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Interview: Catching Up With Weska After the Yacht Week X Drumcode Finale

Weska

Weska's journey as an artist is a testament to hard work and dedication, with his music gracing some of the most prestigious labels in the industry, including Drumcode, Mute, Cocoon, Bedrock, Kraftek, Filth On Acid, and most recently, Factory 93. His Waves self-releases have been a significant triumph, allowing him to fully express his creative vision and showcase the evolution of his genre-fusing sound. Waves are powerful, ever-changing, and continuously evolving, reflecting the energy and flow within his music and his other love: surfing.


Weska's willingness to take risks and push boundaries sets him apart as an artist. His collaborations with industry giants like Sven Väth, Bart Skils, Pleasurekraft, and Quivver have furthered his artistic growth. At the same time, notable gigs, including a residency with Eric Prydz at Hi Ibiza, the Drumcode Showcase at The Warehouse Project in Manchester, and Creamfields, have brought his unique blend of technical prowess and artistic vision to global audiences. As he continues to innovate and create, Weska's boundless talent and passion for his craft are making an iconic mark in music.



As the tide calms on this year's finale collaboration between Drumcode and premier floating festival experience, Yacht Week, we caught up with Weska to talk about his relationship with Adam Beyer's seminal Techno outfit, his experience at the festival and his plans for the future.


Tell us about your early influences and how you first got into electronic music.


A lot of the electronic music I first listened to was from snowboard and skateboard films. I grew up doing both sports heavily, and I found out about a ton of artists through the movies, especially electro. MSTRKRFT, Boys Noize, Royksopp, Tiga etc. Then I became obsessed with progressive house, heavily rotating the likes of Eric Prydz, Steve Angello, and Deadmau5. From there, I continued to explore and discover Adam Beyer and Joel Mull, and the rest is history. It's wild how much the Swedes have influenced my musical journey.


You've released music on esteemed labels like Drumcode, Mute, and Cocoon. How has working with these labels shaped your career?


I'm super grateful to have released on such reputable labels, which were all far-off dreams of mine when I first started making music. Each one has allowed me to explore different styles while still maintaining my sound, which is a great privilege as I've been able to reach a variety of different genres and fan bases.


Your Waves self-releases have been described as a significant triumph. How do these releases differ from your label work, and what inspired you to start the Waves series?


The Waves began during the COVID pandemic when I had a bunch of music sitting around. They allowed me to have more control over my release schedule but also to release tracks that might not have seen the light of day on other tables due to their style. They were an awesome opportunity, and the support they received has been really gratifying. 



How did your relationship with Drumcode begin, and what does it mean to you to be part of such a renowned label?


It means the freaking world and is a dream come true. I remember the very first time Adam played one of my tracks on his radio show, and it was from his set recorded at one of Carl Cox's nights at Space Ibiza. It was summer, and I was working at a restaurant here in Toronto. Layton Giordani texted me saying, "Bro, you're not gonna believe this; Adam played your track on Drumcode Radio". I ran outside to the back alley and clicked the link he sent. I couldn't stop smiling. It was the biggest support I'd received at that point in my life and a turning point in my career in terms of my work ethic. Soon after that, Bart Skils began to support me, and after chatting back and forth for some years, we became close friends.


You've collaborated with notable artists like Sven Väth and Bart Skils. How do these collaborations emerge, and what do you learn from working with such iconic figures?


Bart and I became good friends after swapping music back and forth for a few years. He was also an early supporter of mine and would put me on the guest list for his shows whenever he was in Toronto and the US. Eventually, we got in the studio together as he liked some ideas I had, and we made our first EP, Polarize. The Sven remix happened when Cocoon asked Bart and me for a track for one of their annual compilations. We had already started an edit using the Metal Masters sample riff, and Cocoon loved it so much that they decided to release it as a single. I loved working on that track, and the vinyl is gorgeous. Bart is the groove master, one of the nicest guys in the industry, and I've learned a lot from him about arrangement and mixing over the years.


How did you get involved with the Drumcode x Yacht Week Festival, and what did you deliver for fans during your set?


I've played at a number of Drumcode events around the world, but when the initial email came through for Drumcode x Yacht Week, I was over the moon. Croatia is a beautiful country, and I was really looking forward to the experience. My set was more on the groovier side of techno, incorporating some house and progressive elements to keep it consistent with the beautiful vibe of the Adriatic Sea. 



Drumcode x Yacht Week combines music with a unique nautical experience. How did this setting influence the vibe of your performance?


Oh heavily. I love playing in environments like this that allow me to play more progressive and uplifting, Truesoul style, starting a bit slower and keeping the groove steady and moving. 


What are your long-term goals for your music career as you continue to innovate and create?


I just want to keep making music and have fun with it, further innovating my sound fusion of techno, house, and progressive house. Dance music, if you will. I want my music to connect with people and connect people the way I felt when I first started going out to shows as a kid and for people globally to know the type of music to expect when they go out to a show I'm playing. It's not a techno or a progressive night; it's a Weska night. 


Balancing a music career with personal interests like surfing can be challenging. How do you manage to keep both passions alive?


They both fuel each other, to be honest. The harder I work as a musician, the more I can surf, and the more I get to surf, the more inspired I am to make music. I love listening to music in a dark club or at a festival outside and love immersing myself in nature; I thrive off the yin and yang.


Lastly, what can fans and Techno lovers expect from you over the rest of 2024?


I've got some amazing events coming up around the world I'm really stoked to be a part of, including a fall tour with a fellow label mate. I also have some releases and remixes in the pipeline I'm really excited about!


While Drumcode x Yacht Week will live long in the memory of all those who attended over three incredible summers, Yacht Week sets its sights on a forward voyage as it prepares for its Ultra Week route in Croatia from July 13th to 19th, 2024. For more information and to book your place, visit the Yacht Week website here.


Weska


Yacht Week

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