UK-based producer/artist WYLD has racked up an impressive 1 million streams on Spotify since joining the platform in 2016 without even becoming particularly well known within the Christian music community. LTTM decided to find out more about him, how he did it, and who his favourite artists to work with have been!
For those who haven't heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got involved in making music?
My name is Paul, 23 and originally from an island called Guernsey in the Channel Islands. My music journey started when I was 3 and I got my first drum lessons after my parents noticed that I was hitting pots and pans in time with Fleetwood Mac on the TV. From there on, I grabbed any music opportunity I could, I was in orchestras, Jazz bands, metal bands, musicals, pop bands, function bands and most importantly the worship band. Being in the worship band taught me how to fit in with other musicians musically as well as being able to tune into what God wants to do with the music I am playing at the time.
About 5 years ago I took a gap year with the message trust called the message academy. There I started picking up music production by making backing tracks for church. Let It Be Known (Worship Central album) opened my eyes to how electronic and worship music could blend together and I would just mess around trying to remake all the sounds.
I started putting music out under the name 'This.' which was a stupid idea as no one could find my music 3 years ago and then I changed my name to WYLD (Wild spelt wrong) last year!
You've worked with an impressive list of artists so far - give us the run down on the highlights?
The Soul Survivor remix is one of biggest highlight thus far. I went to the festival a lot growing up and remember jamming to the pre-service music and having the old remix albums. So, to be a part of the new project was amazing. I got to go down the year that album was released to hear the track in the big top and that was an incredible feeling.
I also really loved working with Elisabeth Harder (To Be Near You & Ever Deeper). I fell in love with her song writing and the simplicity of her style and just reached out to ask if we could work together. I still love her writing to this day and urge everyone to go check her out.
Some others like Rivers and Robots who I first worked with, CASS who is still killing it, Charlie Powers who has a great style and working with a load more people for future stuff who I love too! I hate missing people out of lists like these as everyone that I have worked with has played a big part in my journey and without them I wouldn’t be where I am today.
If you could work with any artist you haven't worked with so far, who would it be and why?
When I look for artists to work with, my decision is never based on streaming numbers or follower counts. I always look for people who can write in a way I feel I could take and merge with my style. It’s always great to work with the “Big Names” but sometimes the small people are the ones most invested in the song they are making. I love collaborating on songs as it means that no song will sound the same and you get to put yourself in situations you wouldn’t normally be in. Rather than chasing the big names, part of what I want to do is help raise up brilliant song writers with me.
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
I think it would fall in the Pop category, like I said before, the best part about collaboration is that you merge two styles together to make something new. The Elisabeth Harder (To Be Near You) and Charlie Powers, ‘DominantHeat’ (Holy) Collaborations are ones which I would say show the extremes of that. If I was to listen to music, then I am always in the new releases or fresh song playlists to hear what is coming next and grab some ideas off that. I want to make sure I am on the cutting edge of mainstream sound to draw in both mainstream and Christian listeners.
Can we expect to see a new album from WYLD in the near future?
Whenever I write I never plan to write an Album or EP. Sometimes they just happen naturally so currently there isn't any plans for that to happen but who knows!
What advice would you give anyone out there wanting to start out on the kind of musical journey you've been on?
Do it for the love of music and God, not for the money or fame. I would rather have 5 plays on my track and impact one person than 100,000 and mean nothing to anyone. The music industry is a tough world that tries to beat people down so keep your focus on what God wants you to do and don’t conform to the industry standard. This means that you get a freedom to just create without the pressure of numbers. At the end of the day, you are still worshiping the same God if there is 10 people in front of you or 10,000.
The other big thing I learnt is to pray for other people’s success and to champion others. We are all working towards the same goal and that’s to build God’s kingdom here so why get jealous of other people’s success or try to bring them down? Their success means that the Gospel reaches more people.
How would you define success in your career?
Am I doing what God wants me to do? Yes? Then great.
What is your favourite album of all time?
Anything by ‘The 1975’. They are setting the bar for Pop music lyrically and production-wise. I love that they are saying stuff a lot of bands wouldn’t go near!
You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your mp3 player. What track is it?
An MP3 player? haha! Loving Someone by ‘The 1975’.
What does the next year hold for WYLD?
Live Shows!!!!! So excited to play this stuff live, and just more music. I never really have a plan so more of the same but better I hope.