TNJ just recently stumbled on the wildly talented Willy Joy of Chicago and all we can say is that we’re glad we got familiar. His production and sets span a huge variety of tempos and styles but there’s a constant frenzied, hands-in-the-air energy at all times. We discovered his monstrous remix of Porter Robinson & Mat Zo’s collaboration Easy and after combing through his past work we had to give you guys The Ketchup Post to make sure you were caught up on his campaign. He was nice enough to take time out of his busy schedule to sit down and talk to TNJ for a little bit about his influences coming up, getting support from names like Diplo & Dillon Francis and his goal when he steps up to the decks.
TNJ: First we wanna take a second to thank you for taking some time to chat. We were absolutely blown away with what we found as we combed through your past work. That Easy remix is absolutely massive; everyone that I’ve shown has been blown away by it. Where did you find yourself starting with it and what was the influence in transforming the track like that?
Willy Joy: Thanks! To be honest, I didn’t spend a ton of time on that track. I heard the original and really loved the sample they used, but the style of the original wasn’t something I could play in my sets. Porter and Mat’s productions are very intricate with a lot of cool little details even when they sound straightforward at first, so I wanted to emulate that mindset while doing my own take on the tune.
Mat Zo & Porter Robinson – Easy (Willy Joy Remix)
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TNJ: What sound did the first electronic tracks you made lean towards?
Willy Joy: I was making shitty hip hop beats in college in the early 2000s. My first actual release was years later, a vinyl-only EP that had some bizarre juke/ghettotech tracks on it. Most of what I’ve released officially is house and club music if you search Beatport or iTunes.
TNJ: You’ve gotten support from some huge players in the game like Diplo, Dillon Francis & BBC Radio 1, how does it feel to have your work shown love from names like that?
Willy Joy: Always nice to be appreciated!
TNJ: Chicago has such a wild array of music and history within music, what has the influence of your city been like on your music?
Willy Joy: Chicago is always a part of my sound. The home of house music, juke music, and a lot of amazing rappers – not to mention all the bands, weird artists, the large Hispanic population and their influence… the list goes on and on. We don’t have to be defined like a “new york sound” or a “west coast sound”, Chicago gets to be more of a chameleon, and I love that about it.
TNJ: How do you characterize your music?
Willy Joy: Heavy, melodic, bass-driven dance music.
TNJ: I’ve listened to a couple of your sets and they’re so varied it makes for an awesome experience but it begs the question. What’s your favorite tempo to rock to?
Willy Joy: Sticking to one tempo is boringgggggg!
Willy Joy – Miami Art Basel Mix for Perrier
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TNJ: What’s your goal when you take to the decks?
Willy Joy: To not be making a weird face when someone takes a picture.
TNJ: Favorite setting to DJ in?
Willy Joy: Any time I get to DJ outside it’s pretty awesome. Outdoor festivals probably the best…
TNJ: What’s the one non-music thing in your life you couldn’t get by without?
Willy Joy: A tie between dessert and wildlife.
TNJ: What track do people not know about that’s been getting a huge reaction live?
Willy Joy: Haha, can’t give away the secret weapons..
TNJ: Any artists that you’ve been working with or observing lately that you wanna give some recognition to?
Willy Joy: I’ve got collaborations coming with Brillz, Flinch, Ooah from the Glitch Mob, and more on the way. For who’s killing it, right now Gent & Jawns are next up as far as I’m concerned..
TNJ: New is always better; what’s up next in the future for Willy Joy?
Willy Joy: Ramming free music down people’s throats til everybody catches up. I do that every week. Official label releases will be coming later in the Spring along with some of those collabs and some remix work too. Keep up at http://www.facebook.com/willyjoy for music and tour dates – come holler at me when I’m in your city!
Written by: @randymcrandell | @thatnewjam