DJ Fire Aux is no stranger to Canvas. As a writer, supporter, and performer, DJ Fire Aux (AKA Josh Dubman) has been uncovering underground talent since Canvas was young. But originally, mixing was never part of his repertoire. After moving to Chicago from Wisconsin, his focus was mainly on his job at a global education center and his long time passion for inline skating. After living in the area for a few years and becoming part of the Canvas community, the art scene rapidly became a relevant part of his life.
It didn’t take long for Dubman to accidentally fall in love with DJing.
“Around the same time I started writing for Canvas, I started doing my DJ thing. At first, it was a joke and then I thought ‘fuck it I’m going to start DJing now’ and bought some equipment and started DJing.”
Since titling himself DJ Fire Aux, Dubman has performed at various events, including an event honoring Standing Rock, and Canvas’s Sub Chroma preview party and Voyager after party.
Dubman’s music philosophy centers on the idea that genres don’t have to be strictly black and white. Instead, his style works like a gradient, blending the best of Hip Hop rhythms with Latin dance beats. The product: tunes that feel familiar, but sound exotic.
“When people listen to the stuff I spin, they’d probably categorize it as Trap/Hip Hop music. But, I listen to a lot of worldly music and there’s a lot of subgenres that I’m into, like Baile Funk and Phonk. But, I can blend those sounds into like Migos or something and it would just sound like Hip Hop to everyone else.”
But to Dubman, the music he creates is deeper than just Hip Hop. He admires the work of DJs who test the boundaries of music genres and classify their work in ‘gray areas.’ Lately, he has been especially inspired by Brenmar a Chicago local whose music style marries contrasting genres to create an uncommon sound.
The inspirations for DJ Fire Aux’s mixes not only derive from art that reflects his style, but also his appetite for discovering different cultures. Both Dubman’s professional and recreational pastimes focus greatly on the exploration of foreign lifestyles, languages, and of course, art.
When he’s not creating music, he spends his time digging for new sounds—an activity he calls “SoundClouding”—and exposing other underground artists through Canvas’ publications and a podcast, Rip Rop, hosted and produced by Canvas members.
Overall, Dubman’s natural yet refreshing aura as both a DJ and a person make his music both fresh and familiar—never failing to deliver sound combos we always needed, but never knew existed.
Talent: edgy (DJ/writer/inline skater)
Style: mashup (Hip Hop/Baile Funk/Phonk)
Sauce: hot & cold (buffalo sauce/vegan ranch)