The Wilde offers his piece of mind in spurts of emotive EP’s that are so articulate, he’ll have you hanging on his every word before you even know it. The newest addition to his collection, Trust Issues, is one small step for mankind but one giant leap for this man. The five tracks may pass quickly but the message is long-lasting: make the world a better place.
Trust Issues incorporates more than just synthetic beats, holding an intellectual mood with long key riffs and driving the final track with a raspy electric guitar. Self-defined as “mellowhop”, the beats are persistent yet non-intrusive, tailored to Luke DeWilde’s narration. Thanks to Luke’s fearlessness, he established a relationship strong enough with Onry Ozzborn (of The Gigantics and Dark Time Sunshine) to produce the lightly funky hypnotizing beat for “s.u.i.o.x.n.A”. Luke has replaced the anxieties of Nineteen with positive lines like, “If I were to die tomorrow, I’d want to stand by what I spit…tell me I left this world a better place than how I found it.” Below, Luke is no less eloquent in describing motivations, hardships with the EP and how he feels about hip hop. You can buy Trust Issues on iTunes.
Your message throughout the EP is very positive and grounded, where do you find optimism and confidence?
Luke DeWilde: Someone once told me that I should make the art I want to see in the world, and I take that pretty seriously. I think hip-hop could use some positivity that doesn’t involve the promotion or glorification of reckless consumption and partying. I’ve never been a fan of the former and while the latter is fun, when I hear a rapper, or anyone for that matter, tell me how hard he can go, it doesn’t speak to me at all. I just want to try to give people some meaningful, interesting hip-hop that doesn’t insult their intelligence.
How do your motivations and themes on Trust Issues differ from the previous EP?
The motivation on the Nineteen was kind of a need for confession; to speak about anxiety and demons because, for at least during the few months I was working on the album, that was all I could think about. Trust Issues is more about the idea of promoting honesty among lyricists and my obsession with music in general. I don’t think all my issues are necessarily fixed, but in talking about them so much, I stopped really being grateful for what music does to help alleviate them in the first place. That’s why I want to hear more artists talk about how music has helped them, and in order to do that, their lyrics need to be real, substantive and honest.
Did anyone or anything in particular inspire this EP?
I think any artist’s first couple releases usually combine their musical inspirations with their unique stories, but it takes a little bit of time for them to generate their own sound. For me, I think I’ve started to do that with this album. I can’t help but be inspired by my favorite artists and producers in terms of beats and lyrical content, but this album is much more of a response to what I’m hearing than an adaptation of my influences.
When we last spoke, you were heading off to college admitting that it would likely change your style – how has college affected your technique and sound?
The best thing college has done for my music thus far has been exposing me to so many new people with interesting perspectives and involvement in hip-hop culture. I have had and will have the ability to increasingly become a student of hip-hop and music culture in general from people who really know what they are talking about, which is invaluable.
Stylistically, I try and make sure that with every change I hear myself making as a result of college or anything else, that it is a step towards becoming more original, rather than simply selling out and making shallow frat-rap. Basically, I’m trying not to let the typical college lifestyle force its way into my music to the detriment of the cause and tone behind the album.
What quality do you admire most in a song?
I admire any song that can tell me an interesting, honest story lyrically and is matched by a beat that sounds equal parts catchy, unique to the song’s theme, and authentic with regards to the artist’s style.
How did you get involved with The Gigantics?
I was listening to Dark Time Sunshine’s album, ANX this summer and was completely entranced by the album’s theme, lyrics, beats, and guest spots so I decided to try and get in contact with them. I ended up talking to Onry Ozzborn and he told me he was making some beats before the tour that he’s about to start so he listened to my stuff and sent me a beat within a week or so that ended up turning into s.u.o.i.x.n.A – the title and first couple lines are sort of a tribute to what his album did for me.
You mention frustrations over the release of one of the tracks in its replacement, “Not For Sale”, explain your particular difficulties and how this may affect your decisions in the future.
I had planned to officially release the album a couple weeks ago, but I had to hold it after a frustrating interaction with a publishing company (not my own – I don’t even have one). I wrote a song called “Notes on a Girl”, that sampled a track by The xx. I chopped and sped up parts of an instrumental of their song, “Stars”, and added a bunch of other pieces and instruments then asked their label and publisher if I could purchase rights to use it and sell the song. I think if anyone had asked The xx to listen to my version once, they wouldn’t worry about any kind of negative messages I was sending with their music. And I definitely don’t think anyone would buy my song instead of theirs, so to be honest, I was really frustrated by their publisher’s and label’s apparent lack of support for small artists. I wasn’t going to harm them and was planning on giving them a huge percentage of whatever I make on the song, but they wouldn’t even let me do that, yet they have no problem letting a huge artist like Rihanna sample them. I didn’t want to release a really short EP, so I wrote “Not for Sale” to replace it. I didn’t want to just take blind shots at a the vast and complex record industry, so instead I wrote it to remind myself of why I make music and that, even though being a broke independent rapper can be really frustrating, at least I have the ability to do what I love and share with anyone willing to listen, and no one can take that from me.
Listen to “Notes On A Girl” and download for free:
What is your take on the music industry in 2013?
In terms of an independent artist’s ability to self-promote and market his or her music, the industry is unbelievably democratized, which is great, so long as the artist has something to say. I do think their is a decrease in honest, heart-felt and innovative music being generated by artists on major labels. Unfortunately, that’s the kind of stuff that appears to be selling records today. That’s not to say that big artists don’t make good music, lots of them do, but I’d be happier if the radio and the top 100 stopped pushing generic, misogynistic club songs so hard.
What is the mantra of The Wilde?
“Never lose sight of the art, never be satisfied, never stop improving.”
Interview: The Wilde Manipulates Anxiety
Stalk The Wilde: