Bristol is renowned to be a generator of exciting fresh talent in all aspects of art. The fact that the bearded booty-cuddling machine, Will Clarke, is from this part of the world is no surprise to anyone.
Two years after Will’s ‘Big Booty’ was being played in every club around the globe from the likes of Jamie Jones, Seth Troller, Eats Everything and MK (just to name a few), Will has rocketed to great heights in the house and techno scene. Will has become a family member in the DIRTYBIRD flock, and has released a plethora of chart topping records such as ‘The Goog’, ‘Can You Funk’, also collaborations with Justin Martin with their track ‘Back To The Jungle’ and a collaboration with Shiba San, ‘Give It To Me’. Staying on the DIRTYBIRD theme, Will has just released his Booty Percolatin’ EP (which if you haven’t heard yet, you are missing out). Alongside Will’s original releases, he has also churned out remixes for Riva Starr, Lee Foss’s label Emerald City, Hot Natured, Azari & III just to name a few.
In 2015 Will took it upon himself to start his radio show ‘The Barber Shop’ which has now had guests such as Groove Armada, Kolsch, MK, Yousef, wAFF and the list goes on. With over half a million monthly listeners across multiple platforms, Will’s Barber Shop is causing a little bit of a fuss.
Will Clarke’s live DJ sets are full of his unreleased music, edits and reworks. The fact that he played over 100 shows worldwide in his first year touring, proves that he is a force to be reckoned with. So if you are into Booty’s Percolatin, beards or cuddles then make sure to check out Will Clarke.
Credits to: Resident Advisor
Will Clarke is an electronic music producer based out of Bristol, England.His sound is categorized under the House music variety.  Will is known for his signature beard and facial hair.
Early Life and Career Beginnings
Will was born and raised in Bristol to a family that loved music. His mother was a singer and his father had a distinct taste in punk rock. Will’s earliest memory of house music when his brother gave him a CD of Dance Mania 95 when he was 5 or 6-years-old. When he was 13, he played his first set at a club in Bristol, which is considered the Bass capital of the UK, and when he was 16 was invited to play in Ibiza a few years later. At 18, he decided to pursue music full-time and moved to Ibiza to work and spin in the scene for several years.
Growing Prominence and Dirtybird
“The more people that listen to my music, the bigger and stronger my beard gets… everyone’s a winner, baby.” Dirtybird-affiliated house producer Will Clarke introduces himself.
WHO ARE YOU?
A 25 year old non-drinking, non-drug-taking, bearded DJ and producer based in Bristol (well, the outskirts, but I always say Bristol as I can’t really describe where I live – it’s in the middle of nowhere…).
WHAT DO YOU SOUND LIKE?
In between ghetto house and house with a touch more bass.
WHY SHOULD WE LISTEN TO YOU?
I don’t like telling people they ‘should’ do anything, however if you like a little mid-week boogie or if you’re reading this before you go out on the weekend then give my tracks a listen and it may put you in the mood. Plus I have worked out that the more people that listen to my music, the bigger and stronger my beard gets… everyone’s a winner, baby.
WHAT ELSE HAVE YOU GOT COMING OUT IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
I’ve had a couple of releases on Dirtybird called Badness, The Boogie Woogie, Jackintosh, and 808 Frenzy. I’ve done a remix of Azari & III‘s ‘Reckless’ on Turbo Recordings. In the future I have a release coming out on Defected in September.
WHAT SONG SUMS YOU UP? WHY?
Detroit Grand Pubahs – ‘Sandwiches’. It’s fun and weird, plus I love a good sandwich.
Credits to: Attack Magazine
DJ Awards Feature Interview – Will Clarke – The Bristol scene has always been a solid place to be bought up in, although I was never that into Drum n Bass at a young age there was always amazing parties going on somewhere
As part of our support for the DJ Awards, we sat down recently with a number of the Newcomer nominees to discuss their careers, the nomination and more. Next up is Bristol born house artist Will Clarke.
Will first blew up on the scene in early 2014 when his Big Booty EP was released on Worthy ’s Anabatic label, later picking up support from Jamie Jones and MK during the festival season that year. Like many artists, Will Clarke’s sonic palette comes his experiences and influences from home and afar. The roots of his sound stem from both his hometown of Bristol and his seasonal home in Ibiza, which has forged Will’s style; a style that fuses the best of Bristol’s bass elements with the upfront house music sensibilities of the white isle.
UK Editor Simon Huxtable sat down recently to chat to Will about his nomination, Life on the road and more.
Hi Will, great to meet you. Thanks for finding the time to chat with us from Decoded Magazine.
Hi guys, thanks for having me.
Congrats on the nomination for Best Newcomer at this year’s DJ Awards. Aside from industry validation, what does this nomination mean to you?
So yeah the nomination, it’s crazy really, it’s not something I would’ve thought I would be nominated for. However for me, it’s nice to be recognised for what I’ve been doing over the past 12 years of hard work and finally making my hobby into a career.
Like me, you’re a West Country lad. How do you think the diverse musical heritage of your hometown has shaped your tastes?
