John Johnson will be showcasing the refined, bold, and innovative progressive sound of ICONYC on his new FRISKY show.
A stalwart of the scene, John Johnson has been a prolific producer and DJ for more than 20 years. With over 350 originals and remixes, John’s music has made a lasting impact on the industry, including legendary tracks like his Power Dove Remix of Dove Beat – La Paloma for Sounds Good Records and Impact on Ministry of Sound’s label IDJ. One of my personal favorites of his is the perfectly progressive London, which opened Jimmy Van M’s iconic Bedrock album. A highly in-demand remixer, John has worked with artists ranging from U2 to Underworld, Jennifer Lopez to John Digweed.
He backed up this production success with a DJ career that saw him traveling all across the world, to Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Helsinki, Ibiza, New York, Paris, Sydney, Berlin, and more, while representing regularly at renowned UK clubs like Cream, Gatecrasher, Gallery, Inside Out, Type, Fabric, and Ministry of Sound.
With a passion for progressive that has only become more refined over time, in 2016 John Johnson launched his digital imprint ICONYC. Based out of New York, ICONYC curates the best of progressive house, and has turned into one of the premier platforms for the genre. Through his depths of experience and with an ear to the future, John Johnson carefully selects new talent and established producers alike, always with quality, boldness, and originality at its core.
To share the music in its natural format, he’s launching 212 ICONYC on FRISKY, where he will be showcasing all that this distinguished label represents through exclusive monthly DJ mixes. Premiering July 19th @ 3PM EST [convert timezone] the show will be available to listen to anytime after on-demand with a FRISKY Premium Subscription.
John Johnson takes us into his world as we get ready for the premiere:
What first brought you into electronic music?
Back in the late 80’s early 90’s it was something new and fresh after years of 80’s rock and pop music. I think my generation was looking for something new and exciting. I started going to clubs in my area that were playing house music. The records that really got me hooked were Royal House’s ‘Can You Party’ and Joe Smooth’s ‘Promised Land’ in the late 80’s. The rest, as they say, is history.
What are you most passionate about within the music today?
There are so many great things; it would be hard to pinpoint just one thing. The obvious choice would be the personal relationships you built with a lot of the guys; to the point you actually consider them friends. The music of course, as it connects so many of us in ways only music can, the excitement you share with your artist when a release does well, the bond, the support and respect you receive is something to appreciate and be grateful for. I met so many great people during my tenure as label boss that I wouldn’t want to miss it for the world, but the one thing that stands above all is when you listen to that one completed release that moves and touches people. Astonishing and heartwarming!
Although there’s much to be grateful for in today’s scene, is there anything that you wish was still like it used to be?
This is a tough one, I am not one for reminiscing about the ‘good old’ days. I truly believe it is about tomorrow. The past is the past and should stay there. You shouldn’t forget about it but also not dwell too much on what happened back then. We live in exiting times where there are so many possibilities to do great things which were not possible in the past. But if I had to name one thing that I miss it would the weekly trip down to your local record shop to pick up those precious 12” vinyl for the weekend gigs.
What is one of your highlight career moments that solidified your love for what you do?
Again, so many that come to mind that it would take forever to mention them all. I think the most important part is the being here, being active, still doing something I enjoy and have great passion for is certainly a highlight in my book.
What is the mission of ICONYC?
I would like us to be mainstay within a very competitive sector and that people see us, as one of a few go to entities where artists know they will be taken care off and managed correctly. Releasing quality music that has relevance. We want to work with artists that want to be part of ICONYC and believe in what we do and represent. It is about building relationships, maintain and nurturing them to build something together. Considering how everything evolved I couldn’t be happier and grateful with how the label has progressed. It has exceeded all my expectations and projections and then some. Definitely exciting times ahead.
Do you think we are seeing a resurgence of love for a progressive sound?
Resurgence is maybe the wrong word. It has always been around and popular. I believe when Beatport decided to define EDM/Big Room as progressive house the lines got blurred. Creating confusion and by doing so exiling the word progressive house as unruly. Similar to being a persona non grata. You just have to look at people like Nick Warren, Hernan Cattaneo, Guy J and so many other big progressive house names that were always present and successful even when the cool folk thought that progressive house was garbage and dead.
Real progressive house was always present and alive.
The resurgence term was created due to Beatport removing the EDM/ Big Room releases to their own genre. It felt like a new beginning, resurgence, new lease of life to many people but to those who never seen it go away, it was just vindication to stick to their beliefs.
What can listeners expect to hear on 212 ICONYC?
ICONYC releases are about triggering feelings and taking people on a journey. It’s about creating emotional ups and downs. It is about spreading positivity by elevating the mood of others for a period of time, allowing them to escape from day to day problems. One of the most meaningful parts of music and DJing is that it lets you pass on that feeling you get when you hear an infectiously hot record for the first time. Bringing this feeling to others is what’s important to us and why it has to have substance to get people engaged.