Experimentation and expression are what drive creativity. For producer, multi-instrumentalist, DJ and vocalist Greg Wanders, his artistry is a holistic reflection of who he is becoming and where he has been. Be it making a new sound, designing album covers or playing a mix, Greg places his heart at the crux of his creation. ‘Wildfire’ is the dreamy first single from this new project. To celebrate its release, we had a revealing chat with Greg Wanders about music, mentalities and memes…
So Greg, where do you wander?
“Oh you know, loads of places. Preferably the unknown. I’ll usually try to venture out to find new experiences when I can. Life is always more interesting outside the comfort zone.”
What does the release of Wildfire mean to you?
“Liberation. For a while I knew I needed some sort of creative release regarding the topic but could never really get what was going in my head into words on paper – well actually it was on my iPhone notes [laughs].
So is there quite a personal theme?
“Yes there is. The theme is based around a challenge I’ve been facing whilst growing up and recently becoming very aware of the world around me and the increasing need for change that I could be a part of, despite the situations/feelings caused by everyday life.”
“I feel like I’m closer than I ever have been to… showing a clear representation of myself”
How does your new direction differ from your ‘gregorious’ releases?
“I’d probably say it’s in the expression. With gregorious, I went through so many stages of having this new direction that would start with exploration and discovery but somewhere along the way I’d have this ‘this doesn’t feel like me’ feeling which held me back from releasing as much as I wanted to. Now with Greg Wanders, I feel like I’m closer than I ever have been to finding my sound and showing a clear representation of myself through the music I create. I mean it’s still very early days, but it definitely feels right.”
What makes your sound “colourful expression”?
“I suppose it’s just a reflection of how I view the world, translated into the way I describe feelings/experiences in the writing process. A big part of it was also realising that there are so many ways to say one thing, so I’ll usually see how far I can go with that without taking the truth out of what I’m telling.”
The first Ramen event looked sweet. What’s the story behind that?
“Yeah Ramen was really something. So it was started up by two dudes on my course Jav and Chris, big shout out to those guys for making an amazing vision become reality! And so yeah they got me and a bunch of other really cool guys involved. The theme was based around ramen, (obviously), so basically memes which was pretty cool. All the decoration and visuals really made the theme come to life on the night so shout out to all the guys that helped with that! It was such a good turnout, exceeded all expectation. And was so great having the freedom to play music I love and receive such a warm response from the people there.”
Will your DJ sets ever incorporate your own music?
“Yeah that’s something I definitely hope to do. I actually played a few of my tracks at Ramen! Some were already released under gregorious and some were just old tracks that would never see the light of day but were quite clubby. But yeah it would really depend on the nature of my future releases and if they’d fit in with the context of my sets. As well as ‘Wildfire’, the material I’m currently working on is more vocal led and chilled out so I’d see it probably suiting a live show better. Not to rule them out from being in a set though, could always use them as a kinda warm up/warm down.”
What are the three most important influences (not necessarily musical) on the creation of ‘Wildfire’?
“1: Other artists like SG Lewis and Two Another that seamlessly fuse genres and receive a good response was a big encouragement as it was something I never had the confidence to see through. 2: The situation that the theme is based on, which we talked about earlier. 3: Honesty. It isn’t always the easiest thing considering how wild life can get but keeping honesty in song writing is definitely empowering to me.”
What’s next for Greg Wanders?
“Well I’ve currently got a fair few tracks in the works so I’m hoping to make a couple more releases this summer. Not gonna speak too soon but the prospect of an EP is something that is slowly coming into focus too. But yeah nothing is set in stone yet!”
“Have fun. If it ever feels too serious something isn’t right.”
Any final advice for fellow creatives?
“1: Never stop creating. 2: Experiment. Learn the rules and break them. Make something you’ve never seen/heard before. As the wise Frank Zappa said: ‘Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.’ 3: Uplift other creatives. 4: And finally, have fun. If it ever feels too serious something isn’t right.”
Spotify: Greg Wanders
Interviewed by: James Wijesinghe
Images: Greg Ogun