Cowlin Presents: Will Clarke
Ibiza, Spandex and Movies
DJ, Producer and impressive beard grower Will Clarke, is a man with a lot of hype around him right now. Having been approached by Claude VonStroke and subsequently signing to innovative American house label “Dirty Bird Records”, Will Clarke recently presented his first EP on the label, “The Boogie Woogie”. Things really started to take off for him though with his previous release “Big Booty”. It was a ‘must play’ record last summer for some pretty big names including Jamie Jones and Seth Troxler.
We caught up with Will to talk about his latest release, his production set up and about his secret hobbie…
Will, welcome! Such an honour to get an interview completed with an artist on the rise within the scene. Lets start with talking about your track ‘Big Booty’, which has had a massive impact on your career so far
Well I was working a night shift at a care home my parents own and all the clients had gone to bed so I thought I’d write a cheeky track. I did it in about 2 hours, it was just a vibe and it seemed to have worked.
Where did this catchy vocal stem come from and why ‘Big Booty’?
I found it at the bottom of a sample pack folder, it was an absolute gem of a find I try not to use a whole sample from a pack but it just fitted so well.
Who was the first Dj that approached you about playing the track?
Well I guess it was Worthy as he signed it and I can’t thank him enough really. Although after Worthy, Jamie Jones was the next guy on it. I remember being tagged in a video of him playing it at DC10 and it was going crazy, such a good feeling that was.
To this date, where has been your biggest gig?
I’ve not long come off a Dirtybird tour of Australia with Kill Frenzy, we did a gig at Revolver in Melbourne and it was fucking nuts. We were supposed to play for an hour each we ended up doing 6 hours, not to mention this was on a Sunday in the daytime.
Although its always a tough question this because I remember when I used to be a resident in Ibiza and I played my first ever sunset, that was a pretty big moment in my career as a DJ. I don’t think biggest necessarily means most amount of people because I think some of my best gigs are in 200 capacity venues.
You’ve recently been approached by Claude VonStroke, and of the back of this signing ‘The Boogie Woogie’ to Dirty Bird Records.
My management was sending tracks to Barclay (Claude VonStroke) for a couple of months and Barclay was really in to ‘Badness’ which was then featured on the Dirtybird 10th Anniversary Album. From then on I just seem to have been accepted in to the Dirtybird family, which is a pretty nice feeling.
This year, do you have any collaborations in the pipeline you can inform us about?
Well I have not long had a release out on Dirtybird collaborating with Genghis Clan the track is called ‘Jackintosh’. Ive also just finished a track with ZDS and we are just giving it the test run in our sets at the moment. The bass line is pretty dope though if I do say myself.
Your music production set up consists of what gadgets?
About a month ago I bought a Moog Sub 37, this seems to be part of my staple diet for writing bass lines and top lines now. I write all my beats on Native Instruments Maschine, however I have the Korg Volca beats that I sample from to get a more hardware drum sounds from. I was in the studio with one of my mates the other day and he brought in a Korg Monotron, even though it’s tiny I fell in love with it so I’m going to have to get myself one of those. I have a Roland MC 303 Groove box, which has some serious old school, sounds in but usually just sample the sounds in to the EXS24 in Logic. Last but not least I have the new Roland VT-3, if I’m honest I haven’t really spent much time on it but I know you can do some crazy things with it.
To anyone who hasn’t yet visited Ibiza, in two words, describe this magical island for me.
What venues have you played in Ibiza this year?
Faux Basement @ Eden that was my only gig this summer as I had Australia tour and just about to start my US tour.
Do you have one place of accommodation in Ibiza or do you stop off in hotels for when you visit?
I generally stay in one place a nice little Spanish villa called Boggamari Cottages on San Jose rd. Lovely little place very quiet and a little bit out the way but not too far that it takes mile to get to anywhere.
With regards to the accommodation in Ibiza it really depends what your budget is, but what you got to realise is that you won’t be getting any shit hot hotels for pennies. Personally if your going out with a few mates I would always look for a villa or apartment you will always get better value and it will always be nicer accommodation.
Your recent track ‘Spandex’. Talk us through how you named this track this?
Myself and Rhea sat down in the studio and both said we want to write a track with ‘Power rangers’ in it so we got thinking and came up with the words ‘Spandex Suit’. Then thought lets go and real off all the super hero characters for the hell of it. Now I’ve said out loud, that down makes us sound pretty fucking crazy doesn’t it… We are sane I promise.
Who inspires you the most when you’re in your studio?
It’s a tough one to say who inspires me as I take inspiration from lots of different places, however producers that I seriously honour and look up to are the likes of; Green Velvet/Cajemere, Tiga and obviously Claude VonStroke.
When you’re chilling at your home in Bristol, what activities do you get up to?
I’m a serious cinema geek I love to go to the cinema and watch a good film. Plus in Bristol there is a really good cinema with a HUGE fucking screen and sound system. Also I’m a bit of a foody, cooking and going out. So often you can catch me cooking for friends and family or hunting the streets of Bristol looking for a badass restaurant.
At what age did you get your first pair of decks? How long did it take you to master the art of mixing numerous records into each other without them ‘clanging’?
I bought my first decks when I was 9. I didn’t really understand the concept of mixing till I was about 13 and had it down to a T by 14. But the mixing part of it is the easy part of DJing I feel. The real part of DJing is being able to perform in front of a crowd and read a crowd. Now that takes years.
Thinking ahead, do you have many plans for the next 2 years?
Yes lots and lots of plans, more releases, more tours, more film watching, more cooking and a bigger beard.