Three reasons we had to interview Australian DJ/producer Will Sparks when he came to Rumor Boston: it is his first time in the US, he’s killing it at a relatively young age (20), and we all want to know if he shuffles. His quirky yet humble personality made our meetup feel like that with a close friend as he told us things like how he got placed on the main stage at the Good Life festival and the difference between American and Australian dancing. He also introduced us to Flume.
Describe your sound with three words.
►Bounce, bop, bass.
We were reading another interview about how you love Borgore and Carnage’s “Incredible.” It’s a great one! What draws you to this track in particular?
►Just out of nowhere, it bangs. It’s emotional, then out of nowhere bangs into something completely different. It’s probably the best crowd reaction track you’ll ever get. I’ll play it forever because of the reaction it gets.
They put on an awesome show here in Boston not too long ago.
►Borgore’s an animal. I want to see him in person.
Is there something aside from DJ and production skills you think an artist needs in order to “make it?”
►You definitely need your head. You need a personality and to be crazy, you know? The nerdy part of producing is there, but when it comes to actual shows, you gotta be out there. You can’t just be boring.
Do you remember a point in time when you realized this was going to be your career?
►I don’t know, I’ve just gone with the flow and embraced it.
What was your first gig?
-I was a producer before I was a DJ. A friend of mine was a promoter at a club in Melbourne [Australia] and showed a song of mine to the owner, who said he would give me a set. I played there and they gave me a weekly residency. Then I was playing different clubs and it kept going.
What has been your favorite show so far?
►Main stage at the Good Life festival; it’s big, with like 25,000 people. I actually played the main stage because Dmitri Vegas and Like Mike didn’t work out, something got mixed up. I was on the second stage until that put me on the main.
What’s your favorite part about performing?
►The way everyone reacts to the music I make, interacting with the crowd and the way you can jump around like an idiot and have fun.
About what percentage of a live set would you say is your own music?
►About 60 percent. I don’t play a lot of my old songs anymore but in America I will because you guys haven’t heard them.
This is your first time in America. On your way over here, what were your expectations of the crowds?
►I had no idea what to expect. All I know is that you need to put on a performance in America. In Melbourne, you can just chill. Here, you gotta adapt with the crowd.
Is there anything about the crowd back home in Australia that stands out?
►The dance. The dance Melbourne has. Sydney has a dance as well, called “the swat,” and so does Adelaide. America jumps and thumps. Melbourne and Sydney wiggle and jiggle. It’s hard to explain and I’m not giving you a demo.
Do you shuffle?
►Hell no. I used to, but that’s more of a young teen thing; the Melbourne shuffle is a phase that has kind of gone out.
Here, your track “Ah Yeah!” is called a shuffle bomb. When that drops, an entire room starts shuffling.
►In Melbourne, people wiggle to that. Hardstyle people shuffle to that.
What do you think of Nervo‘s mainstream success? They’re featured on a Pantene Pro-V commercial.
I’m so glad they’re around. They’re Australian and smashing it. I respect them so much because they’re so caring and not arrogant, they reach out to people and they’re nice.
Do you see a lot of arrogant people?
►I’ve seen it in less people now, but still, ain’t nobody got time for that.
Are there any genres you haven’t experimented with yet, but want to?
►I’ve experimented with a lot of genres like hardstyle and dubstep, but really want to test out something like Flume. Do you know Flume?
►It’s hard to explain his genre. It’s like trap, but chill. You have to check him out, he’s touring around America at the moment. That’s what I want to do one day.
Sometimes trap has a weird reaction, with half of the room into it while the other half isn’t.
►That’s why I’ve made a few tracks that have trap, hardstyle, progressive, and Melbourne-y dance all in one. I’m trying to do it all so everyone will be happy.
Do you have your eye on any upcoming producers?
►Blasterjaxx and all the Melbourne boys back home who produce a similar style to mine.
Do you see the Melbourne-style house tracks as something that will spark new creativity amongst other bigger artists? Or, do you think it will remain a somewhat sub-genre that maybe won’t cross over with other artists as much?
►I’m not sure what is going to happen. Laidback Luke is supporting it. To be honest, you either hate it or love it.
What do you think about the current big room trends?
►It is festival music and the thing at the moment. Some of them do sound the same to me, but I respect it and drop a few of them myself. We’ll see what happens with it.
What’s it like to be relatively young in your position? Do you take your age to your advantage?
►I’m just doing my thing. I’m young, but I think I’m mature enough to take everything on and have been doing pretty well. Yeah, I take [my age] to my advantage, although I can’t do half the things in America that I can back home.
What’s the best compliment you’ve received from a fan?
►There are so many, people are too nice. Actually, this one guy at a club said to me, “If I didn’t listen to your music, I’d probably kill myself.” He was going through a depressing stage and said when he found my music, it made life more livable. It’s a sad story, but I’m glad I’ve helped someone out like that.
What are your goals for the rest of this year and for 2014?
►To travel the world, see everything, show everyone what I’ve got, keep making music, and do what I’ve been doing.