your label, Divided Souls Records, impacted your journey as an artist?
It’s just cool to be able to sign stuff I like or give my homies a platform to release on. I think the main impact has been realizing how much talent there is out there and how much goes unnoticed, and to be honest, it makes me want to step my studio game up even harder.
Have you discovered any new artists through Divided Souls that you're excited to introduce to the world?
Yes, so many. Longstoryshort who I produced “On The Low” with on Divided Souls has been getting a ton of momentum. Colorsick, Shahay, SLVR, Maesic, Doug!, Kapuzen & Basura Boys are all amazingly talented producers.
What can fans look forward to in the rest of 2023 into 2024?
I have a few more releases to round out the year, as well as, a collaboration with Zhu and a bunch of international shows in Colombia, The Bahamas, and Mexico.
How has your approach to live performances changed in 2023, if at all? What can fans expect from a Wax Motif show this year?
My approach has generally stayed the same. I usually try to change up my sets a lot because I know I have fans that will come to multiple shows. The core of my set consists of my own music and the favorites from my discography that people want to hear. Outside of that, I try to sprinkle in new music I think is interesting, forward-thinking, or will resonate with my crowd.
As you continue to grow as an artist, how do you balance the expectations of fans and your own creative desires?
This is such a difficult question. It’s probably the one I wrestle with the most. I guess ultimately I don’t have a real answer for this; I just try to listen to my fans and their response to tracks while trying to stay innovative and interesting.
If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?
For dance production of probably say Skrillex. He’s a master at production and always coming with fresh ideas. Beat wise I’d probably say Pharrell, Dr. Dre or Kanye because their productions have inspired me so much growing up.
What's the most significant challenge you've faced in your career, and how have you overcome it?
I think it was probably making it through the pandemic. When the lockdown started, I was stuck in the US, lost all my upcoming shows, and didn’t qualify for government assistance because I’m Australian. I ended up taking to live streaming and building a community discord, which provided me with just enough to scrape by. I’m happy I was able to come out the other side and still have a career.
What are you most excited about for your North American tour?
This tour, we’re focusing mainly on larger hard-ticket venues. It’s been the most exciting, knowing that every single person in the room is there for you. It gives you a lot of freedom and confidence to just do your thing, as opposed to worrying about crowd response all the time. I’m also excited to meet everyone at shows, connect faces to internet names, and give people a fun experience.
How has your lifestyle changed in 2023 compared to the earlier stages of your career?
It’s changed significantly! These days, there is a lot more focus on taking care of my body and mind. The amount of travel and party opportunities has really stepped up in the last few years, so just making sure I keep myself in check regularly.
How do you keep yourself motivated and creatively stimulated?
I’ll usually sample something or try to find a new sample pack or synth to try to get some fresh inspiration. Also just listening to a lot of music helps too.
What advice would you give to an aspiring artist attending their first festival?
Have a blast! Don’t get too f*cked up especially if you plan on meeting people in the industry.
Looking ahead, what goals or dreams do you have for your career that you're willing to share? What's the next big thing for Wax Motif beyond 2023?
My main goal is to keep innovating and releasing music that my fans will resonate with. Beyond that, I’d love to bring House Of Wax to bigger audiences and be able to bring that vibe overseas more. We have some larger venues and more international tours we’re looking at for 2024, which makes me really excited!
If you were to create a “House Of Wax” themed amusement park, what would be the flagship ride and why?
I hate heights but for some reason, I love roller coasters, so maybe a dragon-themed roller coaster or dodgem cars, but you have to race on a go-kart track because I love motorsports.
What track do you use in your sets that you consider a secret weapon?
and Flowdan or this older track by Camisra called "Let Me Show You".
You've toured all over the world. What's the most unusual or unexpected place you've ever found yourself creating music?
There’s been a lot but Russia definitely stands out. It's such a different place but the people are so cool. It’s those times when music takes me to somewhere I probably would’ve never gone on my own that make me appreciate what I do.