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DMNW Exclusive Interview With Dirtybird’s GAWP: Touring, Music, and Production

With releases on heavy-hitter labels like Dirtybird, Main Course, This Ain’t Bristol, Cr2, and White WidowGawp has been growing his following at a breakneck pace, leading to his recent premiere tour of North America. We were so excited to see him in Seattle for the first time ever and he crushed it, no doubt!

If you haven’t heard Gawp’s latest track Coolade on Dirtybird’s acclaimed Birdfeed, we can’t help but feel a little bit sad for you. Not only do we think it’s a great track, Dirtybird has recently chosen to release it to the public through Dirtybird Select on Beatport…we think that says something about the quality of this quirked-the-fuck-out tech house banger. It’s officially up for pre-order!

Gawp has confidently established his unique sound over the last while, fusing elements of techno, house, hip-hop, and psychedelia in distinct sonic environments. You don’t need to see him working in the studio to recognize the sheer number of hours and effort put into his tunes- you can hear it in his complex sonic palettes. Not only is he a kind guy, he’s an incredibly well-educated and practiced musician, producer, and DJ.

We can also say he’s a great teacher as well- his recent Sonic Academy tutorial is a comprehensive breakdown of his new track Coolade from start to finish. Not only is this an aspiring techno or house producer’s dream, we can also confirm that it’s an exceedingly valuable tutorial for musicians of all skill interests and styles. Gawp’s Seattle stop was at the Monkey Loft, indubitably one of our favorite venues up here. We caught up with him after the tour to get the 411 on his new tutorial, his tour, upcoming shows, and more!

This was your first North American tour as Gawp- what were some of your favorite experiences being a tourist, exploring, sightseeing, or performing while you were here? What’s something you’re planning on doing next time you’re stateside?

Experiences are really what I live for. This is the reason I love to travel- music enables me to do this! Many artists hate the being away from home life, but for me it makes me feel alive, especially with the sense of adventure and the unknown. I really enjoyed being a tourist and visiting the likes of the Space Needle in Seattle, the bridge in San Fran, Miami’s iconic beaches and Las Vegas’ vibrant and chaotic nightlife. One of the other positive factors of touring is meeting some great people too. Next time I’m stateside I think I will plan on getting a car and going off on road trips. I’d also love to do some more hiking in the hills.

You recently released a comprehensive breakdown and lesson on Sonic Academy for your latest track on Dirtybird’s acclaimed ‘Birdfeed’ entitled ‘Coolade’. What’re some of the stories behind your music or this song’s quirky vocal cuts, percussion, and bass?

This was the first of my video tutorials. I was very conditioned for the time so it’s a condensed version of how I spend hours of experimenting to create some crazy sounds. Basically, I’m a self-taught producer so it’s taken many years of experimental processes to learn what works and what just wastes time… although I still do that. For me, the best thing is to be creative and have no rules, but always take into consideration that people still need to enjoy it and dance to it on the floor.

One of the most influential things for me is to take something like a vocal and make it unrecognizable or mangle some sounds to process them to a style that fits with the track I’m working on. This can be anything from Oprah’s chat show to a recorded busker.

If you could offer your younger self some advice about being a producer/DJ or more generally about life, what would that advice be?

I’m very happy with the journey I’ve done so far. My advice would be humble, be honest, work with other great artists, and share knowledge to help you all grow and learn. Also find a balance of work (maybe a part-time job in or out of the music industry)- this will help relieve some of the stress from having to make a living from your music, as well as give you the support to put back into what you love doing, while maintaining some contrast to life too.

Lastly, do what you believe in- don’t listen to others unless they are helping you.

Who are some of your musical inspirations? Before you got into techno and house, what artists and kinds of music guided you towards your path? Who’s the producer to watch out for in 2018?

This is a really hard question as I love so many artists… I often borrow elements from various styles, like 90s hip hop flows and culture- then there’s a wide spectrum of artists I was brought up with (thanks to my parents) from AC/DC, Dire Straits, Dillinger, Bob Marley, Jean Michelle Jarre, Prodigy… the list is endless.

One of the artists I really like at the moment is Steve Darko- he works for iZotope in Boston so he knows what he’s doing! When we played at Campout together I really appreciated his level of production and DJing – he’s also a super nice guy!

What does the future have in store for Gawp? Any shows or releases you’re excited for?

My track Coolade came out this month on Dirtybird so that’s been the main focus for me. The future is looking exciting with another US tour on the cards for July-August as well as talks of an Australia/New Zealand one too… in between those I will be working on more crazy sounds!

Follow GAWP to stay up to date with his upcoming releases and shows! We might’ve heard an unreleased track or two at his Monkey Loft debut… you won’t want to miss a release with this talented and thoughtful artist.

For those who missed the show, The DJ Sessions provided some excellent coverage, as well as a cheeky pre-show interview with Gawp that is not to be missed- check that out below. The DJ Sessions is not messing around with their event coverage and live streams- they mean business with their impressive professional production quality. We’re definitely looking forward to more content from TDJS in the future!

Watch The DJ Sessions “On Location” Sessions features GWAP at 1LUV’s PEOPLE from TheDJSessions on
Our fingers are crossed that Gawp will decide on Seattle as a stop for his next North American tour. What artist, band, or group do you want to see play in Seattle for the first time ever? Let us know in the comments below.


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