FNCTN Winter Music Series is back Friday, March 6 at Xhale Nightclub in Stateline. What are they serving this week, you ask? Well house music, of course, and beat chef Wilks from Los Angeles specializes in West Coast Gangsta Rap. In this email interview, let’s get to learn how Wilks got into this blend of house music and gangsta rap samples.
Nick: What kind of path musically were you on growing up as a kid? High school?
Wilks: I was around the music since I was a zygote. My dad was always in bands and would bump everything from Beatles to Oingo Boingo to Sublime. My parents put me in piano lessons from kindergarten to eighth grade, then guitar lessons from eighth to the end of high school. In high school it was all about being in a band. My eighth and I started a pop-punk group and from that point that was it. We wanted to be rock stars.
Nick: What was your music future after high school?
Wilks: After high school I moved to L.A. for college and started up another band. It was dope. We played super funk rock. I put down the instruments during that band and focused on singing and songwriting. I was always writing stuff. At that point the only thing I knew about electronic music was mainstream stuff, like Daft Punk, Justice or Fatboy Slim. I didn’t even consider that different, it was just pop to me.
Nick: What was the catalyst for the transition to more electronic music?
Wilks: Electronic music really started picking up in L.A. and I started going to some of the bigger raves that came to town. I was infatuated. The culture, the feeling, the music, everything. Inspired, I picked up a copy of “Reason 5”and just started going for it
Nick: What is G house? What drew you to this style?
Wilks: I didn’t even know I was making g house until I’d heard of Amine Edge & Dance. LINK Before that I just thought I was making deeper stuff with hip-hop vocals on top. ’90’s hip-hop is my roots, same with the majority of kids my age that grew up in Southern California. We were right in the heart of the golden era of all that west coast stuff — I just sampled those vocals ’cause I loved the originals. Then one day there’s this subgenre called G House and I was like, OK … I guess I’m making G House, lol.
Nick: What is the next step for Wilks?
Wilks: I’ve got another EP forthcoming in the next few months with Lil Death Records, and a whole arsenal of bootleg bangers ready to drop. And of course shows, shows, shows. We’ve also got a dope crew we’re running out here called Degrade L.A. Bringing up a lot of really talented artists and making some big moves in the scene.