Meet the artists behind Dirtybird Campout: Walker & Royce
Dirtybird Campout, Southern California’s wildest adult summer camp, is preparing for its sophomore installment this weekend, October 7-9. As has been established in its inaugural edition last year, the sold-out affair will be packed with childhood nostalgia, scrumptious BBQ, and earth-shaking beats. Adding to the label’s nest of talent, acts like Tourist, Paranoid London, and Marc Houle will be joining the house haven’s music lineup with more special guests still to be announced. Ahead of this weekend’s bonfire debauchery, we’ve teamed up with Dirtybird for an ongoing interview series spotlighting both the imprint’s own stars and the myriad of world-class artists on the concert’s bill.
We recently caught up with New York City-based duo Sam Walker and Gavin Royce – known musically as Walker & Royce – who have remained loyal to the house scene for the past several years. The burgeoning duo are set to embark on the North American leg of Sonny Fodera’s “Frequently Flying” tour as the supporting act, which sees them booked in nearly every major US city through December. With a new EP for Dirtybird released and another out via Cajual on October 28, Walker & Royce share the story behind their career beginnings, how they got Claude VonStroke’s attention and more.
How long have you been DJing for & how did you get your start?
As W&R we are 4 years in. Both of us have DJ’d locally in NYC for about a decade in varying capacities from residencies in the Lower East Side to guests at larger venues opening for bigger acts. We actually met while helping friends throw some loft parties in Brooklyn around 2004-ish, that may have been the first time we actually DJ’d together.
What was your first label release? Would you still play it?
Our first release was a remix for Publicist on Dither Down Records here in Brooklyn. Our first original track came out on LouLou Records and was called Body Talk. Would we play them, probably not although we are still proud of them. Our vibe back then was more disco and slower BPM’s. It would have to be the right time for us to drop them.
What has been the biggest breakthrough of your career?
We have had a few things that could be considered “breakthrough” however our remix of “Bright Lights” by 12 Stories is our most recent. Thanks to Justin Martin hammering it in every set, its the track that got Claude Vonstroke really interested in us . On top of that the list of other DJ’s that supported it is amazing as well, Pete Tong, Disclosure, Doc Martin, the list goes on. It was also Eats Everything’s favorite club track of 2015. And of course, our Dirtybird EP, Boy, which just came out.
If you could be another artist for a day, who would you pick?
Hall & Oates! Sam would be Daryl Hall because of that sweet hair and Gavin would be John Oates because of that killer mustache.
What are you looking forward to most about Dirtybird campout?
We usually have enough of a festival after one day but what Dirtybird and Claude have created is really special and we will be there the entire time. The vibe is perfect and we look forward to hanging out all weekend with everybody! The games, music and activities are just a bonus compared to the friends we will make.
If you could recommend three artists to catch from the lineup, who would you pick?
We can’t really answer this question, It’s too hard to pick just three artists with a lineup like this. You should see each and every one.
Get in the mood for Dirtybird Campout with Walker & Royce’s “Paddleboat Battle” mix:
Dirtybird Campout takes place October 7-9 at Oak Canyon Park in Silverado, California. Find more information on their website.