As I’m sure you agree the Bristol scene has always been a solid place to be bought up in, although I was never that into Drum n Bass at a young age there was always amazing parties going on somewhere. I used to go to hip hop parties, techno parties, the occasional psytrance event and then would get roped into going to drum n bass nights too. So I guess my music has taken influences from the early days of when I would be in Bristol. That’s also the thing I like about artists from the city, nobody is afraid to be an actual artist and stand for what they believe in. It’s an amazing community to be part of.
Let’s head back a few years to when Big Booty dropped. Can you tell us a little about the back story behind getting signed the Anabatic?
It kind of started with a bit of pot luck really, I was really into the label and some of the artists signed to Anabatic were getting bigger names for themselves. So my manager sent a couple of tracks over to Worthy. Honestly, I didn’t think he would get back to us, although a week later we received an email saying he wanted to sign ‘Drop it’ but wasn’t too keen on the others and needed a B-side.
This is where Big Booty came into play, I had it sitting in my folder of unsigned tracks, I loved it but I didn’t think anyone else would so I didn’t send it out. On an off chance we sent that over and Worthy said it was perfect for a B-side. It’s crazy to think about as I wrote that track in about an hour.
That EP really put you on the map with support from Jamie Jones and MK to name but two. How did you feel at the time?
Fucking awesome. Even though I’d been producing for years before that it was my first track that got real support from all the artists I aspired to be. Words can’t describe that shit.
Of course following that, Claude Vonstroke contacted you and you began your adventure with Dirtybird. How has the stability of having a world renowned label behind you affected your creativity and output? Do you feel a pressure to produce a certain way?
After “Big Booty” came out it was actually a super hard time for me if I’m honest, I didn’t know what direction to go down I was trying to copy other sounds and be like other people rather than myself. I actually took a break from music for about a year and was going to open a club.
Thank god the club fell through and I got the music bug back, I just went back into the studio with a fresh head on me and I started to make music that I enjoyed. That’s when my tracks started to get signed to Dirtybird. It was mad because I signed my first track then Claude signed another 5 tracks off me that year. I think then it wasn’t pressure of actually signing tracks but it was the pressure from me of wanting to write better tracks each time so every release I did was better than the last.
We understand you have a few collaborations with some Dirtybird label mates out soon…
Yeah, well I’ve had ‘Back to The Jungle’ which is a collab with Justin Martin which actually came out on his album in April. Myself and Shiba San have just released a track called ‘Give It To Me’, that’s on the Secret Sauce EP on Dirtybird. Other collabs have been done but we are still touching up some bits before we announce them.
What else is forthcoming this year?
Well, I’ve just had a remix released on Lee Foss’s Repopulate Mars, I have another remix coming out on Cajual and an EP on Dirtybird in September time. Then off for another tour of America in October along with gigs in Europe throughout the summer.
We all love a good tour story. Can you recall any funny times on your recent Dirtybird Australia/Americas tour?
This is always the hardest question I swear…. Yes, there are always funny stories, I was playing at the Dirtybird Campout and I was playing my track ‘Spandex’ (silly track talking about superheroes) then all of a sudden two pink Power Rangers come up behind me and start dancing. But the thing is I didn’t realise they were there and everyone was trying to grab my attention and I was too focused on what track to play next. Anyway, they eventually got my attention and it was fucking hilarious two guys about 6ft tall dressed in pink Power Ranger suits. Genius!
Haha and you’ve toured again this year already. How was ‘Will & Bills Excellent Adventure’?
It was so much fun I actually based myself in LA at the time as well, so I fully got into the American lifestyle. But the tour was crazy I think we did 30 shows in 3 months touring 3/4 times a week, we got to play in so many cities.
Touring life is hard. I was speaking recently to David August who found the late nights really didn’t agree with him. He said by the end of the tour he felt very demotivated about everything because he was constantly tired. How do you deal with the pressures on the road?
Yes, I totally agree in some ways, however, I like to keep healthy so I don’t drink or take drugs, even though I love a good burger I tend to eat well, for nearly every show I go to the gym beforehand or do some sort of exercise. At the end of the day, I look at it as there is going to be some downsides to having the best job in the world. I can live with being tired, it’s a small price to pay.
Brexit has been on everyone’s mind these last few weeks. Social media draws out the political commentator in all of us, but is it the right arena for the discussion to take place? Does it fuel the fire of hate? What are the alternatives?
Personally, I feel we should’ve stayed in however I do feel now that the country has decided to leave I think everyone should pipe down and just get on with it. Media is the fuel to every conflict in the world, 95% of politicians talk shit, I just wish people would actually realise this and ignore it. The day we ignore the media and get on with our lives is the day that the world will be a happier place.
Will, let’s finish off things there. We wish you the best of luck for the future and with the DJ Awards nomination. Is there anything is closing you’d like to add?
Thank you so much, guys. I just want to say a huge thanks to everyone that has followed me along the way. Also, party hard, keep safe and don’t forget to cuddle… It solves all your problems!
Credits to: Simon Huxtable Decoded Magazine
Will Clarke at 1Up [The Barbershop x Great Depressurization]
Special guests Creedence, Zasz, Obi Wan Solo & 4 Bang
10pm | 21+
Discounted room rates, mulitpasses and tickets at www.GreatDepressurization.com
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