New York City’s Sam Walker & Gavin Royce have been producing their emotive, subdued and groove-heavy house since 2011
Walker & Royce started when Sam and Gavin, having known each other in and out of the dance scene for years, finally began working together in 2011. Crosstown Rebels boss Damian Lazarus noticed one of their very first releases. The result was the Crosstown Rebels EP “You’re Not Welcome” and with that, Walker & Royce was launched into the dance music spotlight.
Around the same time, Walker & Royce released a track on OFF Recordings that went on to become a house anthem: “Connected”. The song became a mainstay in Solomun’s performances and with that set the stage for a diverse range of sounds from the pair. Their EP on Moda Black entitled “Sister” was picked by Pete Tong as his Essential New Tune, and their chart toping remix of Baunz’ “Out the Window” on Pets Recordings garnered support from many of the biggest artists in electronic music. Most recently the duo has joined the ranks on Claude Vonstroke’s seminal Dirtybird Records with the release of the “Boy” EP and “Hit Dem Draws” and Green Velvet’s legendary Relief Records with their chart toping release “Peep This Cat”, and “3 4 Shake It” with fellow Dirtybird artist Will Clarke.
Having solidified their unique sound, you will hear Walker & Royce’s music in many of the top DJ’s from around the world! From Sasha to Adam Beyer, Maceo Plex to Gorgon City and Eats Everything to Locodice, they continue to break down the genre barriers and turn heads….
Credits to: Resident Advisor
GET TO KNOW WALKER & ROYCE, THE DUO MAKING THUMPING HOUSE MUSIC FOR DIRTYBIRD
It took Sam Walker and Gavin Royce until they got into the DJ booth to notice what was happening in the crowd at last year’s Dirtybird Campout. As they peered out, “In Tha… Butt” signs were being held aloft in front of them – the phrase coming from their 2016 release ‘I.T.B’ on Dirtybird.
“It was fandom to a level we’d never thought about before,” says Gavin. After “years of disappointment”, the New York duo finally felt things were starting to work for them.
Walker and Royce, both 38, first met back in 2005 as interns at the music distribution company Studio Distribution in New York. The two became friends, but it was years later that their creative relationship began: Gavin called Sam to help him out with a track he’d been working on. It started the pair on a path that saw them continue to spend time together, both in the studio and in the booth.
Their first release – a remix of Saarid’s ‘Future Lately’ on Nurvous Records where Gavin also worked as an A&R – counted Danny Daze and Damien Lazarus among its admirers. “It was like being a struggling fashion designer,” explains Sam, “and having some celebrity suddenly wearing your clothes.” It was this moment, back in 2011, that properly kick-started the New Yorkers’ career. Releases on Moda Black, Crosstown Rebels and Dirtybird have followed, each growing closer to the deep, hard-hitting, groove-riddled house that feels fully realised on their forthcoming debut album.
Dropping on Dirtybird, ‘Self Help’ sees the duo push in directions that are groovier, deeper, and even weirder than they’ve traversed before. Tracks like ‘Best Track Ever’ wriggle with electro energy, hip hop vibes stack up on ‘Role Models’, while ‘Reaching’ has eerie r’n’b vocals spinning throughout.
“We never try to repeat ourselves with any kind of sound,” says Gavin. “We wanted it to work for people, but also make a strange, ‘out there’ album.”
Walker & Royce have picked up plenty of praise from their peers over the years, including Pete Tong, Maceo Plex and Adam Beyer, to name a few, but only recently has the fandom finally found its way to their gigs.
“It’s only now that people aren’t mistaking me for Eats Everything!” laughs Gavin.
Credits to: Mixmag
Walker & Royce: 5 things we’ve learned about music production
“Ideally, the track feels like it writes itself,” say the acclaimed house duo
Groove-laden house hounds Walker & Royce – Samuel Walker and Gavin Royce – return today with Bodies Do The Talking, a two-track release on Dirtybird that represents the duo’s first time back on the label since the release of Self Help, their 2017 debut album.
Their story actually started long before, though: they began life on the New York underground scene and were signed by Damian Lazarus to Crosstown Rebels in 2011.
As they embark on a busy summer of festival appearances, we asked Walker & Royce to distil their accumulated music-making knowledge into five pieces of production advice.
1. Finish your tracks quickly
“The longer you work on a track, the more you lose perspective on it. You need to try to finish arranging a track before that happens.
“When you lose perspective, you lose the ability to know when it’s time for things to change. Your brain will tune-out certain elements so that you think more needs to be added, and even things that are great will start to seem boring. It usually happens after only a few days.”
2. Come up with more sets of ideas than you will use in the final track
“There’s nothing that kills a track faster for us than starting to arrange it and saying ‘OK, now what?’. We want to feel like we have more than all of the parts of the track to go to when we start arranging. We want it to be obvious what to do next, to make the track more spontaneous.
“Ideally, the track feels like it writes itself. So we usually come up with way more than will end up in the track so we never have to start adding more parts when arranging.”
3. Producing is more about working for a long time on something and less about being in the right moment
“We’ve written in a good mood, a bad mood, in the afternoon, at night. It’s much more about taking the time to experiment than to trying to plan out when you’re in the right mental zone. You scare up good ideas by working, and the longer you do it the better the ideas get (to a point- see tip 1).”
4. Mix as you go
“In any kind of dance music, the music is only as good as the mix. Make sure your studio’s acoustics are controlled enough to be making the right decisions throughout the entire process. You are trying to save time – while you can write on a crappy system and then fix it later, it’s better to get it right from the beginning. Also, always assume that you are responsible for the finished mastered product.”
5. Don’t get caught up in worrying about bitrate, sample rate, analogue/digital, etc
“It’s important to know your DAW and what effect, if any, it’s having on the elements of the track (for example, warping in Ableton has blatant effects which shouldn’t be ignored). But, outside of that, don’t get too bogged down worrying about technicals.
“Keep your DAW at 44,100Hz. It’s way easier on your CPU, which will allow you more creative freedom. 99.9999% of the time no one is going to hear the difference if you produce your track at a higher resolution, and it may end up making things worse if you forget to up-convert your samples and the DAW has to do it (badly) on the fly.
“Likewise, stop worrying about using analogue gear. So many great tracks are written with plugins and samples, or recorded in bad conditions. Analogue gear is great, but also has its limitations. It’s much more about knowing which tool to use for which job.”
Walker & Royce performs at 1up on September 3rd, 2019 in Reno, NV as part of The Great Depressurization.
Special guests TBD
10pm | 21+
Discounted room rates, mulitpasses and tickets at www.GreatDepressurization.com