You can't glance at the UK Top 40 at the moment without stumbling upon some house music track or other — and there's little doubt that 'Pushing On' by Oliver $ & Jimi Jules is about to join the ranks. It's already one of the biggest tracks of the summer, a certifiable word-of-mouth grower, and it's about to be massive. In the UK it's being released by Ministry Of Sound/Defected on August 31st.
“We were all pleased with the end result of the track and knew it was good, but we're completely surprised with how successful it’s become,” Berlin-based Oliver $ tells DJ Mag. “The pick-up from other DJs was amazing — better than we had imagined.”
The track has certainly got legs. Originally released on Defected back in March, it's about to 'do an MK' and smash into the charts with a renewed push. “I think we're just lucky with timing and what the current trends are,” says Oliver, modestly.
'Pushing On' sounds like a classic Chicago cut — its inspirational vocal has a great message about keeping going through struggles and situations. “For sure the vocal has a great message, that no matter what, you have to keep riding high and pushing on,” Oliver concurs. “I think it would have worked well with any track. In all honesty, I didn’t sample the record because of the message in the lyrics. I’ve been a fan of Quantic Soul Orchestra for a long time, and in particular Alice Russell’s vocal. I think she has an amazing voice. I’ve always been drawn to strong soul singers, I think it just works well with the style of house I produce.”
Hear the track here:
With his pal Jimi Jules, who Oliver met when he was playing a gig in Zurich and Jimi was the warm-up DJ, they found the sample from an old Quantic vinyl and everything in the track — warm bassline, protracted languid piano chords and so on — fell into place from there. “Jimi and I work well together and know what each other like, so working with him is awesome,” says Oliver. “He’s a super chilled and talented guy, I know he’s going to have a massive future.”
Oliver is actually the cousin of Jan Driver, the German techno veteran currently signed to Boysnoize who he describes as his “early inspiration”, but he's always been a house guy — even during the height of minimal techno. “Living somewhere so diverse as Berlin has definitely got me to where I am today,” he thinks. “I think you have to remain true to your sound wherever you’re based.”
He started off releasing on Jesse Rose's label after contacting the Made To Play boss when the fidget stuff was getting big in the late noughties. “We played a couple of small parties in Berlin together, then I started to do some production with him and it went from there,” Oliver says, revealing that they're working on a new single together at the moment for the new comp on Play It Down.
Oliver nearly had kittens when he got to work with Cajmere, aka Green Velvet, one of his all-time heroes, on 'We Can Make It'. “He is a legend in my eyes!” he gushes. “I love all his productions, and more than that — he’s a dude! We’d been kind-of talking and bumping into each other at gigs over the past couple of years and I eventually just said, 'Dude, you gotta do something with me'. We worked back and forth remotely on an instrumental idea and then he mentioned Dajae wanted to do the vocal — I was so happy.”
Oliver is touring like crazy over the summer, and has been working on a lot of new music as well. With 'Pushing On' set to be a global hit, that dollar sign that he's incorporated into his name — he was originally Oliver S, for Siebert — could soon be proving prophetic.
Pre-order 'Pushing On' here