“I was in to skateboarding from 1989 until 1999,” he says. “Skateboarding saved my life, it opens my eyes and ears. I went to my first rave with my skate friends, I fell in love with electronic music in 1992. I met Daft Punk in 1995 and yes, in 1996 they asked me to work with them. I think they liked my energy. I owe them so much. I feel very lucky to have worked with them.
Prior to becoming an in-demand producer and DJ, Busy P had some altogether different dreams.
“I was bored at university. I wanted to become a lawyer,” he says. “I was in love with Da Funk and Alive. I said yes, because I knew something would happen.”
He wasn’t wrong. His work with the seminal Daft Punk launched a career that would later see him found Ed Banger Records, a record label that has seen him work with the likes of Breakbot, Feadz, Justice, Mr. Flash and more. A man of many talents, he also acts as Artistic Director for his label and also works as a recognised fashion designer. In a sense, he’s a true modern renaissance man.
“I like the whole package,” he reflects. “Being able to touch different things makes me happy. I will not be able to choose one career out of another. I feel like a taxi driver sometimes, I don’t know where I will go when I go to work.”
Ed Banger Records has been known in the past for disco-inspired sound – namely in works with Justice and Mr. Ozio. However, newer releases have seen a shift in sound, with Winter taking on the likes of Boston Bun. While the sound of his label may vary, one thing is a certain consistency – the quality of the releases. Winter is not willing to be tied down by trends or expectations.
“Ed Banger Records has in the past been known for its heavy filtered disco sound with Justice and Mr Ozio,” he says. “I’m very proud of it. But it’s also difficult when you try to propose other stuff to your fan base. Dj Mehdi and Sebastian are not making the same music, Mr Flash and Mr Oizo neither. Justice and Boston Bun are completely different. I’ve always said my background is house music. Dj Mehdi and Riton as Carte Blanche were bringing back that Chicago house heritage to Ed Banger. Boston Bun is doing it also with his Paris Groove.
“Chicago is the mecca of house music for French producers,” suggests Winter. “Detroit is the home of techno. Both cities are very important to our electronic culture. Today, I think it’s very important to put those city and sound back into the clubs – especially since the US market is full of terrible music.”
While he may throw shade at the current US market, Winter doesn’t believe that electronic music is going stale. In fact, it’s always been a genre at the vanguard of what is new and exciting.
“Electronic music is the most challenging genre at the moment,” says Winter. “It has always been a genre that tries to propose new things. [It’s] always been avant garde. I like the alternative side of our culture. We are here to introduce tomorrow.”
Ultimately, electronic music is about exploring; pushing boundaries to find something that works. This concept has been at the forefront of Winter’s work for years – the capacity to try something different in the hope of finding something new.
“I am definitely aspiring for this,” he says. “But as I said, it’s also very important to stay connected to the city or the producers who did it first back in the days in Chicago or NYC. Sometimes I hear new comers pretending they invented a genre while it was done 20 years ago. Electronic music is about modernity and experimentation.”
While he may be arriving in Melbourne to set the vibe at Piknic Electronik, Busy P still sometimes yearns for his days of skateboarding and metal. Are his days of stage diving and beer spitting over?
“I need my metal shows once in a while,” he says. “But I’m definitely done with stage diving in clubs. We are in 2016 – it was fun in 2007.”