Hot off the release of his new single “Aftergold” on Odesza’s Foreign Family Collective, Big Wild is surfing a wave of newfound popularity. The track came in time for the summer festival season, and its upbeat rhythms and vocal chops capture the summer vibe without falling back on the stale sounds of tropical house. With an upcoming show in support of GRiZ at Royale on October 25th, we discussed with the producer what it is like to stand out in a saturated electronic scene and how to craft a set that finds the happy medium between performing live and DJing.
Let’s talk about your recent single “Aftergold,” which was released through Odesza’s Foreign Family Collective. How did you get in touch with Odesza, and what was it like having your music catch their ear?
Thanks, it’s been crazy since that track got released. Odesza were actually the first major artists to reach out about my music – they heard it on Soundcloud, and we were in touch for a while. When they were starting the Foreign Family Collective, they asked me if I wanted to be involved, and that’s how “Aftergold” ended up being released.
A lot of your releases, including “Aftergold” and your remix of GRiZ and Talib Kweli’s “For The Love” draw on tropical elements in their sound, which has been a huge trend in electronic music this year. What’s your opinion on the trend, and how do you aim to make your sound stand out?
I wouldn’t necessarily say that I aimed to make the record sound tropical, that’s just how it ended up. I don’t try to make a certain sound, because I don’t like to be boxed in as a producer. Lots of artists in that [tropical] genre find a sound that works and stick with it but that just leads to unoriginality in my opinion. I just try to keep my mind open and make something new each time.
What do you think has contributed to the change in your sound over the past few years from darker tracks like “Ayahuasca at Night” to more upbeat releases?
Again, when you think of things in terms of “sound”, you just end up limiting yourself. I just make music for whatever mood I’m in, not just drawing upon one certain mood. I’m just human – sometimes I’m happy and I make happier music, sometimes I’m sad and the music I make takes on a darker tone.
For your live show, you do a whole lot more than stand behind CDJs. Could you tell me a bit more about your live setup and how you go about planning your sets?
Yeah, for my live show I play parts of my songs on the drums and keyboard, and even whistle sometimes. At this point, a lot of fans are bored of just seeing someone DJ, so I wanted to work in a live aspect. I think I’ve found a way to incorporate a little of both formats.
What can we expect from you next?
Well, I’m super excited to say I have another big remix coming up, though I can’t say with whom yet, so stay tuned for that!
Catch Big Wild’s unique live show in support of Griz at Royale this Sunday. His music is gaining recognition fast, and we’re looking forward to seeing his career take off in the next year.
Photo courtesy of Big Wild