Ephixa's logo, depicting a penguin holding a rifle
|Birth name||James Leusink|
|Born||April 13, 1990|
|Total views||128 million|
|Updated 20 March 2019|
James Leusink, (born April 13, 1990) better known by his alias Ephixa (sometimes stylised as ephixa), is a Canadian electronic music producer. He is best known for his viral "Charlie Sheen Bi-Winning" dubstep remix, remixes of music from the Legend of Zelda franchise as well as various other remixes and original electronic music. Leusink peaked at #11 on Billboard's Next Big Sound chart in November 2011.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 2.1 2010 to 2011: Zelda Step, "Charlie Sheen Bi-Winning Dubstep", and "Sanctuary"
- 2.2 2012 to 2015: Monstercat, Hiatus, "Catfish", and "Machina"
- 2.3 2016 to 2017: Return to Monstercat and subsequent releases
- 2.4 2018 to present: "Dreamstate", "Sundance", and Monstercat's 8 Year Anniversary Adventure
- 3 Discography
- 4 Awards and nominations
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Leusink was born on April 13, 1990. His interest in music started when he was 8 years old, playing the keyboard without prior lessons. He got his first guitar several years later, began taking lessons, and joined various bands. Leusink's work in electronic music began while he was developing video games in his spare time, desired to create a soundtrack for his various games. Originally influenced by hardstyle artists such as Alphaverb, Showtek, and Evil Activities, Leusink has used the digital audio workstation FL Studio to produce his music.
2010 to 2011: Zelda Step, "Charlie Sheen Bi-Winning Dubstep", and "Sanctuary"
On April 10, 2010, Leusink released his second album, Zelda Step. The album featured remixes of "Lost Woods", "Song of Storms" and "Gerudo Valley" from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, as well as a remix of "Dragon Roost Island" from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. The album received mixed to positive reviews, with Jade Royal of Sputnikmusic giving the album a 3.5 out of 5 rating, stating "It's a thin line that Ephixa treads with 'Zelda Step', but one that ultimately pleases more than disdains". Elton Jones of Complex later placed Leusink's remix of "Lost Woods" as the best remix of a video game theme song, finalising his review of the song with "The Legend of Zelda Lost Woods theme mixed with dubstep sounds incredible."
On March 2, 2011, Leusink released "Charlie Sheen Bi-Winning Dubstep", a remix featuring footage of Charlie Sheen from an interview originally broadcast on American TV series 20/20. Within two days of its release, the remix had been viewed over 700,000 times and received over 7,500 likes on YouTube, becoming one of the sites most popular and viral videos at the time.
On September 19, 2011, Leusink released his dubstep remix of the song "Sanctuary", originally by English trance producer Gareth Emery. The remix was included in an extended play based on the original song, titled Sanctuary (The Remixes). When reviewing the extended play, a writer for DJ Mag commented on Leusink's remix, stating that he had gone for a "twitchy, spasmodic bit of dubstep-ery, which is ok, of the type". In the week of November 5, 2011, Leusink entered and peaked at number 11 on Billboard's Next Big Sound chart.
2012 to 2015: Monstercat, Hiatus, "Catfish", and "Machina"
On August 3, 2012, Leusink released "Awesome To The Max", which the Your EDM staff described as "heavy but laid back, and a gift for fans of dubstep and Monstercat alike". On August 25, Leusink collaborated with American producer Varien and Canadian duo Project 46 to release "The Anthem". The collaboration was released alongside an animated music video to celebrate Monstercat's one year anniversary. Both "Awesome To The Max" and "The Anthem" appeared on Monstercat's ninth compilation album, Monstercat 009 – Reunion. Both songs were later featured on Monstercat's Best of 2012 compilation album.
In November 2012, Leusink left Monstercat, continuing to release music independently. On November 16, he released "Fuck The System", a mashup of himself, Deadmau5, TVDS, and Showtek. The song was released to promote "Fuck the 9to5 jobs". On January 17, 2013, Leusink released "Unraveled Reality", which Steve Jacobs of EDM Sauce wrote that the track "offers a bit of a soothing feel along with some big drum sounds". In 2013, Leusink went on hiatus. During a Reddit AMA, The Monstercat staff were questioned about what happened to Leusink, which they answered:
|“||Ephixa, as an artist, took some time off to focus on other projects and his personal life. However, word on the street is that he is back at producing and we are looking forward to hearing his new work.||”|
|— Monstercat staff responding to a user about what happened to Leusink|
On June 30, 2014, a year after he released "Unraveled Reality" and almost two years after he released "The Anthem", Leusink independently released "Catfish". EDMTunes' James Brannigan noted the song for its minimalist trance progression, later writing that as soon as "the drop hits, Ephixa brings back the sound he used to win all of our hearts with as he did in his dubstep remix of 'Song of Storms'".
