Scottish artist wtrflls is one of many great talents coming out of the UK, and I’m glad we tapped in for this eye-opening interview.
1. How long have you been producing for? Do you have a favourite song that you’ve worked on?
I’ve been playing music since 2009/2010 in bands with my friends (usually guitar or bass) but it wasn’t till early 2017 that I swapped over to making beats, that was around the time I really got into this scene of music and I didn’t really have as much time to go to band practises and stuff so being able to chill in my room and make stuff on a laptop was super appealing. As far as my favourite song I worked on I think it would have to be varúð mostly because of how quickly it went from just an idea in my head to a fully formed beat plus once me and ERDA recorded on it the whole thing really came together.
2. Your works often have very subdued, subtle vocals, your ‘ghost.’ EP is a great example.
I think a large reason of why my vocals tend to be more subdued originated from nerves and a lack of confidence but I’ve kind of grown into it as a style, prior to starting out as wtrflls I’d never really done vocals outside of some backing ones in an old band and I’d never written my own lyrics, once I got more comfortable with it though I found it to be a really good stress relief exercise. The ghost. EP wasn’t the first thing I recorded but I think it was the first thing I felt really proud of, I’d made the beats nearly a year before I actually wrote any lyrics but just before I finished it I’d recorded ‘Chemicals’ and done a verse on ‘Sorrow’ with Illfiger so I was feeling more comfortable with singing.
3. Your latest song, ‘A House In The Woods’ continues your lyrical themes addressing the death and rebirth of nature (flowers in particular). Where do you get inspiration from when writing songs and projects?
When it comes to inspiration for songs and projects it really varies, in a project I like to keep a central theme so that all the songs are related to a similar topic or vibe, as for songs it can really depend on what I’m feeling or how the beat sounds. I feel I come back to themes like nature and rebirth as well as the occult because they’re always things that have inspired my art and I think they make it easier for me to express myself. Back in school before I was taking music as seriously I did a lot of painting and the same themes of the natural and supernatural were very present in them too. Generally when I write I don’t have a plan mapped out for it or anything I just spill ideas onto the page and try and build it from there.
4. When collaborating with other producers and rappers, who are your favourite people to work with?
I love to collaborate with all my guys in XXIX Club, in particular I feel me and illfiger work really well together whether it’s both of us singing on a beat or if it’s a production collab it always seem to mesh really well but that might just be because he’s the one I’ve worked with most from the team. As well as that I’ve had a few tracks with imposter (formerly Neckkiss) some of which are still in the works that I need to get off my ass and finish but we generally make some good stuff.
5. What collectives are you part of and do you see groups of artists as beneficial to individual growth?
The only collective I’m a member of (and only one I want to be a part of) is XXIX Club, I got invited in after me and ihatepvrpl worked on a project together and it’s been the main focus of a lot of my work ever since, I also write for Underground Vampire Club but that’s separate from my music. I think the influence on a collective on personal growth can vary a lot some of the collectives you see have loads of members and seem more to be just a convenient way to get collaborations, which isn’t a bad thing, but I feel with groups like XXIX it works as more of a family we’re all close as fuck and are actively trying to help each other, a lot of that comes from keeping the group reasonably small and being fairly selective with who joins.
6. Is the Scottish scene booming? I’ve definitely encountered a few artists from there at this point.
Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a ton of artists in Scotland involved in this wave of music or at least not that I’ve met, music in general here is insane though. Metal, indie, punk, dance, all of these have like crazy big scenes and local venues really help drive the music scene, I recently moved cities and once I’m more settled I’m trying to sort of drum up a bit more hype for this kind of stuff or find other artists doing it already. I know that @ignorvnceuk are based in this city and I know Liam who’s involved with that, we’ve spoken about trying to make some kind of moves in the near future
7. Do you have any ambitions for your music in the near future? Any planned projects/shows/other ventures?
Some local live shows are something I’d love to get involved with so once I’ve set myself up here I want to try and arrange something, there is an XXIX performance at the upcoming UVC Chicago show but unfortunately I’m not able to fly out for it. We are laying the groundwork for a tour however and I know all the international XXIX guys are looking at coming out for it (Illfiger in New Zealand, Comply in England and myself in Scotland). I’ve got a few projects in the works right now as well as work on the next XXIX tape, keep an eye out for t e e t h which will be out very very soon.
8. Is there anything else you’d like to add? The floor is yours, my friend.
All I’ve really got to say is if you feel you’d like to make music or get involved in the scene then do it, who cares what anyone else will say just put yourself out there, if you’ve got enough drive you can make a whole tape on your phone if you try, nothing’s stopping you.
Also follow XXIX Club and the whole roster