DA Exclusive: Wiwek announces new OWSLA EP, ‘The Free and Rebellious’
Wiwek has come to carve out his own niche in house music, aptly recognized by its ear-splitting, primal dissonance as “jungle terror.” The budding Dutch producer has created a ruthless blend of big room, hip-hop, tribal and trap elements that has earned him a a bevy of support from some of the industry’s most noteworthy heavyweights. The genre’s ubiquity even caught the attention of Skrillex, attracting Moore’s penchant for pushing the envelope. Now, as Dancing Astronaut is exclusively announcing, Wiwek has secured a freshly inked deal with OWSLA.
Wiwek’s formal introduction on Skrillex’s LA-based imprint will be called The Free and Rebellious, and will be due out on February 26. Ahead of the release, we caught up with Wiwek for some inside details on the new EP.
This is your official introduction on OWSLA. Tell us about the process of getting signed to the label.
“It started very casually, with me messaging Skrillex at the end of 2014 to thank him for his continued support. He asked me if I could send him more stuff and maybe do a single on OWSLA. When I started to talk with the label we kind of came to the conclusion we both wanted more than just a single. They’ve put a lot of faith in me since the first moments we started to talk and organically we grew towards each other and that’s how I ended up signing to the label.”
So tell us a little bit more about The Free and Rebellious. Can you expound on any of the EP’s material or collaborations yet?
“The EP is called ‘The Free and Rebellious’ because I see the selection of tunes as a collective that would ignore and challenge the bad guys who want to brainwash and rule the world, if it had a human form. Its the product of my creative state as a producer right now, this is what I like to make and want to show the world. I collaborated with Skrillex, Yellow Claw, Elliphant, Big Freedia, Sirah, Audiobullys and Lil Debbie on this.”
Has having major label support behind you helped your creative or collaborative process at all?
“‘Stop Me’ was created during my Australia tour and finished in my home studio and the OWSLA studios. The track needed a cool female vocalist so OWSLA got me in contact with Sirah. She was exactly what I needed for this instrumental.’Cavalry’ started with the idea of creating something that makes you feel like you can beat the 20 monsters who are standing across you in the middle of the jungle and blocking the way for you to move forward. A total adrenaline state. It needed the perfect hype vocals and found those thanks to Big Freedia. And “Killa” with Skrillex is one of my most hyped IDs. In early 2015, Skrillex sent me this crazy trap beat concept, asking if I could do a drop lead over it. We got a playable version pretty quickly, Elliphant did the vocals for it and the first version of ‘Killa’ was born.”
“Killa” with Skrillex has been one of the most hyped IDs of the last year, is it included on the EP?
“Yes. Shortly after that I got this super random question from [Skrillex] if I wanted to go to Iceland in two days, because he had a show there. Obviously I jumped on the plane right away. We had never actually met in person so we saw each other for the first time there and he played “Killa” that night. That was a very magical moment for me because I’m a Skrillex fanboy.”
You don’t even know the half of it, man. Now, do you have a favorite track on the EP?
“Very hard to choose a favorite track. They all feel like my babies and all fit in their own way in the overall picture of the whole EP.”
Jungle terror has become one of the most unique takes on house music out there. Are there any other genres or styles that are inspiring you right now that maybe we aren’t onto yet?
“Almost every style of music has elements that inspire me somehow. I’ve been a big fan off Grime music from the UK forever and I’ve been very inspired by that lately. Probably cause it has a lot of energy, and is just a whole different take on hip hop music. To be honest, when it comes to genres I have no idea what I’m doing. I like 128 bpm music but I do that until I think it’s sounds cool and that’s basically how my whole ‘ jungle terror’ vibe started. I think this EP also has some hip-hop vibes and I’m definitely still planning on doing that more. I like to think ‘Free and Rebellious’, that’s what makes it fun in the whole creating process and gets me going in the studio.”
The Free and Rebellious will be available for pre-order on Friday, February 5. With a stacked cast of collaborators and bulk industry support behind him, Wiwek is bound to continue his breakout run into 2016, positioning himself at the leading edge of new artists to watch this year. As Skrillex’s newest protégé and the latest addition to one of the most diverse label rosters in dance music, jungle terror is about to have its moment.
Wiwek & Skrillex – Killa ft. Elliphant
Wiwek & Yellow Claw – Pop It ft. Lil Debbie
Wiwek – Stop Me ft. Sirah
Wiwek – Calvary ft. Big Freedia
Pre-order The Free and Rebellious