Dynamic beatmaker—and EDC Las Vegas performer—Wax Motif continues diversifying his sound

Australian beatmaker Wax Motif might be an OG of the G-House club scene, but he’s still reverential toward the OGs on the Electric Daisy Carnival lineups. “I’ve always looked at Diplo as a mentor. He’s a friend, too, but he’s in that older generation, and same with Chris Lake,” he says. “I really respect the guys in that generation … because that’s who I grew up listening to and watching—Kaskade as well.”

Wax Motif, the “gangsta-house” virtuoso whose wide palette of tastes stretch from disco to R&B, is set to perform two nights at EDC, Friday (with French DJ Malaa) and Sunday (solo) at EDC, with both sets offering something completely different, he assures.

Your debut album, House of Wax is a year old. Looking back, were there songs you were particularly proud of for pushing you out of your comfort zone? Maybe the songs that are less dance-oriented, like “Waiting” or “Live for the Night.” It really was just making fun music with friends, and down the line I wanted to put these on there just to show people a different side. For those songs, it wasn’t about getting the streams or making them hits. It was really a need to fulfill my own satisfaction.

Your track “Telugu Tech,” which is blowing up, samples from a song in the Indian action film Pushpa: The Rise, and Telugu-speaking fans seem to love it. So you’ve not only crossed into a new market but also exposed Americans to something they probably haven’t heard before. It’s pretty cool. Diplo’s someone I’ve always felt like was a guide for things I think are cool and want to do. All this stuff earlier where he was sampling baile funk … he’s always digging for new stuff. DJ Snake is the same way. When you travel, you start to realize how big the actual world is and how big other music markets are. It’s probably pretty obvious with Blackpink and Bad Bunny headlining Coachella this year. That’s the fun part about music — discovering new sh*t.

How did you discover the original song? It actually was going pretty viral on TikTok. My girlfriend at the time sent me the song and was like, “Can you make a version for me a little bit slower?” I put it into Ableton to slow it down and sent it back. I didn’t really think about it. Then the little flute part in the song just kept getting stuck in my head, and eventually I was like, “Why don’t I just make an actual, real version of this?” I did something really quick just for a laugh. I played it at two of my shows that weekend. I posted the clips, and they went crazy on my page (laughs). I think they’re the highest-viewed reels on my page still.

You’ve long been a conductor in the G-house scene. How did you become a hip-hop head? I discovered trance music and hip-hop at the same time, but I think the first music I was really into was probably rap and hip-hop. I eventually discovered raves and stuff, but when I started DJing, I didn’t really understand how to be a dance-music DJ. What I did understand was the DJ that played for a bunch of suits after work in a bar. I went down that path. It wasn’t until people like Diplo came along, and Crookers, who at the time had “Day ’n’ Nite.” That genre of producers, where they started sampling a lot of rap and hip-hop … that’s where I started understanding there’s a blend here in the way you can fit both molds.

I still like hip-hop and rap just as much. I was in the studio last night with Juicy J and Ty Dolla $ign. A lot of those guys ask me to remix their stuff, like Vic Mensa just hit me up to do a remix of a song he’s about to put out, and I’m doing one of the new Ty Dolla $ign songs. Those guys are really f*cking with house music right now.

Do your parents come to shows or listen to your music? My mom and my sister came to my new year’s run of shows. It was the first time since I left Australia that they really saw anything. This was their first real experience seeing that I actually got somewhere (laughs). They hated it at first. My mom follows me like a hawk on social media now. She knows every song. The minute I drop it, she’s texting me like, it’s out.

What motivates you these days? I really feel like I’ve come so far. I just want to go all the way. I’ve worked so hard; my team’s worked so hard. I sacrificed a ton to be here. I’m setting more and more goals every year. That’s motivating. It’s not really a fear-based motivation; it’s more like I’m so close to the top of a mountain and I just want to reach the summit.

WAX MOTIF B2B Malaa: Friday night, 3 a.m., Kinetic Field; solo: Sunday night, 1:30 a.m., Cosmic Meadow.

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Mike McNamara

Mike McNamara

A Las Vegas Realtor since 2008. Mike has a wide range of knowledge around all things Las Vegas.

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