Artist Q & A with Willy Joy – Plus Brand New Track with Brillz “WTF”
Willy Joy is sort of a renaissance man when it comes to bass music, producing everything from trap, moombahton, electro and plenty of tracks that are hard to tie to a specific genre. Hailing from Chicago, Willy Joy is surely an artist to keep an eye on, thus far working with some of the biggest names in the game such as Flosstradamus, Dillon Francis, Flinch, and Diplo + Major Lazer. We had a chance to ask producer and DJ extraordinaire Willy Joy a few questions about himself, trap music and some huge future releases.
Q: Can you quickly introduce yourself for those who have not been introduced to Willy Joy?
A: Hey, my name is… Willy Joy. I’m a midwest kid who loves music, food, and wildlife.
Q: So you have been DJing since you were 15 years old…when did you first start producing your own tracks?
A: I first started messing around making music on computers while I was in college, but it was all terrible. My first actual release was a self-released piece of vinyl that came out around 2007 or 2008 – shout out to anyone who’s holding that, it’s definite blackmail material at this point!
Q: Are you classically trained in any instruments? What instruments to you enjoy playing an incorporating into your music?
A: I played jazz trumpet throughout my childhood and high school years. It’s a big regret of mine that I’ve let it lapse since then. I want to start playing again but it’s frustrating because I’ve lost a lot of the muscle strength/memory that your mouth needs to blow a horn. Some day though! I’ve still got the trumpet and a guitar kicking around. I love using real instruments in my music, even if its just a sample of one… hah!
Q: Lately you have been doing Free Will Wednesdays. How in the hell do you produce such quality tracks at such a rapid pace?
A: Having a deadline is a great motivator! If there’s no deadline or endpoint, I could sit and tweak a song for months upon months. But when I know something has to be out within a week, it’s actually super helpful to my workflow. It helps me streamline the process to get out the exact idea I want without experimenting or rambling on too much. I’d recommend it as an exercise for any producer, even if you don’t end up sharing what you make publicly. The more you do it, the faster you get!
Q: Flosstradamus, Dillon Francis and Flinch, some of the biggest names in the game, all did remixes of your track “Woman Like Me”. How did this come together? What was that like having heroes like Floss remixing your track?
A: I reached out to those guys and asked them to be involved, and I got lucky with the timing of the release. We’re all friends and we’re always sending music back and forth, they were the first names on my list when it came time to get remixes for that tune. The scene in general was in a different place when that record came out too – all those guys have blown up since then and I’m really proud and happy to see them out there killing the game!
Q: Lately you have started making some really original trap tunes… What do you think made this genre blow up so heavily in even just the last 6 months. Do you think the genre has lasting power?
A: I think a lot of dance music people are drawn to this new “trap” sound because it’s based in rap, and we all love rap… sometimes a lot more than we love dance music. It straddles the line in a new way that’s really interesting and fun. It won’t be around forever in its current form, but the best people making it will evolve the sound into something new and even more exciting – that’s the way these things go. I’m always just excited to hear (and to try to make) what’s next!
Q: You make music in a variety of styles, and even when it is categorized it’s sometimes hard to specifically categorize your songs. Is this a consious descision or are you just trying to do whatever feels natural? Comments?
A: There’s no gameplan over here, just me making music I like to make. Really glad and feeling lucky that people are finally starting to latch onto it!
Q: Any big releases and/or tours coming up you can tell us about?
A: I’ve got a song with Brillz on his new TWONK ep dropping March 26 on Slow Roast Records. I also contributed some production to a tune on the new Major Lazer record due out in April. I’m working on my next original release as we speak, and although Free Willy Wednesdays is on hiatus right now, it’ll be back soon to feed the streets until my next official release.
Q: Whats songs or artists have you had on repeat this week?
A: Rustie – Slasherr, Geto Boys – G-Code, Nine Inch Nails
Q: Fuck – Merry – Kill: ex Models With TV Shows Edition: Heidi Klum – Tyra Banks – Brooke Burke
I’d like to give my answer in the form of a picture:
We took the time to combine all of his “FREE Willy Wednesday” releases into one .zip for your enjoyment. These 14 tracks were released mostly on a weekly basis through the last year and he has released them all for free for our enjoyment. These tracks are LP worthy so don’t miss out. DOWNLOAD HERE.