We have the pleasure of speaking with French tastemaker Wielki. The Way Of House mainstay is known for his enticing melodies and atmospheric beats. We pick his brain further about his sound and style…
How are you, what’s good and bad?
Hi. All is well right now! Joris Delacroix’s tour just ended; I was the opening act. It was a great opportunity for me to test my very first live performance and I must say the feedback has been very positive. All in all, it was a great experience and I’m feeling even more motivated for what’s next.
You seem to have a real love of melody and atmosphere – where does that come from?
A sort of natural melancholy has probably been there from the start, as well as a need to express certain things musically. And I’ve always had this cinematographic vision of music; when I was younger, I used to picture the songs I’d listen to, just like when one’s reading a book, or link them to memories.
As for the rest, it stems from what my musical influences have brought me.
Do you have any formal training? Do you play piano or guitar or anything?
Yes I do. I learned at a young age to classically play the piano. I tried learning to play other instruments but I stuck to my original background, through synthesisers.
Where do you start on a tune? Bass, melody, drums? Or is it always different?
When I don’t have a starting point, I start by programming the drums part to get a base.
But, most often than not, I’ve already some sort of melody in mind so I start dabbling with the synths to find the right sound, according to the theme.
Then, I come up with the main break then the first drop. The order might vary but in any case it’s a mathematical process for me, as I like to have a relatively quick idea of the track’s global structure – even if I might spend hours finessing it afterwards.
Do you think being French lends your sound a certain personality or style that separates it from the rest?
Even though I’m very proud to be French, just like anyone, and even though living in Paris has brought me so much, I must admit that I don’t think so. I think it’s my own vision of things (which is maybe super French, go figure!) combined with a natural taste for melodies, that both set me apart.
Tell us about your latest release, Mania. What inspired or influenced it?
I really felt like doing a track with some vocoder, because I’ve been loving this technique ever since Vitalic’s first tracks, which used the vocoder as a fully-integrated instrument.
Then the theme started shifting, quite naturally, towards the darker, more melancholic, epic side I love so much.
What gear do you use in the studio? Are you a hardware or software guy?
I use lots of softwares but I don’t hesitate to complete the lot with a few hardware synths because I obviously love doing that.
I’m clearly part of the second generation of producers- the one that grew up watching digital tools take off and significantly expand, offering incredible performances.
And so I’ve worked from the start with both digital and analog tools.
Do you make tunes that you would like to play in your DJ sets? Do the two relate like that?
Absolutely. When I compose a track, I almost always think about the effect it could have on the dancefloor. It does influence my sound, my mixing and my structures.
I do not forbid myself to come up with tracks that are less “DJ”/dancefloor-friendly; as in the type of tracks that get their energy from being powerful, or which are due to fit better in my live sets. But generally yes, I take my DJ sets into consideration.
As a DJ, what is your aim? Do you have a certain style or sound you like to push?
I’ve got this quite large vision engulfing techno, House music, tech-House, electro music, if we’re speaking genres.
This said, it’s also more about energy, atmosphere and sharing.
I’ve personally kept quite a basic vision of things, that goes back to my years as a resident: to make people happy.
Obviously the purpose is also to offer something artistic, while trying to tell a story structured from beginning to end. But it’s really about making them happy.
What else have you got coming up/are you working on?
I’ve got a handful of finished tracks ready to be released soon. I’m also going to work on integrating vocals to my compositions; I’ve actually got a very precise idea concerning this project and it will be, for me, a small challenge to overcome.
Also, I’m going to develop a longer and richer live set, because I loved my first experience so much. So many new ideas have popped up in my head!
Mania is out now! Grab it here: https://www.beatport.com/release/mania/2221383