Hailing from Venice, CA, rising producer Big Wild is poised to become one of electronic music’s breakout acts in 2015/2016. On stage, Big Wild sets himself apart from other producers by playing live keys and drums to massive, sweaty, dance addicted crowds. His music is imbued with organic rhythms and a full spectrum of colorful sounds. ODESZA’s Foreign Family Collective recently released his newest original track, “Aftergold,” which has racked up over 2.1 million SoundCloud streams and been covered by USA Today, Stereogum, KEXP, Earmilk, Indie Shuffle, The Music Ninja, NEST HQ, ThisSongIsSick, The Untz and more. Just in the last year Big Wild has toured with Gramatik, Kodak to Graph and ODESZA, performed at SXSW, CRSSD Festival, Shambhala Festival and Backwoods Festival.
See Big Wild this coming Saturday, December 5th with ODESZA. Purchase tickets HERE!
I had the chance to chat with Big Wild about his newly released music, criticism from the media, to drink or not to drink and his experience within the music industry.
the mixtape: What are you doing right now besides answering this question?
Big Wild: Sitting in a relaxed position on the tour bus listening to Hayden James make tunes.
tm: Where did you get the name Big Wild?
BW: I first came up with it in my first trip to Big Sur in California. Being from Massachusetts, the landscape there was like nothing I had ever seen. The two words “big” and “wild” just eventually came together.
tm: In this day and age, regarding social media, do you find that it is fairly easy or effortless to get your music out to the people? What has been the biggest challenge for you with getting your music noticed?
BW: Getting people to listen to your music is always a challenge. I’ve been able to get a good audience on SoundCloud of people who are interested in what I put out. That’s something that has to be built up over time and that’s the biggest challenge. Having enough persistence to keep improving your music and putting it out there.
tm: Today it’s easier for the public to bombard an artist with opinions about the work being created, either positive or negative. Do you pay any attention to positive or negative criticism?
BW: I definitely pay attention to other’s opinions, but it’s important to strike a balance between those opinions and your own artistic vision. Sometimes only the creator can see the final vision of a song and that vision could change the opinion of the listener dramatically.
tm: What kind of response have you been getting regarding your new single “Aftergold”?
BW: The response has been huge. Playing it live is such an energy booster, people really vibe with that track.
tm: You play live keys and drums during your set. Why is adding in this element of live instrumentation important to you?
BW: I think it’s important for people to see a physical and live performance. It helps them get more into the music and it also helps me get more into it. Its a way of connecting with the crowd.
tm: From your Twitter account: “Best thing about not drinking the night before is I feel halfway decent in the morning” If you have a show, do you stay away from the drink? Have you had some bad experiences drinking and playing shows?
BW: I do drink at shows but I try to limit it to 2 beers max before the show. Putting on a sloppy show for fans who paid to see you is just lame. After the show I’ll drink a little more sometimes, but I try not make a habit out of it.
tm: How is your tour going with ODESZA? Is this your first big tour since you’ve started producing?
BW: I wouldn’t say this is my first. I’ve toured with ODESZA previously, and also GRiZ and Gramatik. All those tours were fairly big. But this tour is going well so far, only one show in, but I got such a great reaction from the crowd. I’m really stoked for the rest of the stops.
tm: Did you have any preconceived ideas about the music industry before getting involved with it? If so, have you experienced anything, either good or bad, that went along with your ideas coming into the biz?
BW: I did have some ideas. Mainly that business, branding and working with labels can stifle creativity for a lot of artists. Things get more complicated as more people know who you are and pay attention to your music. It’s hard to stay raw and true to your vision while also taking advice and ideas from others. I’m working on that balance and probably will for the rest of my career.
tm: What should we expect in the way of a full length album from you?
BW: I’m definitely releasing an album or a large music project in 2016. I plan on creating and releasing a lot of original music.