From Didam to Australia – we talk to Dutch producer WRLD
The Australia-bound Dutch producer discusses his Moving Castle home, the importance of cover art and his plans for Australia.
Boasting releases on two of electronic’s biggest label / collectives – Monstercat and Moving Castle - young Dutch producer WRLD has become one of electronic’s most over-looked underdogs. His productions, both high in quality and quantity, bedazzle with shimmering chords of synth and retro, 8-bit vibes, bouncing between all sorts of genres and sounds. For example, his most recent single By Design saw the producer flex his music-writing style on a fresh drum-and-bass sound, which quite a shake-up from his NEST-released Father Dude collaboration Galaxies.
No matter how you look at it, 2016 has been a big year for the Dutch national. “This year has definitely been amazing,” he reflects. “I mean, I still can’t believe I’m going on tour [to Australia] next week, but I’ve waited so long for this moment.” His recent ventures to the Amsterdam Dance Event (a must-see on any electronic fan’s calendar) and to the US have been the cherry-on-top to what’s been a rewarding year, allowing the producer to do things and meet people he could never imagine. "I finally got to meet so many people that I’ve known/been a fan of for a long time but only talked to on the internet,” he says. “It was crazy to see everything that only existed to me digitally suddenly became a reality to me.”
2014 saw WRLD initially break-out, debuting on Monstercat with the woozy, vocal-ridden Orbit, which really set up his relationship with the Canadian electronic label. Since, he’s become a staple in the label’s roster, releasing over 15 tracks amongst releases through Soundcloud collective Moving Castle and OWSLA’s NEST imprint. “The great thing with having a label like Monstercat to release on is that after a while, my fans recognize my kind of ‘sound’ despite the different genres I might produce in,” he answers, when asked about his thoughts about working with labels and collectives like those above. “I can produce in sounds and not genres, which gives me so much more freedom, and people will recognise that it’s WRLD. I don’t have a sound I want to hold on to as much, and so my releases have been very experimental.”
Whilst the producer has primarily released through Monstercat, this year saw the producer return to his Moving Castle roots for a remix of Kid Froopy’s break-out BB (Four Missed Texts). Through shining synth work and deep punches of bass, WRLD stuck a nostalgia chord for many – unearthing an addictive, retro-styled sound that would not be out of place on an old, 80s movie soundtrack. “It was awesome,” he says on returning to his Moving Castle home. “People seemed very excited and it was fun to have this ‘coming home’ kind of story almost.” It, to the relief of many, also re-opens up opportunities with the collective to release again in the future – especially with the label starting to branch out of their comfort zone to release work from Virtual Riot amongst their standard collective members in Manila Killa, Dugong Jr. and Robokid.
One thing that both Moving Castle and WRLD boast is strong visual accompaniment – something I’ve noticed become more and more prominent as electronic music’s life-span progresses. In 2016, we’ve seen RÜFÜS team up with graphic designer Jack Vanzet for an iconic piece of album artwork. The visual department for Jimmy Edgar’s ULTRAMAJIC platform has been flat-out designing visuals for Machinedrum’s acclaimed Human Energy record, whilst Spanish artist Ricardo Cavolo hit the mark with his depiction of Kaytranada – which went on to become the artwork for his award-winning debut 99.9%. For WRLD, the man behind the magic is Graeme Borland, a game developer and artist whose high-definition, virtual world artwork struck a chord with the producer. “Personally I can enjoy visual art as much as I enjoy music. The right cover art really gives a song an extra dimension - it really helps shape a feeling and space around the song that you wouldn’t have with just music,” he explains. “I’m a big fan of consistency, so I think the fact that all my artworks fit together makes it easier to understand the project as a whole.”
Currently piecing together his live show for his forthcoming Australian debut (dates at the bottom of this article), 2016 is set to end on a high note."Yeah, I’m super excited!” he says, talking about his upcoming trip to Australia, where he’ll perform in both dimly-lit clubs and picturesque, beach festival settings. "The photo’s I’ve seen looked insane. I’m very excited about escaping the Netherlands right before the winter hits and getting to travel sunny Australia instead,” he laughs. “Also, really hope I get the chance to hold a koala bear, SO CUTE!”
Between expansive releases through multiple imprints, shows around the world and in some of electronic’s greatest venues, and a never-ending stream of support, 2016 has truly been WRLD’s biggest year yet. That being said, the young Dutchman is eyeing off an even bigger 2017. “Not much else planned for the remaining bit of 2016 but got a lot of exciting stuff coming up early 2017.” he exclaims. “I’m also hoping to be able to continuing touring quite soon and visit North America and Asia next. I also have a few collaborations in mind that I want to do with both vocalists and producers.”