On February 5, 2015, Leusink released his remix of American electronic producer Dex Arson's song "Machina" as part of the latter's extended play Welcome to War. Writing for EDMTunes, James Brannigan noted the remix for its diversity and described it as "bearing a resemblance to Excision’s style". Matthew Meadow of Your EDM wrote that Luesink had transformed the original song into a "genre-hopping, deep and rumbling tune bound to blow your speakers", later stating that the synths used were "wonderfully bubbly and sinister at the same time, allowing for an extremely diverse and layered track, just the kind of thing I live for".
2016 to 2017: Return to Monstercat and subsequent releases
On July 4, 2016, nearly 4 years after his last release on Monstercat, Leusink collaborated with Stephen Walking to release "Matches" as part of Monstercat's 5 Year Anniversary, featuring Aaron Richards as vocals. The collaboration was previously featured in Leusink's 2014 mini-mix Wip Rip Reel under the working title "Old Dennis". At the time, Leusink stated that the track would "most likely never" be finished. The song was later voted by fans to be featured as part of Monstercat's Best of 2016 compilation album.
On February 2, 2017, Leusink collaborated with Laura Brehm to release "Losing You" on Monstercat. Billie-Darian Hollyhead of Playing With Sound called the song a "beautiful progressive house track", noting Brehms' vocals as "truly stunning as they lay on top of the oscillating beats". The song was later featured as part of Monstercat's Best of 2017 compilation album. On August 19, 2017, Leusink appeared on Laura Brehm's remix album Breathe EP Remixes.
On July 5, 2017, Leusink released the song "Skyforth" as part of Rocket League x Monstercat Vol. 1, the first collaborative album between Monstercat and San Diego-based video game developer Psyonix. The song appeared in the in-game soundtrack of Psyonix's 2015 video game Rocket League, alongside 17 other songs by various artists including Slushii, Aero Chord, Vicetone, Tristam, and Rogue.
On October 26, 2017, Leusink collaborated with Laura Brehm to release "Deja Vu" on the latter's own record label Electric Bird Records. Your EDM's Landon Fleury compared the song to Leusink's previous song "Skyforth", wring that the tack "sees Ephixa continuing down the house path in a similar way to his song 'Skyforth', but with a distinctly stronger groove and fresh vocal chops to top everything off". Fleury later noted Brehm's vocals as ones that "really soar, elevating the production to its maximum potential".
On December 13, 2017, Leusink collaborated with electronic music producer Bossfight to release "Subside" on Monstercat. Writing for Your EDM, Landon Fleury wrote about the song's influences from various electronic dance music genres including chiptune, synthwave, bass house, and trap, stating that the song "sees Ephixa turning back to the heavier-leaning sound his musical career was founded on, diving into electro at full power" and concluding his review by writing "Simply said, it’s a variety of different sounds and styles that somehow fit together perfectly in the end". The song was later featured on Monstercat Uncaged Vol. 4, the first compilation album released by Monstercat since their Uncaged and Instinct re-branding in January earlier in the year. The song appeared on Monstercat's Best of 2018 compilation album.
2018 to present: "Dreamstate", "Sundance", and Monstercat's 8 Year Anniversary Adventure
On August 10, 2018, Leusink released "Dreamstate" on Monstercat. A writer of T.H.E - Music Essentials described the song as a refresh of Leusink's style, writing that the song production has been made "very thoughtfully and yet, allows one to freely flow through its rhythms." The song was later featured as part of Monstercat's second Instinct series compilation album titled Monstercat Instinct Vol. 2, alongside 39 other songs by various artists, including The Night, Fwlr, Julian Calor, and Vicetone.
On June 11, 2019, Leusink collaborated with electronic music producer Heartful to release the synthwave song "Sundance". The song was later added to the video game Rocket League as part the second phase of the latter's Radical Summer in-game event. Leusink and Heartful were joined by other Monstercat artists included in the update, including 7 Minutes Dead, Desert Star, Televisor, Tut Tut Child, Varien, and Wrld.
On July 1, Leusink collaborated with Canadian DJ and Producer Going Quantum to release the drum and bass song "Let's Roll." The next day, Leusink collaborated with Stephen Walking to release the song "Problems". Both songs were released as part of Monstercat's 8 Year Anniversary album, titled Monstercat's 8 Year Anniversary Adventure, released on July 12.
