While Dutch producer, WRLD, may still only be in his teenage years, his propensity for and understanding of popular music and memorable melodies reflect a musicianship stretching far beyond his age. Perhaps this is because he began making music when he was 11 years old, or maybe it was the hours and hours of Top 40 radio he ingested since his earliest memory. Whatever the case, WRLD’s musical style balances enticing accessibility with a dreamy, youthful attitude and complex composition, leading the spry producer to consistently link up with outfits like Monstercat and Moving Castle for his gratifyingly warm productions.
This coming Monday the 18th, WRLD will be joining the NEST label family with his latest single “Galaxies”, which sees the producer from the Netherlands linking up with NYC singer/songwriter, Father Dude, in a pop-leaning, beat-heavy record with tinges of soul and ambient influence. Ahead of the release, we’ve asked WRLD to take over this week’s NEST HQ MiniMix and give us some background about how “Galaxies” came together, his love of pop music, and his thoughts on youth as both a blessing and a challenge.
Listen in and read on below, and pre-order “Galaxies” via iTunes today.
We’re less than a week away from releasing “Galaxies”! Can you tell us a little bit about the background of this record? It feels like Father Dude fit so naturally into the vibe of the instrumental here, was it a good experience working with him?
It’s definitely different from anything I’ve done before. I was listening to a lot of ambient music when I made the instrumental and I didn’t even plan on releasing it as WRLD honestly. I showed it to my manager and a few days later he said he’d been listening to it on replay and thought it had a lot of potential. We wanted to add a vocal hook to make it a bit more poppy and the first person who came to mind was Father Dude, he instantly nailed it and the soulful layered nature of the vocal perfectly fit the instrumental.
I remember a while back when we premiered “Fighter”, you mentioned Owl City has had a profound effect on you as a musician. What is it about him and his music that so directly appeals to you?
A lot of the things I know about sound design are because I used to emulate his sounds all the time back in the day. His sense of melody is also so amazing and inspiring to me, everything he does (his pre-2012 music mostly) is super beautiful haha. Out of all the artists that inspire me he’s the one that had the biggest influence on me and his music really helped me shape my own style.
There’s an evident understanding of pop music within all of your productions. What would you say is the driving factor behind these sensibilities?
I just love how pop music is put together. The secret is to put enough into the music to make it interesting, but not so much that it becomes too deep, messy or tedious. Obviously Owl City again played a part in this for me, taking a big influence from the synth pop world and translating that to my music. I always have a hard time listening to 5 to 8 minute long songs, it just gets boring and repetitive very quickly in most cases. Also catchiness is very important to me and that’s something I try to achieve with every song I make.
You’ve mentioned that your interests when you began producing around age 11 were geared more towards a progressive house sound. Do you ever experience any urges to make that kind of music anymore, or is this pop/R&B/bass sound an accurate representation of where your head is at musically right now?
On my last EP Awake on Monstercat there actually is a track called “Discovery” that’s heavily influenced by the trance I used to make back then! I couldn’t resist returning to that style once to see how it would turn out, I don’t think I’ve ever finished a WRLD track that quickly as well because of how inspired I was to go back.
You’re definitely on the younger side of the average producer. Have you ever seen your youth as a disadvantage or a challenge, or do you see it totally as an upside?
I see it as both actually, a lot of the attention I gained by blogs and such were because of my age (at least that’s what I think haha) so that was definitely a good thing. I feel like I’m not always being taken seriously though, in school for instance some of the teachers have no idea what I’m doing or what level it is at. I’m also kind of being held back by school, I can’t travel a lot and don’t put 100% into my music yet, but that’ll be over next month when I probably graduate! (gotta make the exams first lol)
If you were able to announce a WRLD World Tour tomorrow, which 4 artists/singers/DJs/bands would you want to be on the bill and travel the globe with you?
I really want to build a live show with a 3 man band around my music, my music is very poppy like you said and thus way more fun to actually playing live instead of doing a DJ mix, DJing is fun but it doesn’t completely fit my music.
One idea I have is to bring Richard Caddock with me on the road, if you’re a fan of my music there’s a big chance that you’ll know who he is as well and Richard is a great player so there’s no doubt he needs to be with me in the band.
Someone who I’d love to play alongside is Laszlo. Our styles are very similar, yet I think he makes some of the most unique music I’ve heard (his new stuff he’s been working on is super exciting as well ;)).
Adam Young from Owl City can obviously come with me on tour ‘cause he’s my biggest inspiration and there’s no musician that I’d like to spend time with as much as him. I guess it’s only just a dream though. :(
Anyone from the Monstercat crew can come with me as well. Every single one of them makes awesome music and I think anyone coming to see me would enjoy seeing them as well.
The artwork for all of your releases and assets appears to be very connected and developed. Who is the visual artist you work with and what is it about his/her style and artwork that made you want it to represent your music?
All the artworks for my latest releases are done by an artist called Graeme Borland, I found him on Tumblr and had been following him for a while. When I was looking for an artist to do the artworks for my Chase It EP he was the perfect match. From that moment on we kept working with him to keep the same vibe going with every release. His paintings are very dreamy and bright and that’s exactly how I want my music to feel as well.
Finally, I know there’s a little clip of “Galaxies” in here, but could you explain your approach to the MiniMix you’ve shared with us today?
I wanted to make the mix as diverse as possible. I’ve tried to put a lot of my current inspirations in there instead of making a mix full of bangers. Hope you like it!
Color Therapy – Wintering
Tarro – Solus
Lido – Crazy
Father Dude – Eyes On You
No Mana – Magic Addiction
Mat Zo – Lights Out
Draper – Break Over You (feat. Prides)
WRLD – Awake (feat. Colordrive)
Perfume – Cosmic Explorer
Twenty One Pilots – Stressed Out (Botnek Remix)
WRLD x Father Dude – Galaxies
Hybrid – Be Here Now (Bensley Remix)
Pre-order “Galaxies” today on iTunes ahead of its release on Monday, April 18th!