I remember the exact moment when I first heard Big Wild‘s music. I was sitting in my room, trading music with Chad from Lazerdisk. “You have to check out this tune ‘Venice Venture’,” he vehemently insisted, “it’s sooo good.” The song was paired with a video comprised entirely of footage from Venice Beach, CA, setting the vibe with westside Los Angeles overtones and island-though-not-tropical influence. “The guitar riff in the song was actually recorded by his dad.” If the music wasn’t good enough, the fact that this song was a familial collaboration bolstered my confidence in Big Wild’s then-budding career.
I was locked in from that point on. I waited like a kid by the mailbox for the comic book toy I had mailed away for, only that toy was new, truly inspired music from a musician with more potential than most in his class. Since then, he’s toured with Odesza and GRiZ, joined Windish Agency and Red Light management, remixed the likes of Hundred Waters and Champagne Drip, and released on Odesza’s Foreign Family Collective label. Needless to say, I had a lot of questions about his time on tour, at home, and how his music sounds so good. Listen to the minimix he’s gifted us this week, and read our interview below.
How has your sound developed from when you first starting producing electronic music?
I first started making hip-hop beats in FL Studio and was basically trying to emulate a lot the instrumentals of my favorite rap tracks. Now I focus on making unique, groovy, weird, and powerful music and carving my own path. I’m still always working on my craft but feel like my mindset and goals have changed a lot from when I started. I originally just wanted to make music that sounded good, but now I want to make music that inspires people.
Whose music has influenced yours?
In no particular order: Djemba Djemba, The Neptunes, Dr. Dre, Flume, Timbaland, The Doors, Bobby McFerrin, Sly and the Family Stone, Outkast, David Bowie, The Ventures, Gorillaz, J Dilla, Talking Heads, Flying Lotus, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mura Masa, The Beatles, Jamie XX, and the list goes on and on.
Who are you looking forward to collaborating over the next few years?
I would love to collab with all of these people, although some might be pretty unrealistic haha: Flume, Graham Ulicny from Reptar, Sylvan Esso, Kaytranada, Anderson Paak, Chet Faker, Thundercats, Jamie XX, Chance the Rapper, and Nao. I could list a bunch more but I feel these artists are extremely talented and are pushing the boundaries of music. Collaborating with these artists would challenge me to push boundaries and be a better artist.
You’ve been on tour for most of this past year. You’ve had some technical difficulties throughout that time. What’s been the worst and how have you dealt with it?
The worst situation I that happened was on the first date of the Gramatik Epigram Tour in Louisville, KY. My computer totally shat itself and wasn’t working at all. I rushed around between apple and the venue, got it “fixed”, tried to install all of my programs and it crashed again 20 minutes before my set. I had to use Branx’s laptop and I wasn’t able to play drums, piano, or whistle. It was a shitty and stressful first day of tour but I learned that if you can afford it and you perform a lot, invest in a laptop to use strictly for performances.
Which artists have you been listening to lately? Both for inspiration and downtime.
Artists like Kanye West that are musical enigmas have been super interesting to learn from because of their ability to create such a polarizing divide among fans but still capture our attention. I’ve also been listening to Tame Impala. Their sound choice, melodies, and hooks are amazing. Chet Faker, John Lennon, and other solo singer artists are great for inspiring beautiful songwriting that is barebones yet powerful. Unknown Mortal Orchestra has been inspiring some new sounds in my production lately.
What is your favorite snack?
My favorites are chocolate, trail mix, banana w/ peanut butter, grapefruit, carrots n’ hummus, yogurt (depending on the situation of course)
Favorite city you’ve visited and why?
Chicago. Went there on the Kodak to Graph tour and stayed for a couple days. I got the chance to explore the city and also see some sweet dyi shows. The music community there is really strong and I respect that a lot. I can’t wait to be back.
How do you compare the music culture when you were up & coming on the East Coast compared to how it is on the West Coast. Has it affected your work ethic and sound?
I feel the music scene on the west coast is a little more open and exciting than that of the east coast. In LA, there are so many artists and people to link with, not to mention artists that are in town for gigs or recording, that you can get a lot of things done and link with a wide range of people. I think the music scene on the west coast has allowed me to work with more vocalists and producers because there are simply more out here. Being in a different environment also helps me create ideas and expand my sound. I feel more inspired when I’m somewhere new, and right now, that place is the west coast.
How do you balance your personal life with tour life? Has it been difficult?
It’s definitely tough to keep in touch with my girlfriend while on tour but it helps that we connect on more than just music. I think a huge part of balancing your personal life, tour life, and music career is to have passions and goals outside of music and your career. We both love food, the outdoors, and we have similar senses of humor. I also can afford to have my girlfriend come out to visit me, and a lot of the tours I’ve been on go to Massachusetts, so I can meet up with family and friends.
On the road, it’s hard to get alone time too, which is when I feel I produce the best music. I’m slowly adapting to producing while on a bus, in a coffee shop, or at the venue. Touring forces you to adapt your working style to the situation, which most of the time is a lot less comfortable as your normal studio setup.
It’s been a learning experience but I’m definitely starting to get familiar with touring and striking that balance.”
Hundred Waters – Show Me Love (Big Wild Remix)
Griz – For the Love (Big Wild Remix)
Panama – Jungle (Chrome Sparks Remix)
JNTHN Stein ft. Brasstracks – Dreaming at the Function x Beastie Boys – Intergalactic
Big Wild x ??? – Demo
Miami Horror – Love Like Mine (Cleopold Remix)
Ben Khan – Blade (Tidal Wave of Love) demo
Louis Lastic – Reactions
Sh?m and Diversa – Unreciprocated Feelings
Big Wild – ???
Amine – La Danse (Prod. Kaytranada)
Aten Rays – Into
Attacrobat – Howl
Geotheory – Venus
Blanda – Too Late
Big Wild – Aftergold