Jump into Your 'Superdream:' Big Wild Talks Debut Album & Finding His Voice [Q&A]
Producer, composer and first-time singer Big Wild just released his debut album, Superdream, thereby establishing his individuality as a standout artist.
Superdream is an incredible product of self-discovery, seeing Big Wild weave disco and funk elements to create a rich and unique soundscape inspired by personal experiences. The album exudes a vibrant and celebratory energy, capturing listeners in a psychedelic fusion of distinctive instrumentation and technique. While the album includes incredible collaborations with Rationale and iDA HAWK, the voice most heard is Big Wild himself, guiding listeners through his atmospheric production. First-time singer Big Wild uses his voice as a way to fully express himself and break creative barriers. Having sold out Red Rocks Amphitheater and performed festivals like Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, EDC, and CRSSD, this album has the ability to not only engage the masses, but also comfort the solo wanderer.
We caught up with Big Wild in the anticipatory days prior to the album release and touched on his excitement to start his epic 17-date headline tour across the US. Be sure to catch any of his upcoming shows here.
OTW: How did you get into producing? Is there a moment you can pinpoint that hooked you?
Jackson: I've been producing since middle school. I first got into hip-hop and producers like Dr. Dre, The Neptunes and Timbaland, really anybody who felt like they had a unique sound. I actually played trumpet early on and never really loved it. It wasn't until I was making beats and had the ability to create an entire song and have endless creative freedom that I really got hooked on music.
OTW: You've been releasing music for 5-6 years? After all your hard work, your debut album Superdream, just came out. How does that feel?
Jackson: It feels really good. I just wanted to get it out, I want people to hear the whole body of work and understand where I'm going musically. I really can't wait to tour this new music and take the show to the next level.
OTW: "Maker" is a personal favorite, is there a story or inspiration behind that song?
Jackson: I'm glad you like it! I have always really liked disco and funk music. For the production, I wanted to create something with psychedelic elements, almost a fusion. The lyrics actually touched upon parts of my life, right before I moved to California, when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and had to undergo some surgery. I was really fortunate in the grand scheme of things but, at the time, it put my own mortality and faith into perspective. The song is about realizing you're not on this Earth forever, so really love and enjoy the life you have now. It's a celebration of life and puts a positive spin on a relatively dark period in my life. I wanted to write it in a way that is relatable and open for people to interpret. I think the theme can work its way into people's lives in many different ways.
OTW: It's such a subtle, beautiful message that really teaches listeners a bit more about you.
Jackson: Yeah, the same goes for the whole album. Each song is routed in something that I have personally experienced. When I was having trouble coming up with ideas, my girlfriend suggested I write about what I've experienced. It helped me build a full album of music that I feel connected to, not just an abstract thing I can't understand. I wanted the music rooted in what I really know.
OTW: Are there any songs in particular you are most excited about?
Jackson: I'm really excited about the two collaborations, the one with iDA HAWK and the one with Rationale. I think their features are both really awesome. I'm also excited for "No Words" and "Purple Sand (My Home)" because I ended up using my vocals in a different way than how the singles are sounding.
OTW: When did you start to use your own vocals? Is it an intimidating transition to include them?
Jackson: It's definitely intimidating. Prior to this album, I didn't have any experience singing. It was really a gamble to go head first into it but, at the same time, I kept coming up against a creative wall. With just instrumentation, I wasn't able to fully express myself. I was running out of ways to create music I was really inspired by. I needed something new. So, I thought maybe singing was a way to break through that creative barrier. I also wanted to make a statement with this album, so I thought what better way than to include my voice.
OTW: A close friend claims he is one of your very first fans - what would you say to those out there who have been following you since the beginning?
Jackson: Anyone who has been following me since the beginning...I owe a lot to them. It's probably not this way for everyone, but for me to know that I am really connecting with people goes such a long way. Early supporters of small artists probably don't know how helpful they are; they give you the drive and determination when it's hard to put yourself out there. So, I just want to give them a huge thank you.
OTW: Favorite Show?
Jackson: 2018 Red Rocks co-headline show with Louis The Child
OTW: Favorite collaborator?
Jackson: iDA HAWK, we have a great musical chemistry. I am really stoked on everything we've made.
OTW: Someone you've always wanted to collaborate with?
Jackson: Kevin Parker from Tame Impala, I love his music.
OTW: Most random instrument or sound featured in your music?
Jackson: Oh that's a good question, I sampled an elephant making a - what do you call that, when they blow air through their trunk and it sounds like a horn - I used it as a lead instrument in "Ascension."
(Neither of us knew what the official name is for an Elephant call, but Jackson, if you're reading this according to Google it's a "trumpet" or a "roar!")
OTW: Biggest musical influences?
Jackson: Tame Impala, The Beatles, Glass Animal, Queen
OTW: Any hobbies or non-music passions?
Jackson: I love food, big passion of mine. I also just love being outdoors, hiking and what not.
OTW: What is the last song you listened to?
Jackson: "Barracuda" by Heart.
OTW: Who are your Ones to Watch?