Albums and EPs
|The Beginning & Old School||
|Matches (The Remixes)||
As a featured artist
|Sanctuary - The Remixes
by Gareth Emery
by Going Quantum
|Welcome to War EP
by Dex Arson
|Smooth McGroove Remixed 2||
|Bipolar Rampage Squad
by Dex Arson
|Breathe EP Remixes
by Laura Brehm
by Road Lizard
|Bad Apple||2010||Non-album singles||Self-released|
|Above the Lawl (Featuring DJ Cafe)|
|Give You Back Life (with Swifty & Starwarspunk)|
|Fall Silently (Featuring Veela)|
|Dubstep Killed Rock 'n' Roll||Monstercat 001 – Launch Week||Monstercat|
|Some Wobbles||Monstercat 002 – Early Stage, Some Wobbles EP|
|Division||Monstercat 003 – Momentum|
|Audiocidity||Monstercat 004 – Identity|
|Substance (with Stephen Walking)||2012||Monstercat 005 – Evolution|
|Trance Chords||Monstercat 006 – Embrace|
|Ideekay||Monstercat 007 – Solace|
|Substance VIP (with Stephen Walking)||non-album single||Self-released|
|Awesome to the Max||Monstercat 009 – Reunion||Monstercat|
|The Anthem (with Project 46 & Varien)|
|Unraveled Reality||2013||non-album single||Self-released|
|Awesome to the Max VIP|
|Depth (with Cidi)|
|Space Panda (with Cidi)|
|Matches (with Stephen Walking)||Monstercat 5 Year Anniversary||Monstercat|
|Cobra (with Holder)||Cheat Code 2.0||Ninety9Lives|
|Everlasting (With Jim Yosef)||non-album single||NoCopyrightSounds|
|2080 (with Heartful)||2017||Ninety9lives 90: Care Package||Ninety9Lives|
|Losing You (with Laura Brehm)||Monstercat 030 – Finale||Monstercat|
|Skyforth||Rocket League x Monstercat Vol. 1|
|Deja Vu (with Laura Brehm)||non-album single||Electric Bird Records|
|Subside (with Bossfight)||Monstercat Uncaged Vol. 4||Monstercat|
|Dreamstate||2018||Monstercat Instinct Vol. 2|
|Easy (with Road Lizard)||Impression||Self-released|
|Sundance (with Heartful)||2019||Non-album singles||Monstercat|
|Let's Roll (with Going Quantum)||Monstercat's 8 Year Anniversary Adventure|
|Problems (with Stephen Walking)|
|Blue (Da Ba Dee)||Eifel 65|
|Song of Storms (Hardstyle Mix)||Koji Kondo|
|Song of Storms (Dubstep Mix)||2010|
|Song of Storms (Zelda Step Mix)|
|Aquatic Ambience||David Wise|
|Sierra Leone||2011||Mt Eden Dubstep|
|Charlie Sheen Bi-Winning||20/20|
|When I look at you (with Stephen Walking)||Emalkay|
|Piano Tune (with Stephen Walking)||Bar9|
|Gerudo Valley||Koji Kondo|
|Dragon Roost Island|
|Sanctuary||Gareth Emery (featuring Lucy Saunders)||Garuda|
|Run Away From Me||DotEXE||Self-released|
|Tristram Village||Russell Brower|
|Gourmet Race||Jun Ishikawa|
|The Girl||Hellberg (featuring Cozi Zuehlsdorff)|
|Waifu Dream||Sushi Killer|
|Stone Tower Temple (with Will & Tim)||Koji Kondo|
|Howling Fjord||Russell Brower|
|Overwatch Main Theme||2016||Derek Duke|
|Victory Fanfare (with Holder)||Nobuo Uematsu||GameChops|
|Midna's Lament||Toru Minegishi||Self-released|
|Ride||Astha (featuring Manny Rite)|
|Zelda's Lullaby (with Will & Tim)||2017||Koji Kondo|
|Dr. Wily Stage||Smooth McGroove|
|Let Go||Deadmau5 (featuring Grabbitz)||Self-released|
|Parallel||Laura Brehm||Electric Bird Records|
Awards and nominations
|2011||Billboard||United States||Next Big Sound||11|
- "Power Users - Ephixa (James Leusink)". Image-Line. July 6, 2016. Archived from the original on August 18, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
- Indigonowhere (February 12, 2012). "Ephixa - Zelda Step (album review)". Sputnikmusic. Archived from the original on February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
- Jones, Elton (August 9, 2011). "Down, Back, Shuffle: 17 Video Game Themes To Dance To". Complex. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
- Cal (March 3, 2011). "Charlie Sheen Bi-Winning Dubstep | Salacious Sound". Salacious Sound. Archived from the original on May 24, 2015. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
- O'Conner, Brian (March 3, 2011). "Charlie Sheen goes Dubstep...But Not Really". DJ Times. Archived from the original on September 8, 2015. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
- "Charlie Sheen 'winning' dubstep mix takes YouTube by storm". Metro. March 4, 2011. Archived from the original on November 3, 2015. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
- "Sanctuary (The Remixes)". DJ Mag. Archived from the original on August 17, 2017. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
- Next Big Sound 25. United States: Billboard. November 5, 2011. p. 48. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
- "Monstercat 009 - Reunion [Monstercat Media]". Your EDM. September 13, 2012. Archived from the original on April 19, 2017. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
- Jacobs, Steve (February 6, 2012). "Monstercat Releases Best of 2012 Mixtape by Going Quantum". EDM Sauce. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
- Jacobs, Steve (November 16, 2012). "Ephixa vs Deadmaus vs TVDS vs Showtek - Fuck The System". EDM Sauce. Archived from the original on July 18, 2018. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
