Outside Lands may have been a few weeks ago but that won’t stop us from recognizing a few of the artists on the lineup such as DWilly AKA David Wilson. He had the unbelievable opportunity to perform in front of possibly very new fans on the Panhandle stage during the tenth annual Outside Lands Music Festival. How? He was one of the very few selected individuals chosen to perform at a top music festival in the United States this summer. Check out our interview below with the up-and-coming urban electronic/hip-hop producer and DJ. Find out how he got to this chosen career path plus his experience during the festival!
The Young Folks: When did you officially decide that music was the career path you wanted to pursue? Did you know exactly where to start or did you get some guidance from a friend or even from a YouTube tutorial?
DWilly: I made the leap of faith during my senior year of high school. I had very minimal training in audio production during an audio engineering class I took at the Fine Arts Center in Greenville. Most of my initial understanding of production came from Youtube tutorials and articles I found online. I wanted to explore more professional depths of the industry, so I went to Berklee College of Music where I earned my degree in Electronic Production & Design.
TYF: For those who can’t attend Berklee, how has your experience been like? Why did you decide to go there versus any other school?
DWilly: I would consider Berklee the “Hogwarts” of the muggle world. Many people struggle with the rigorous fundamental training they require through the program. Personally, I didn’t find Berklee to be as challenging probably due to my previous musical training as a kid. I fell in love with Berklee shortly after arriving to my audition time during December the year before I attended. The school nurtures so much culture and diversity. Any student there is inevitably going to mature musically. Growing up in the smaller town of Greenville SC, a bigger “city life” appealed to me- and Boston was just that.
TYF: How do you go about making fresh beats and steer clear from almost sounding like anyone else? Love your sound – catchy, upbeat, and chill.
DWilly: Thanks! Well you said it. My manifesto as an artist is making music that’s different. I want to create a vibe for listeners that is unfamiliar and addictive. I’ve found that my writing process is usually inspired from things I hear throughout the day- street sounds, ambience, nature… Most of the time, I’m tinkering around with different patches (presets for synth sounds), until I come up with a nice melody. And from there, it’s just a matter of how fast I can build the song around it before I get bored and move on to the next.
TYF: Did you ever imagine yourself doing something else other than electronic music? Maybe pursue something in r&b or rap? Will we ever hear your voice on a track?
DWilly: Ehh… I’m always intrigued by how many people ask me that. I really don’t have a smooth singing voice yet, but hopefully one day.
TYF: What was it like performing at Outside Lands? How did you get yourself prepped for that huge performance?
DWilly: It went way better than I expected. I didn’t have the luxury of rehearsing with the equipment I’d be performing with. Also- I changed half of my set the night before the show so what most people saw was my first time running through the set. I tried to keep my mind off the performance the night before in preparation. I find that sometimes distracting myself with other tasks makes the situation feel less intense.
TYF: How did you feel the moment you got on stage to the moment you ended your set?
DWilly: I felt adrenaline. And satisfaction. And gratitude. But it was the kind of adrenaline I haven’t quite felt yet in my entire life.
TYF: I read about the process of what it takes to actually perform at one of the huge festivals on behalf of BPMI. What was the moment like for you when you found out you’ll be performing at Outside Lands, one of the biggest festivals?
DWilly: I almost felt disbelief. I felt that I hadn’t yet earned my way into playing a festival as my career in music is so young. But after playing, I know I was ready for it and I’m excited to play more festivals down the road.
TYF: What other festivals would you love to be part of? How about what artist would you love to perform with?
DWilly: My dream festivals are EDC, Tomorrowland, and Ultra. I’d really like to perform with Slushii. He seems like a fun dude to play with on stage.
TYF: What has been the most difficult experience you’ve been through so far? What’s your biggest accomplishment (other than OSL)?
DWilly: To be completely honest, I think my most difficult experience yet was finding a house in LA while being homeless. We looked for over 2 weeks, and after getting denied from 4 houses we finally settled into an amazing home right above North Hollywood. Biggest accomplishment yet is probably graduating college, but I plan on toppling that very soon.
TYF: What do you hope to accomplish in your career? By the end of 2017, at least?
DWilly: I’m hoping to get a distribution deal and a find a home with a talent agency within the next year. And I want a grammy. Those are my goals.