Josh Hvaal: From unknown to Hot Creations

“Is Josh Hvaal the most talented young producer on the Hot Creations roster right now? I think he might be.”

Those aren’t my words. That is a recent tweet from a fan.

Most artists build up to releasing on Jamie Jones’ label Hot Creations. Not Josh Hvaal. At 23, Josh signed his first-ever record to the label which is, without a doubt, one of the underground labels of the last decade.

To make this story even better, Josh released his second-ever release to HotTrax, Hot Creations sub-label a month later. A year later, Josh released his second release on Hot Creations with four solo tracks.

So how did Josh do it? How did an unknown artist from Derby with no releases under his belt get the attention of one of the world’s leading underground artists? Not once, not twice but three times in the last 18 months.

Let’s find out.

The blueprint to success is right in front of you. You just have to look in the right places.

Josh started DJing at age 9.

Most parents discourage their children from wanting to be a DJ. Josh started DJing at the age of nine. His parents would play music in the house when he was young.

Josh’s parents understood that a career as a DJ was an incredible lifestyle and opportunity. Josh’s mum was a raver in the glory days of The Hacienda in Manchester. Most parents believe a DJ is someone who takes requests at weddings, Josh’s Mum experienced the best underground DJs in a golden era of acid house music in the U.K.

Not following trends.

With Josh starting to DJ so young, it meant that he didn’t have the normal route some people take to the DJ booth. Most people start because they attend events and realise this is something they want to learn. Josh was one step ahead, discovering music from the godfathers of house music.

This education is what Josh feels is his blueprint to success. Listening to this music at such a young age, helped him find his sound earlier than most. This meant Josh didn’t have to chase trends or make music that was in at the time. 

If you chase trends as an artist, you are already six months to a year behind. With release schedules planned so far in advance, artists have to be creating music that sounds new to artists, who are receiving promos and demos all the time.

Jamie Jones isn’t the kind of DJ who follows trends. Jamie signs the music he plays. If he likes it, he will sign it.

Sending music to Jamie Jones

Josh sent music to Jamie on a whim in the summer of 2019. He got to the point where he was happy with his sound and sent the music to Jamie via email.

After months of no response, Jamie got back to Josh, saying he loved ‘What You Need’ and that he wanted to sign it to one of his labels. It turned out, Jamie had been playing the record at clubs all around the world including his sets at Paradise without Josh knowing.

Jamie’s party Paradise took place every Wednesday night at DC-10. Ironically, Josh had just returned from the island but did not attend Paradise. Had Josh attended the event while he was on the island, he may have heard Jamie playing his track out on DC-10’s legendary Terrace.

Building a fan base

With most artists building up to a release on Hot Creations, Josh was fascinated by how his social media following began to grow. All of this was so new to him. Followers turned into fans that turned into random direct messages expressing their love for his music. To stay connected with his new followers, Josh likes every comment, and replies to every DM, thanking his fans for their kind words.

This approach will no doubt bring Josh even more success in the future.

Andrew at Socially Sound 🧢