DJs have found any number of ways to refocus their energies this year. For the Ws though, it’s been their label that’s been the primary beneficiary. “2020’s been our one for developing Rave Culture,” says Ward from the group, “and we have found some amazing new talent for it!” That’s been evidenced by its output, which sees the two-year-old imprint on course to triple its 2019 release tally.
Hot amongst those outings have been new music from Dannic, KEVU, Darren Styles, Will Sparks, MaRLo and others, while there’s been no shortage from Willem & Ward’s own camp either. Over the course ‘Comin’ To Getcha’, ‘Do It For You’ and ‘Wizard Of The Beats’ (w/Sandro Silva & Zafrir) have provided some salvation to their party-starved fans. “We’re also super thankful for all the support our Rave Culture clothing line has received,” says Willem. “We just miss seeing all the fans wearing it at the shows though!”
W&W’s big lockdown-circumnavigating moment came relatively early in 2020’s diabolical scheme, through their XR event. Billed as ‘the world’s first Extended Reality live stream’, in May they partnered with Chinese sportswear firm Li-Ning and Twitch to play a set in ‘a custom-made virtual stadium overlaid with futuristic, video game-like ‘XR’ effects’.
What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown?
“Time with the family, extra studio time and a lot of League Of Legends!”
What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis?
“That we should cherish the great moments more, live in the present and enjoy life. This year has been rough for everyone, but it also made us realise how much we love this music and playing such amazing shows.”
What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene?
“We do our best to listen to all the ways inequality is present in this scene, and to learn from this. Our response is to address this, as well as support and empower creators who make a cultural impact and make sure that there is representation across our team and industry. Dance music is a place of inclusivity, and we should work to make sure everyone feels accepted and included.”
What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive?
“We try to project positivity and welcome everybody to our Rave Culture community. The connectivity and closeness that people have with each other within this community is incredible to see and be a part of.”
What's the greatest dance music track of all time?
"Delerium feat Sarah McLachlan 'Silence (Tiësto's In The Search Of Sunrise Remix)'."