Today we talk with WOLFE.
Baltimore native Sam Wolfe, is DJ in the Atlanta EDM scene who has a love and creative passion for Techno. WOLFE is using his talent and producing skills to help put Atlanta on the map for the genre.
Why did you choose your last name to be your stage name?
I’ve gone by some ridiculous DJ aliases since high school, (r.i.p DJ Young Nuggets & Chicken Master) but last year when I decided to fully commit to music production I realized I have a perfectly good name sitting right in front of me.
As a DJ What do you think makes you stand out from the pack?
Honestly I would say it’s the amount of shows I’ve been too. My first EDM experience was in 2009 back home in Baltimore at the old infamous club called Bourbon Street. a Guy named Steve Gordon (now known for creating Circle Talent Agency) threw shows and this one was Excision & Datsik b2b for $10, I heard them drop “Swagga” and was hooked. Since then I’ve gone through every fad; Dubstep to Electro house, into Trance, then Trap music hit, rode the big room wave, into tech house & progressive. I know how each genre is meant to make you feel in the crowd so I take all of those experiences to try and deliver something for each unique set that I would want to hear if I was dancing.
It’s the start of a new decade and a new year, so tell me What are your goals/plans going forward in your career.
Continue stacking music & get it released. This might not be a popular opinion, but I believe as a producer just getting started to not release anything until it’s good enough to get picked up by a good label. If you’re going to do this right, it’s better to get to a point where you can make a statement with your music instead of getting lost in a sea of other producers.
What’s the vision behind the WOLFE project and what Producers do you draw inspiration from?
I want my music to be mysterious, dark, aggressive, & will take people on a Journey. My all-time favorite is the Maestro himself Eric Prydz — but currently my favorite producer no one has ever heard of would be Passenger10. He is a major piece of the Nora en Pure project, and it’s neat to see Nora live because she plays out all of Passenger10’s new music, so whenever I see here it feels like a 2 for 1 special.
Why Techno, and what’s the difference between Techno & Tech-house? I still actively listen to and appreciate every genre of EDM, but as I’m getting older I’ve learned to appreciate proper Techno and the journey it can take you on. Techno is driving, the melodies are simple and catchy, each element of a techno track is added with a definitive purpose to tell the story and drive the song home. It revolves around a booming kick with a big reverb tail, whereas tech-house is more focused on the bass line (ref. any Fisher track) Both can be groovy, but Techno relies more on the percussive elements to drive it forward, whereas tech-house relies more on groovy components like a funky bass line or vocal hook to take it home.
Any advice for producers just getting started?
This goes for anything in life, but find a mentor – someone who has done what you’re trying to do, and figure out how to provide them value in exchange for their knowledge.
Learn how to take feedback — it sucks when you have something you spent hours on, get criticized & picked apart but you need to check your ego and listen.
There are 3 kinds of feedback:
1) your mentors who are technically more proficient than you & can give you real tips to improve
2) Your close friends who can’t give technical advice, but will look you in the face and gladly tell you when something is cool, or when it is crap, and encourage you to keep on trying.
3) People who are in the middle, and don’t feel comfortable telling you that you kind of suck, so they just say something like “this is cool”
Send your music to the first 2.
What is it that fuels your hunger to create new content?
Right now I am 100% focused on music over content. But it’s the feeling of creating your own take on a dance floor bomb, that you can deliver to a crowd in front of you. Hours and hours behind a computer for that moment make it worth it.
What excites you most about working in this scene?
……..I want to stop paying for shows…………
Jokes aside, it’s finally getting to take all of the beats inside my head and turn them into something cool.
How long do you find yourself creating a single track?
That’s hard to say, b/c every producer has project files in their graveyard they still want to finish. My advice would be not to rush anything, even when you think a track is done make a new one. And by the time you finish that new track you’ll have picked up new ideas you can put back into your old music. Once you release a song, you can’t go back and re-release it.
Did the music you listened to growing up influence the songs you make today?
Yes, especially from all the old dubstep. I try to add at least one WUB into my songs, everyone likes a solid Wobble, it can keep a track fresh and interesting. Some of the coolest bass shots I’ve made are from dubstep production tutorials. That’s what’s cool about techno, if a techno track is meant to be big and dark there are overlaps between the growls and bass shots used in modern bass music.
Do you have a routine or ritual you do before start working on your songs?
Nope, I just stop procrastinating, sit down, and put in the work.
What is your cure for getting out a creative slump?
I go hang out with Randy Marsh at Tegridy farms and that usually does the trick.
Do you plan on settling down and raising your own litter of pups in the future?
I think I’d make a good pack leader…. I’ve watched a lot of Cesar Millan but for now that would just be a distraction.
Would you consider yourself a lone wolf?
No, more like a social butterfly.
Any news you’d like to spread to your WOLFE pack, anything you’d like to plug or anyone you want to shout-out?
My first EP is getting released this year, and come check out the i_o show at District Nightclub March 13th I’ll be opening!
Can’t wait for both
Most important for everyone trying to expand their music tastes: Subtle has some serious international techno talent being booked on the way this year, follow Subtle’s page and expect a party once a month for some big names in intimate venues.
Lastly, I am a big believer in Karma, and want to give back the same way some key mentors gave back to me. So for any producers just getting started if you want any feedback or advice, I’m an open book.
Interview By: Brandon Allen