IN CONVERSATION WITH WTCHCRFT
In the pulsating heart of Brooklyn, DJ WTCHCRFT weaves spells through the power of high-octane tracks, creating a new sound that makes you want to lose yourself on the dancefloor. Part of a new generation of young black producers, he is breathing life into the nostalgic embrace of acid trance, while reinventing the essence of the dance music scene. We witnessed his electrifying performance at Draaimolen festival, where DJ WTCHCRFT performed at the THE TUNNEL stage, leaving us mesmerized and craving more.
Hi WTCHCRFT! Hope you enjoyed playing at Draaimolen. Looking back at the performance, how was it for you and what was your highlight of the day?
W: Draaimolen was absolutely incredible! There are few things better than being in the woods with your friends and listening to music. The highlight of the day for me had to be my b2b with Nene H such a fun time and such an incredible DJ. I’m lucky to call Nene a friend and mentor. It’s an honor to be able to do this let alone fly all the way to the Netherlands and be able to share my music with thousands of people.
What type of venues do you find most enjoyable to perform in or at regarding space and energy? And what has been your favorite gig so far?
W: In general I like venues that have their capacity at anywhere from 100 to 500 people as it feels very intimate and close-knit that way and I prefer to test out my newer tracks in smaller spaces so I can really gauge the crowd’s reaction. My favorite gig so far has to have been a release party I put together at New York’s Bossa Nova Civic Club for my EP “the Wych elm” which came out earlier this year on Paula Temples “noise manifesto”. I had all my friends play and all my friends showed up including my wonderful and supportive parents. So that was a treat!
I read that you started producing lo-fi beats, dubstep, and hip-hop at first. What made you switch to the techno/house scene and how has this journey been so far?
W: I switched because I was getting tired of the sound I was chasing at the time, I also found that in the underground community, I was a part of producers who were getting little to no respect for our work in helping vocalists create their music, I also felt (at the risk of sounding self-centered) that I was being under-appreciated and over looked. So I thought to myself if no one really cares what I do why not just totally lean into a new sound (for me) that I had always wanted to try out? And so far it’s working great! There is a lot of room for experimentation and innovation in dance music.
What inspires you when it comes to creating new music? Are there any particular artists, experiences, or genres that have had a significant impact on your creative process?
W: For me, I try to take inspiration from everything and all different kinds of art forms, I really enjoy listening to sound art pieces, classical music, folk music, as well as techno and house! I’d say the top artist that I draw inspiration from is Arthur Russell.
Can you tell us the story behind your name WTCHCRFT and do you have any superstitious beliefs?
W: The name is just a name that came to me that I thought would look really cool with no vowels. I don’t necessarily have any superstitious beliefs, but I do very much like to study and am interested in the occult specifically the history of the occult and polarizing figures like Anton Lavey and Aleister Crowley. In general, my interests tend to lean on the darker side as well anyway to the name is most definitely an extension of myself. Plus I’ve been calling myself WTCHCRFT since my early high school days.
You released lots of new tracks this year including your EP “Wet Lung”. How does your creative process go when crafting these songs?
W: The whole creative process for that album revolved around me going to my parent’s house, locking myself in my room, taking sleeping pills, and working on the EP day and night as well as watching movies and TV shows with my parents haha. I needed to trade the hustle and bustle of Brooklyn to the comparatively quiet and peacefulness of the Bronx as well as the calmness and stability of being at my parent’s place. I also really wanted to see them!
Lastly, what can we expect from your upcoming performances and what are your dreams for the future? Are there any milestones you hope to achieve or new musical territories you’d like to explore?
W: You can expect me to make you dance! My dreams for the future are to make you dance! A great milestone would be to continue to make you dance!
You can listen to WTCHCRFT’s just released EP here.