How does an artist combat oversaturation? Well, they grow to become more potent.
Through a deep, dark, glitched-out lens, Denver-born Waylo has accomplished just that. Coming up in a state considered globally as a mecca for bass and electronic music, Waylo has made strides in Colorado; gaining recognition across the spectrum, from internationally-acclaimed underground institutions like Sub.Mission, to one of North America’s top-ranked clubs, Beta Nightclub (prior to its closing earlier this year).
Now residing in Northern Colorado, this DJ/producer has grown a reputation for high energy shows, thumping productions, pushing the scene forward, and denying his artistic vision the commonplace route of decaying into existing molds.
DF: For those that don’t know, who are you?
Waylo: Well my given name is Taz, but obviously I go by the stage name of Waylo. Which has nothing to do with one’s physical proximity to the ground; it was actually one of my dad’s nicknames growing up. I’m a homegrown DJ and producer. I’m mostly self-taught, aside from all the tips and tricks I have learned from my friends and role models along the way. I make beats in Ableton, and my current preferred DJ setup is just about any working mixer and a couple of CDJs.
DF:Tell us about the “Waylo sound.”:
Waylo: While I can be a bit dark and moody and melancholy, I also like to keep things exciting and upbeat. I mostly focus my music-making efforts on dubstep and halftime drum and bass. Lately, I have been pushing my boundaries and have been producing more house music, which is really, really hard, by the way.
Some key phrases I like to use when describing my music: wonky, slinky, crunchy. As my SoundCloud bio reads: “The wonk is real. Eprom is my dad.” In terms of inspiration, I look to artists like The Widdler, Shades, and about 100 others I couldn’t easily name at the moment. I think it’s cool to have influences and “sound like” someone, but at the end of the day I just hop into my DAW and start making whatever sounds good. Some days I really channel my inner Yoni Oron, and other days I sound exactly like no one else, which is exactly where I want to be with my music. In this day and age, a new, truly innovative thought is rare, and especially with music sometimes. We all use the same sounds, the same drums, the same song structures.
DF:You have a release upcoming on Gradient Perspective, “The Sauce EP.” Tell us about this record, the sounds, and how you developed a relationship with the label?
Waylo: Ahh yes, very excited. This EP is meant to be a quick hit of that “wonky” sound I love so much. It’s two tracks, Soy Sauce and Teriyaki Sauce. I find it important to note that most of my song names come from literally nowhere, just random things that enter my brain when that screen pops up asking you to type out a new filename for this thing you just made. Soy Sauce is one of those random thoughts. And then it just worked out that Soy Sauce is a little lighter in mood, whereas Teriyaki Sauce is more savory. A good friend of mine, Jared/Choppy Oppy, who I met in a Discord chat a couple of years ago, runs The Gradient Perspective. We have kept in decent contact via Facebook and the happenings of the scene. So when I cooked up these tunes, he was the first person I thought to send them to. Gradient Perspective releases a lot of stuff like mine, on both BPM spectrums that I like, so I figured it would be a great home for this EP. They are seriously killing it this year already, so I am proud to be able to even release among a lot of my peers who I look up to.
DF:What is “real dubstep?”
Waylo:Ah yes, the age-old gatekeeper question. It’s all dubstep. Like not house music and trap music, but you know when you hear a “dubstep” tune. Nowadays, there are a lot of crossover tunes that are really breaking molds and genre barriers. But for the most part, everyone is just caught up on sub-genres. Sometimes these can be really helpful for identifying more music that sounds like something you enjoy; sometimes when everyone starts inventing new ones like “deep riddim” and whatnot, it seems a bit pointless. But anyway, for the most part, I would agree that the deeper, roots-like dubstep is the most true “dubstep” sound there is because that’s where it started. “Dub,” meaning instrumental “riddims” and tunes without vocals, and “step” from the two-step garage movement that sort of fused with this dubby, reggae-flavored stuff coming from early dubstep dons like Skream, Benga, Digital Mystikz.
DF:Between the Denver and Fort Collins scene, which artists are releasing your favorite music?
Waylo:Up here in FC my faves are Jakattak, Crimbrule, $waz, Fullmetal. Gah, there are more but these dudes are the ones that I rinse out the most. Denver is full of great producers though, its wild. I am steady watching my good buddy Dalek One on the rise, 1137 has been on my radar with some sick releases, and Bankaji has also been making some serious tunes. I have collabs with a few of these peeps already in the works or I have been mentioning it to them for literally years now, so eventually I would expect music from myself and all of these people hopefully!
DF:Your first release “Overdrive” was full of grimy halftime, future beats production, and now with the “The Sauce EP” you’ve added a dubstep release to your catalog. What is next on the horizon for Waylo, production-wise?
Waylo:Oh geez, I don’t know. Whatever I finish first. Like I said, I’ve been really trying to get some house tracks done. But in all honesty, it will probably be something more halftime oriented again. I’m always working on dubstep but I’ve got some really cool 85 bpm beats that I am looking to finish up and get out there by second quarter. Stay on the lookout for a tune of mine coming out with Aspire Higher in the next couple of months!
DF:Anything you want to leave the fine folks reading Scene Magazine with? (upcoming shows, collabs, releases, etc.)
Waylo:Yeah sure! I’m all over the socials (IG, FB, SC) and my handle for all of those is @waylobeats.
Check out my Facebook page for gigs. I spend plenty of time DJing in both Denver and Fort Collins so come hang; it’s always different and fresh for every occasion.
The Sauce EP is out on The Gradient Perspective, a 2 track dancefloor smasher of an EP from Colorado up and coming producer Waylo.