Theatrix Interview (June 2021)

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Q: Introduce yourself and tell us a bit of the history behind you, Theatrix:

A: My name is Wil and I go by Theatrix which is a play on my background in the theater and entertainment. Prior to becoming involved in drum and bass, I was an actor and a theatrical sound designer/FOH operator in the regional theater space on the West Coast as well as a short-lived stint as a competitive ballroom dancer. I’m classically trained at the Pacific Conservatory of The Performing Arts and have performed with The Kingsmen Shakespeare Company, Playhouse Merced, and PCPA Theaterfest to name a few. Shortly after arriving in Los Angeles after my time in the theater, I got involved with drum and bass. In addition to producing and DJing, I have also been involved behind the scenes as a promoter, booking agent, and also as the former label manager for Gridlok’s Project 51 Recordings. I don’t audition anymore but I do a bit of stand-up to keep my wits sharp and to get that sweet stage crack.

Q: What was your first experience with Drum and Bass like? How did you get into producing and how would you describe the type of musical content you like to create today?:

A: I’m pretty sure the first time I heard drum and bass was in a modern dance class. At first, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing but then I just let it take a hold of me and I’ve been in love ever since. The track that broke my junglist cherry was Shy FX’s Original Nuttah.

As for the musical content I create today, I generally make breakbeats at around 174 bpm. I make synths go brrr and occasionally use real instruments. I’m also a sucker for beautiful voices and interesting lyrics so I like to put those on my tunes as well. Sometimes I like to make that hippity-hop and sell beats to rappers and sync houses.

Q: You have a label, Divinations Recordings. Can you tell us about it. How would you describe your label’s releases and selection?:

A: My wife and I started Divination to bring up newer artists and to put out tunes we like. The label is themed in the occult and mystical as we believe that art and music are inherently magical. We are fairly open to different styles of drum and bass but we look for tunes that are musically complex and have good progression throughout.

Q: What is your biggest break / thing you are most thankful for to date in your music career?:

A: I’m really thankful for so much so it’s really hard to pinpoint what I’m most thankful for. This game is hard and anything that allows me to continue is truly a blessing. If I had to choose one specific instance, I’d say releasing Trojan on Viper through the Bassrush collab series really opened a lot of doors for me as a producer.

Q: Tell us about your (Theatrix) upcoming or recent release(s)!:

A: I just put out The Technomancy EP which is essentially a 5 track mini concept album about the marriage of technology and spirituality and their role in the cyberpunk dystopia we live in today. The release features 3 of my favorite vocalists in the game: MC Dino, Gracie Van Brunt, and MC JTec – all of which absolutely crushed their parts! I did a bit of experimenting on this one with each tune being vastly different from the rest. This EP draws heavy influence from Nine Inch Nails, Prodigy, and Phil Collins in addition to DNB and dance music influences. This one is out now on Divination Recordings and the official music video for the title track is up on MA Music’s YouTube.

Q: What is one dnb track that never gets old for you no matter how many times you hear it?:

A: Serial Killaz & Top Cat – Ruffest Gun Ark (Chase & Status Remix)

Q: Who are some of your favorite Drum & Bass artists & labels?:

A: Really been feeling the stuff coming out on YANA, Play Me, Viper, and Korsakov lately. As for artists, right now I’d say my tops are Toronto is Broken, Joe Ford, and really been digging Murdock’s stuff.

Q: Name an artist you would like to work with in the future. Why them?:

A: Wishful thinking but H.E.R. or Megan Thee Stallion would be so dope to get on a track. I really dig their vibes and I think both their voices would go well with a funky dnb arrangement. Also would love to work with Trent Reznor at some point on either an industrial or a jazzy bit as I would love to just be able to pick his brain. I know all three of these may be out of reach but that’s my wish list.

Q: Could you name up to 3 different USDNB artists that have caught your attention/deserve spotlight?

A: Justin Hawkes (formerly known as Flite)
SOFi MARi
AIRGLO

Q: Let’s say you’re playing a b2b dnb set with a homie! Who are you calling?:

A: I really don’t like b2b sets as I’m a bit of a control freak but if I had to pick, I’d say Spekski or my boy Konkrete.

Q: If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be? :

A: Streaming royalty rates

Q: Where do you see / hope to see the sound of Drum and Bass evolving to in the next few years?:

A: I’m seeing more and more experimentation going on amongst producers and I really hope that trend continues. It’s great to see people get out of their comfort zones and introducing different influences into their music. It’s really great to see neuro-centric artists dropping liquid bits from time to time.

Q: What’s next for Divination Recordings? Can you show out some of your artists?:

A: With some of our main guys moving up and starting to see releases on bigger labels, we’re opening up our demo submissions again to search for the next set of artists to develop.  As for our next release, we’re probably going to release a series of VIPs and remixes of some of our back catalog along with the usual releases of original mixes and collabs. Can’t give out specifics as of yet but trust they will be dope.

 

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About Author

With at first being a Drum & Bass connoisseur, I inevitably became an artist; establishing my own selections and style of heavy, dark, & chaotic neuro. Taking initiative, I started the #TeamNeuro project; rallying dnb artists from state-side to across the globe in support of the genre as whole -Humbly breaking the barriers/limits as an American.