Will Atkinson is a 23 year old DJ/producer from Glasgow who has emerged as one of the up and coming talents to watch in the trance world in 2013. His recent releases on Subculture, Armada, and Perfecto Records labels have received a lot of support from trance's top radio shows and DJs. His current release on Subculture called "Deep Impact" is currently enjoying the #4 spot on the Beatport top 100 trance charts
In this very enlightening interview Will Atkinson talked about how he got into DJ'ing and producing at a young age, his views on the current state of trance, how he's finding his own sound, and even about his ghost producing past. Check it out and enjoy:
1. EDM Canada: Tell me a bit about your history and how you got into DJ/Producing?
Will Atkinson: For those that don't know it was actually my Mom that had gotten me into the whole thing when I was about 6-7. I've never really been a fan of commercial, mainstream music, so it was my Mom who suggested that I listen to Judge Jules Radio 1 show, back then I think he was on Friday nights. So I listened to that after school and I would stay up really late. That's how it started. From there I got a bit obsessed about Judge Jules actually and I was kind of a borderline stalker (laughs). I really looked up to the guy and he was a good role model for me.
In 2002 when I was 12, a big club had opened in my town and Judge Jules was playing the first night there. Me and my Mom and dog waited outside of the club at about 3 am on a Saturday night and it was freezing cold just to get a glimpse of Jules. I brought down a record with me which was DJ Elite's remix of “That Fuct Camera”, a track that Jules had been playing for ages. I bought it off of EBAY for around 25 quid. Finally the doors opened at around 3:30 am and there he was, my Mom got to him first and gave her a hug, then I spoke to him and he gave me his email address, signed the vinyl, and the rest was history as they say. Judge Jules played a lot of my stuff on his Radio 1 show, and took me under his wing. So my Mom and Judge Jules kicked started it for me.
2. Were you a DJ or producer first?
DJ first. I was mixing when I was about 7-8 when I had gotten my first pair of decks. Then I kind of dabbled with some very basic software at 12-13 years old. I got into the production side when I was about 14 when I bought a copy of Propellerhead's Reason software. That's when it all started.
3. Describe your style.
For sets or for just all around?
That's a good question, both.
I'm making tracks that I'm playing in my own sets. The music that I'm playing in my sets reflects the stuff that I'm making in the studio and vice versa. Right now I'm getting tired of the same old structure, the same formulas which are so stale. I'm really going back to the roots, more raw, because everything is so over produced now. So I'm trying to change it up, going industrial, and stripping it back. Big ideas, big hooks, and just energetic driving underground club music is something that I'm all about at the moment. I've never been so happy than with my music at the moment. I've got a vision, I've got a plan so it's exciting times. It's all about energetics, industrial, and back to the roots at the moment.
4. You've been on a real roll lately by releasing such great tracks like "Deep Impact", and your 5000 Remix of "Symbols" – do you feel that you are coming into your own in terms of production skills and vision?
Absolutely. It's all falling into place now. I'm getting my own sound and not worrying what everyone is doing. Something I used to do is worry about “he sounds like this, he's doing that, why can't I sound like that?” - that's gone now and I'm not even bothered anymore. I'm focusing where I want to be as I couldn't care less what everyone else is doing now. Since I've taken that approach I've really started to enjoy my music and there has been so many ideas now that I'm concentrating on what I'm doing rather than whate everyone else is doing.
5. What is your view on the state of trance music in 2013?
It's definitely coming back, there's definitely a renaissance happening. Give it one or two years and I think it will be back on top. It's certainly coming back, people are getting tired of the watered down, diluted commercial shit that's being pumped into this scene over the last 5-6 years. We're going back to the roots, it's not only me as there is a big pack of producers that are pushing this new underground sound. It's exciting times.
6. Do you consider trance music as underground music?
Depends on what sort of trance you mean. The stuff I'm playing now I consider underground, but not all of it is trance. It's hard to gauge what trance is now, but for me trance is that moment where you get lost in the music, forget where you are – for me that's trance. But for others people might say trance is a big build and a big dirty drop. It's subjective and everyone has their own opinion.
7. What else do we have to look forward to from Will Atkinson in 2013/2014?
I'm absolutely smashing the studio at the moment. I've got so many ideas and I've really cut back on the ghost writing. Sometimes I was getting bogged down earlier on in the year where I was writing too much for other people, not focusing on myself. There's people leapfrogging me, people that I'm writing with. So I've got my head down now, getting in the groundwork done ready for next year.
8. So you were a ghost writer? I didn't know that.
That's the way it goes, if you're a ghost writer, you keep it under wraps. People know that I write, there's no money in music anymore so I only do that to put food on the table. I've got bills to pay just like everyone else. That's just to make ends meet really.
My thanks goes out to Will
Atkinson for this interesting and revealing interview. He's one of my
favourite producers out there at the moment and he's definitely one to
check out. If you like the style of Simon Patterson, John O'Callaghan, Sean
Tyas, Bryan Kearney, and Full On Fluoro releases then you have to check
out Will Atkinson. Hopefully Canadians will be able to see him live at a club near you in the future.