Breaking down genre barriers is easy for power-duo Walker & Royce. It can be indie dance, deep house, emotive house, you name it and Walker & Royce are there as they have established themselves in the industry by their dedication to experimentation and growth. Radiating that positive energy is easy for both Walker & Royce as their diversified sound became apparent in classic singles such as their remix of SAARID’s ‘Future Lately.’ If you cannot find one Walker & Royce track on your playlist, you are clearly doing something wrong as these groove-heavy house pioneers have further progressed their signature sound with the release of their 2017 Self Help album on the one and only DIRTYBIRD label. Reuniting with the forward-thinking label, Walker & Royce are reminding us why we will never stop dancing with the release of their electrifying single ‘Need2Freak.’
Flowing directly into subtle percussions and a hint of vibrant keyboard chords, lo-fi filtering infused with 8-bit inspired riffs provide a sense of nostalgia in listeners. With the enticing vocals keep listeners moving all night long, Walker & Royce drilling basslines and solid vocals allow us to slowly fall into these artists’ world of experimental sound. Providing a sense of euphoria throughout the single, the sense of emotion, and clear attention to sound design crafts a unique melody to provide hope to their listeners during the time they needed it the most. Easily a catchy tune to be played at home or on a socially distanced dancefloor, Walker & Royce’s production versatility and artistic vision shine bright throughout Need2Freek.
Walker & Royce are the types of artists that you will remember through their emotive, yet groovy sound of house music, and FUXWITHIT recently had the pleasure of catching up with these legends below.
Hey Walker & Royce. Thanks for the opportunity to catch up with you both. Firstly, what have you both been up to over the last few months?
Sam: We have been trying to write an album! But it is really hard when you cannot go meet with people you want to work with and catch a vibe. In the meantime, I have been spending a lot of time with my daughters. Honestly, it is going to be tough to go back to normal.
Gavin: I have been doing laundry and binge-watching cult documentaries. We also started doing some streaming on GoodTV on Twitch. It has been hard working on music because 2020 is like a really bad acid trip and we live on separate coasts, me in LA and Sam in New Jersey. But overall I have stayed pretty positive and cannot wait to get back to DJing all the time, I really miss it.
Besides the collapse of employment, writing house music is very hard when you do not have shows to audition ideas for, or to be inspired by others.
Looking at the pandemic and its global impact, how did it affect you both as artists? Did the lockdown situation affect your creative process in any way?
Sam: Besides the collapse of employment, writing house music is very hard when you do not have shows to audition ideas for, or to be inspired by others. So we have written some other stuff but honestly, I really like House. I’m not as happy to write other stuff.
Gavin: I have been going through a lot of old music that I used to play looking for inspiration. While the pandemic has been hard on the creative process I have tried to use it as a time to reflect on the past few years which have flown by.
Self Help was about doing things your own way and that sometimes no one really knows what is best for you except you. So in that sense, the therapeutic value would come from a realization that you are on the right path.
Talk to us about your takeaway behind the debut album Self Help and using music as a therapeutic agent.
Sam: Self Help was about doing things your own way and that sometimes no one really knows what is best for you except you. So in that sense, the therapeutic value would come from a realization that you are on the right path. Whether that came through in ‘Best Track Ever’ though, I am not so sure (laughing).
Music has gotten me through everything in my life so this pandemic is no different, I have been leaning on music all year. I mentioned before that I have been revisiting a lot of old music and not just dance stuff. It’s absolutely having an effect on our music.
Have you both been using music therapy during quarantine? What impact has it had?
Sam: I have gotten more into jazz since quarantine. Like Coltrane and Duke Ellington etc. We put it on during dinner. I did not use to like it much but I’ve really grown fond of it. It is 100% mood-driven which is why I didn’t really get it before. It might be seeping into the sound maybe. Who knows? It definitely did with ‘Need2Freek.’
Gavin: Music has gotten me through everything in my life so this pandemic is no different. I have been leaning on music all year. I mentioned before that I have been revisiting a lot of old music and not just dance stuff. It is absolutely having an effect on our music. We are thinking more about what works off the dance floor which might not have happened if we did not have a big break from festivals and constant clubbing.
It is meant to be a reminder that even if we are on our own that dancing is a mindset. And it is a little sadder sounding, meant to be a bit wistful in that, yes we wish we were all out there, but we are each keeping the little flame alive in our hands and soon, we will return.
With your single ‘Need2Freek’ on DIRTYBIRD, can you share the initial idea behind the forward-thinking house single?
Sam: Not-so-subtle reaction to covid and lockdown! (laughing). It is meant to be a reminder that even if we are on our own that dancing is a mindset. And it is a little sadder sounding, meant to be a bit wistful in that, yes we wish we were all out there, but we are each keeping the little flame alive in our hands, and soon, we will return.
Gavin: This song is an emotional ride just like this pandemic has been. This song reminds us not to give up and never stop dancing.
It has always been a yin yang type thing. I am the one that will play some disco or a party jam while Sam will always find some epic track that melts everyone’s minds. I think it is a really great unexpected balance.
I have always been curious; how do both of your own musical tastes impact your DJ sets?
Sam: I try to intersperse our own tracks with music that contrasts with it. So from that perspective, I am looking for records that I like that I can’t make myself.
Gavin: It has always been a yin yang type thing. I am the one that will play some disco or a party jam while Sam will always find some epic track that melts everyone’s minds. I think it is a really great unexpected balance.
What can your listeners expect on the next episode of your ‘Rules Don’t Apply’ show on Insomniac Radio?
Gavin: For the next show we are doing all disco which I cannot believe we have not done yet. I am having so much fun on the radio show, it gives us a chance to showcase music we love and give artists some shine. I am so happy with how it is growing.
With 2021 around the corner, any plans for the rest of the year? Any future collaborations you guys are able to share with us?
Sam: The rest of 2020 is like, 99% written off at this point, unfortunately. Still, there might be something here and there. Please stay tuned! As for collabs, so much changed because of the pandemic. We will see where we are when we can actually meet up with folks in person.
Gavin: We have lots of plans we are really excited about but we are not going to announce anything until it is done. But please stay tuned and we hope to see everyone soon.