- Jacobs, Steve (January 21, 2013). "Ephixa - Unraveled Reality". EDM Sauce. Archived from the original on July 18, 2018. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
- Brannigan, James (June 25, 2014). "Monstercat's Ephixa Returns with 'Catfish' After One-Year Hiatus - EDMTunes". EDMTunes. Archived from the original on June 19, 2017. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
- Brannigan, James (February 6, 2015). "Dex Arson - Machina (Ephixa Remix)". EDMTunes. Archived from the original on February 13, 2015. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
- Meadow, Matthew (February 5, 2015). "Dex Arson - Machina (Ephixa Remix)". Your EDM. Archived from the original on July 9, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
- Grindrod, Nick (July 7, 2016). "Monstercat Is Celebrating Their Fifth Anniversary By Giving Away Free Music For Two Weeks". By The Wavs. Archived from the original on July 28, 2017. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
- Fleury, Landon (July 4, 2016). "Ephixa & Stephen Walking - Matches feat. Aaron Richards [Monstercat]". Your EDM. Archived from the original on June 20, 2018. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
- Wilson, Kate (January 11, 2017). "Best of Vancouver's Monstercat showcases EDM bangers". The Georgia Straight. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
- Goldberg, Sydney (February 6, 2017). "Ephixa and Laura Brehm Make Sweet Sweet Music With "Losing You"". Noiseporn. Archived from the original on July 18, 2018. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
- Schellhammer, Joshua (February 9, 2017). "Laura Brehm Gives Her Best Teaming Up with Ephixa for "Losing You"". RaverRafting. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
- Hollyhead, Billie-Darian. "Monstercat's latest release Ephixa & Laura Brehm – 'Losing You'". Playing With Sound. Archived from the original on June 28, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
- Dexter, Robyn (December 8, 2017). "Monstercat unveils Best of 2017 results". Dancing Astronaut. Archived from the original on March 4, 2018. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
- Jacobs, Steve (August 21, 2017). "Laura Brehm Releases Remix EP For Her Indie Folk Album 'Breathe'". EDM Sauce. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
- Fleury, Landon (June 6, 2017). "Rocket League Teams Up with Monstercat for All-New OST". Your EDM. Archived from the original on May 28, 2018. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
- Fleury, Landon (October 26, 2017). "Your EDM Premiere: Ephixa & Laura Brehm - Deja Vu". Your EDM. Archived from the original on October 28, 2017. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
- Fleury, Landon (December 15, 2017). "Bossfight Debuts on Monstercat with Ephixa Collaboration "Subside"". Your EDM. Archived from the original on December 23, 2017. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
- Fleury, Landon (March 2, 2018). "Monstercat Releases First Compilation Since Label Rebrand". Your EDM. Archived from the original on January 11, 2019. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
- "Monstercat's unveils "Best Of 2018" album featuring this year's best releases!". T.H.E - Music Essentials. December 15, 2018. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
- Stone, Katie (August 10, 2018). "Ephixa - Dreamstate Out Now Via Monstercat". EDM.com. Archived from the original on August 13, 2018. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
- "Ephixa comes back with new single - Dreamstate". T.H.E - Music Essentials. August 13, 2018. Archived from the original on August 13, 2018. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
- Kumar, Pavan (November 12, 2018). "Stream Monstercat's new compilation for your daily dose of relaxing vibes". T.H.E - Music Essentials. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
- Dexter, Robyn (June 17, 2019). "Lunar Lunes: Alesso concocts a 'Sad Song,' DJ Snake taps J. Balvin & Tyga + more". Dancing Astronaut. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
- Saunders, Toby (June 24, 2019). "Rocket League 1.65 Update Patch Notes". GameRevolution. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
- Dedmon, Tanner (June 24, 2019). "New Rocket League Update Out Now, Here's What's New". ComicBook, LLC. Archived from the original on June 27, 2019. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
- Dexter, Robyn (July 1, 2019). "Lunar Lunes: Alok and Sevenn sample Pink Floyd, Kidswaste remixes Kidnap + more". Dancing Astronaut. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
- Fleury, Landon (July 13, 2019). "Monstercat Celebrates 8th Anniversary with Stacked New Compilation, Comic Book and More". Your EDM. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
- Jacobs, Steve (August 14, 2012). "Stephen Walking - Metal Edits". EDM Sauce. Retrieved March 20, 2019.