Behind the Beat: Justin Prime
You have definitely heard the 2012 hit ”Cannonball” by Showtek & Justin Prime if you’ve been to a festival or club over the past few years. Justin Putuhena, better known as Justin Prime, is a Dutch progressive and electro house DJ and producer who gained world recognition from this track, but has been active on the dance music scene since 2001 and has been working on a lot of new material. Justin Prime went Behind the Beat for an exclusive interview to discuss his past, present and future as a DJ and producer.
Only The Beat: Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get involved in DJing and producing? What was your first break out show?
Justin Prime: Hey guys thanks for having me! Well, I’ve been producing music for around 15 years now. I started producing hardstyle music on the age of 15 with Fruity Loops and got my first record deal when I turned 18. At the same time I started spinning at small clubs and school parties. But it was only years later after I signed with Showtek’s label Dutch Master Works in 2008, when the real gigs were starting to come in. My first break out show was a festival by Q-Dance called Q-Base in Germany.
OTB: Previously you were a part of the dutch hardstyle duo of Abyss & Judge. How did this experience influence your overall style as a DJ and producer?
JP: Yeah, Abyss and myself formed a duo from 2008 until at the end of 2011. We both decided we wanted to focus on a different style of music. All those years as a hardstyle producer really shaped me as a producer when it comes to the way I work but also my technique. In the hardstyle scene the skill level is really high. A lot of time is being spent on mixing and mastering, but also the sound design and creating your own kicks from scratch. I always look back to Abyss & Judge with a lot of beautiful memories. Yeah, we had a lot of adventures together around the world 🙂
OTB: In 2012, you produced the hit “Cannonball” with Showtek. Can you tell us more about this track and why you think it was so successful?
JP: Well, I made the first version around April/May 2012 and sent it to the guys from Showtek and they really liked it and wanted to collaborate on the track. The guys were working a lot with Tiesto back then, and he was really blown away by the track and decided to drop it on EDC New York. The next day all the internet blogs were on fire about the track Tiesto played at EDC and nobody really knew the track title or artist names. So, there was a really big buzz around the track and we already felt like this could become something big. But, we never expected it to become such a big worldwide hit. I think the success of “Cannonball” lies in the fact that it was something totally different at that specific moment. Nothing was really like this on the radio anywhere or in the clubs. I believe by releasing this track, we accidentally sort of changed the scene back then.
Showtek & Justin Prime – Cannonball
OTB: You curate a lot of music on your podcast “Limitless Radio” and have done 28 episodes already since 2014. What tracks are popular right now and what can we expect in Episode 29?
JP: I think the EDM kinda tracks are getting less popular as we speak. I myself have done my last one for now and I’m now focusing on creating a different type of sound. I’ve got some fresh new tunes coming up for Episode 29, including my new collab on Spinnin’ with… 😉
OTB: You recently release the track “Insane” along with an accompanying music video. Are you excited about the reviews and praise within the industry that this track has received?
JP: Yeah the release went really well I must say. All the big guys picked it up and gave their support, and I’m really happy with that. I’m also very proud on the music video that we made for “Insane.” In my opinion it’s something different than the other videos. It has a sort of “arty film” kinda look which I think is really cool, and the video turned out exactly how we wanted.
OTB: What other artists influence your style and who do you follow in the industry?
JP: Right now I’m really into pop music, I’ve always been though…but now more than ever. I actually don’t really listen to a select group of artists, but I quite often open my iTunes top 100 app on my iPhone and listen to the current top 100 list. That way I can listen to everything that is hot right now, from pop to classic, rock, house, whatever. For me it’s very important to stay open-minded and I try to get inspired by all sorts of music, instead of just focusing on one particular genre.
OTB: What is your favorite track that you’ve produced and one that you did not produce but admire?
JP: That’s too hard to say, because I’ve made a lot of productions I’m proud of. I can’t really pick one. I would say my remix for Rihanna, Cannonball, track I did for U2, my new one Insane. Now one I admire would be that song by DJ Snake – Middle. What a dope way to drop!
OTB: What is a personal milestone in your DJ/producing career so far?
JP: As a DJ, playing for around 40,000 people at a outdoor festival. That moment when I felt invincible! Haha 🙂 As a producer, I think the fact that I had the honor to work with Bono from U2 and that Cannonball became such a big success.
OTB: Outside of Djing, what are your other interests or hobbies?
JP: Basically my whole life is about music, but I love cooking too from time to time and cars. I own a Audi A5, a car I always wanted to buy but couldn’t really afford and last year I decided to buy one and I’m really happy with it! Also I love to cook but I never have the time for it, but the summertime is coming up now so I’m thinking about buying a big outdoor grill and BBQ everyday on my roof terrace 🙂
OTB: What can we expect from you this year? Any big shows, mixes or collaborations coming up?
JP: Yeah, a lot of shows coming up these months all around the world and also new music! Starting with my new collab on Spinnin’.