SPIN Gift Set: PENNYWILD – SPIN

PENNYWILD is a tenacious soul who knows exactly what story she wants to write, using her voice to inspire others to relentlessly pursue a journey of liberation through self-expression. With so much optimism to go around, PENNYWILD has created an incredibly vibrant community that revolves around mental well-being. Using her fun yet empowering perspective, the multi-talented artist is constantly pushing boundaries with her projects. Recently released her latest project, NIGHT PEOPLE, she takes listeners back to a cherished period in her life that sparked her entire career.

She sat down with SPIN to talk about the inspiration behind this EP, the things she’s learned along the way, what it feels like to direct for some of the biggest names in music, and more. Current NIGHT PEOPLE here and dance the night away with her SET below.

PENNYWILD is a Music Producer/DJ & Director/Choreographer who lives in Los Angeles a few blocks from New York City – and she’s still digging in. I stand for inclusion, pushing boundaries, creating your own success and being curious.

Tell us about your sound – where does your style come from and what are the biggest influences on your visual, social and audio?

Some of my biggest sonic influences include Paul Johnson, MikeQ, Nile Rogers, Masters at Work, Robyn, NVOY, Disclosure, Gorgon City and Azealia Banks, among many others. I am also influenced in one way or another by the following creations from various fields – Stephen Sondheim, Hiro Murai, ATRAK, Parris Goebel, Tennyson, Grimes, Kendrick Lamar, Keone & Mari Madrid, etc.

Was there a decisive turning point that led to your success? When did you realize your influence in the industry/community?

Because I discovered electronic music at an older age than I liked, I didn’t have the years of experience to bring the sounds I heard in my head to the DAW. Only pursuing musical theater until about 23 years old, I don’t really have any music production skills. That forced me to approach things differently – whichever way was most accessible to me at the time within the spec of what I knew to do. I approach music making from a dancer’s perspective, and conceptualize from a stage. What came out of that was some “atypical” electronics projects, and while it was pretty frustrating at the time, I’m grateful for my proper lens now. The logistical boundaries bring creative richness.

You just released NIGHT PEOPLE, described as “a love letter sent underground.” – take us into the universe of this project and how you get inspired to pursue this concept.

During the quarantine, I find myself deeply nostalgic for my “glory days” (aka 2016-2019, when I explored the quirky/electronic music scene in NYC and LA). I would find myself absorbed in an unfinished project in Ableton, and all I wanted to do was add crowd noise, random commercials, and field recordings from friends. that I have collected over the years. This made one thing clear – like most other people I knew, I missed dancing; I missed going out. Frustrated by the lack of cohesion of the sounds I was playing, I decided to start from scratch and capture some fresh chat content based on very specific prompts/concepts. I would “interview” my friends over Zoom and ask them to role-play different stages of our outing. The result is 3 GB of a dynamic, exciting and fun liner from friends. I spent a lot of time rearranging them to make any narrative sense, and the sound texture of NIGHT PERSON was born.

Which song on this EP do you feel is most personally connected?

I really love each track like it’s my first baby, but I think I might prioritize “OUTSIDE WAYS”. I’ve always wanted to find a way to celebrate the sacred ritual that’s going on from pre-match to the main event, because I love the camaraderie and excitement that anticipation brings. Whether it’s the direction from Manhattan to Brooklyn or from Orange County to Los Angeles, time in the car/Uber always delights me. I think “SIDE STREETS” does a good job of encapsulating that experience.

Talk to us about a key learning moment while creating this EP.

Opposite = care. If you don’t color your work with the dichotomy of dynamics, there’s nothing to be surprised or worried about. Opposition and change can be very effective.

You are the perfect creator, a dancer/choreographer who has choreographed several major stages and is also a director who has collaborated with Zedd & RL Grime on music videos – How these Has this perspective blown into your work as a producer?

I think Directing and Producing have a lot in common. At the end of the day in both roles, you are the decision maker. Both of these titles allow you to create among a group of experts in their respective fields and get everyone on the same page to carve a unique vision. While the Director’s “experts” are various creative professionals (Choreographer, Costume Designer, HMU), the Music Producer’s “experts” are instrumental artists (Artist). vocalists, Pianists, synthesizers in your DAW). The vision must be clear and the spirit must be grounded and positive. I love these roles because they have a great collaboration.

In what ways have you pushed yourself beyond your existing self-imposed limitations?

In 2015, I dropped out of college, where I was majoring in Musical Theater, and moved to Los Angeles with the desire to become a musician. I have no formal musical training, but I did train a lot as an actor, singer, and dancer. “Throwing away” all the skills I worked so hard to acquire in the first 20 years of my life was a hard pill to swallow, but I knew if I didn’t follow my new passion it was a product. out music, I’d never forgive myself. Electronic music appealed to me the way Broadway did in previous years – so I knew that was the real problem. I remember getting a lot of criticism from my colleagues at the time – “What is she doing in LA?” “She wants to be a DJ?” etc. Although some people have problematic decisions, I am grateful that I followed my heart and made the decision.

What’s next for PENNYWILD?

I’ve spent the last few years working on conceptual/cohesive bodies of work (MIDI In Motion, NIGHT People, etc.) so I’m really excited to release some unattached indie singles larger narrative works. 2022 is all about singles and I really wanted to have some fun with their accompanying visuals/general intro. I have never allowed myself to release music purely for the sake of music, and now is the time! In addition, I will be directing/choreographing several music/photo videos for other artists that I greatly admire, which will result in some incredible collaborations. Keep stable!

What do you wish for the future of electronic music? In what ways would you like to see it develop?

In general, I would like to see more artistic elements on stage. I think the lighting/staging designers, dancers, actors, visual artists, etc are extremely underutilized at this main stage festival’s DJ sets. It would be really interesting to see some of the more immersive performances – sets where you won’t be able to get a truly three-dimensional experience. I want to see artists take more risks!

Any final words for the SPIN sentence?

Thanks to SPIN for amplifying the voices of artists – especially the underprivileged! Black lives are worth it too; Trans Lives Matter.

Check out the PENNYWILD Electrical Kit below! Want more MINISTRY? Pass SPIN TV to keep up to date with all the latest and greatest DJs/producers in the electronic field.

https://www.spin.com/2021/12/spin-sets-presents-pennywild/ SPIN Gift Set: PENNYWILD – SPIN

Ashley

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