Brooklyn based Will OB first fell in love with making music at a young age. Hailing from Cleveland, he was raised on hip hop, rock and blues. After going to his first club in 6th grade, OB found himself in front of the decks not so many years later and eventually started his own DJ business throughout high school and college. With a growing knowledge of the business side, he dove head first into producing house music shortly after. Will OB’s sound stems from early influences such as Fat Boy Slim, Skream and modern sounds like Chris Lake and Danny Daze.
What makes his sets truly unique is the ebb and flow between upbeat tech house, funky soulful beats and his love for dark dirty electro. His sets are an enigma; taking everyone on a rollercoaster ride. Will OB has a track on RVDIOVCTIVE Vol.3: the third VA compilation series from the established party brand’s label offshoot, featuring house music of all flavours from the likes of Tony Quattro, Boogietraxx, Devon James, SCHROEDS and more. DMCWORLD gets the scoop from the man himself….
Welcome to DMC Will… where in the world do we find you today?
Hey DMC! Home base is Brooklyn – I’ve been in New York for almost 10 years now, but feels like I am always on the move between Miami, Nashville and New York. I like life on the road.
Can you give us a bit of background on your journey in music so far?
There hasn’t been a point in my life, that I can remember, where music wasn’t part of my Journey. I started playing piano and guitar when I was 6. My dad was a guitar collector, so I grew up with all sorts of amps and instruments. Often, he’d be playing James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Parliament and many more Blues/Soul bands.
As I grew older and as things started to go more digital, I was pulled into DJing after finding a friend with some equipment, launched my own DJ business playing proms, weddings and graduation parties in High School. Quickly realizing I didn’t want to DJ in someones back yard for the rest of my life, in college, I sought out several residences at the different clubs around my college town’s.
After College, I moved to NYC and I launched a startup called Soundscope (think Yelp for nightlife) which combined my love for Tech and Music. That led me to randomly meet Devon James at a Splice beta-test meet up. At the time, I had started making house music, but had never really been introduced to the true underground scene in New York. After those first initial experiences of going to places like Output and other rave’s, It was a new world for me and have never looked back since.
Since 2013, I’ve had the opportunity to release on amazing labels such as Ferris Wheel Recordings, WeJack, Psycho Disco, SOUP NYC and of course, RVDIOVCTIVE.
How has RVDIOVCTIVE weathered the storm of the pandemic? It must have been a tough time for the brand.
Personally, the pandemic threw me for a tizzy. Before the pandemic, I felt like I was on a roll. RVD had our favorite lineups ever booked for the summer. I had just released 3 songs that did very well on Spotify and Beatport and was building a ton of momentum. When the pandemic hit, it felt like a punch to the gut. Not only did we not know when things would turn around, I was in NY where the news was bleak and bodies were stacking up.
I realized at that point, I was putting so much pressure on myself to produce and make music everyday and that mentality was making me burn out. I personally took some time off from making music and obviously events weren’t happening.
As 2021 came around, and we were cleared to throw events safely, it felt like I was reborn around what I wanted to make and how we wanted to throw events. Although the pandemic sucked in so many ways, it was honestly the push I needed to figure out my sound and why I loved what we do.
What do you think makes RVDIOVCTIVE events special?
We make it all about the music and experience. It’s not about RVDIOVCTIVE. We’ve been bootstrapped since the beginning, putting every dime we had to book artists pushing the envelope. We never took outside investment, which has allowed us to maintain quality control and curate lineups that introduce fans to upcoming artists and legendary artists that have built our scene
We’ve put our blood sweat and tears into building our brand into a safe space for all to come and enjoy themselves. At the core, one of our missions is to support artists who are bringing a unique perspective to the scene and pushing the envelope.
It’s never been about booking the biggest artist to sell the most tickets. It’s about how people and artists feel when interacting with us. By focusing on being good people and supporting the roots of House music, we’ve been able to build a community of like-minded people.
You’ve released with some fantastic labels already – do you have any specific ones on your bucket list?
I’ve been blessed to be around people in the scene who believe in me and my music. That’s enabled me to release on some dope labels over the years. As I’ve released more and seen how independent labels market, I’ve realized that a lot of what makes a track special is the community around that label and the story you’re able to tell through music.
As far as labels I look up to, my dream label in the past would be Defected. As I’ve started to shift my sound to include more breaks, old school rave sounds and a classic house feel, I look up to the likes of Jubilee’s Magic City, Doorly’s Reptile Disfunction, Danny Daze’s Omnidisc and BoysNoize Records.
What inspires you in the studio?
I get most inspired to create when I’m out. It’s one thing to have an Idea in my head of what I’m going for with a track, but often I find myself in the middle of the dance floor in some dark room getting the most inspired. House is something you feel and a lot of that inspiration comes from moments you least expect.
There’s a huge range of styles on the new RVDIOVCTIVE compilation – is keeping things mixed up important when you’re putting these together?
As the constant cycles of what’s popular are changing year in and out, we try not to choose songs that sound like everything else. It’s important for us to find artists who stand for similar values and curate sounds that are unique. Whether it’s Techno, breaks or house, we want to be at the forefront of finding artists pushing the envelope. We don’t want to put artists into a box, but rather give them a platform in which they can be without limits.
Labels chase what makes them money these days. We are focused on how we curate a unique sound and build a community around us
What else do you have coming up this year?
This year has already been a whirlwind. I’ve played events in Nashville, Miami, Detroit and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year of events we have planned.
Finally, what’s the most underrated track you’ve heard this year that we should all know about?
It might be impossible for me to name just one artist/track… Some artists I’ve been getting down to this year are Amadeezy, Acemo, Hermeth and DJ Minx. I love the hard hitting electro sounds, but am just as in love with the Soul Tech that Minx has been playing.
Gotta give it to the homies tho, Devon James and Gettoblaster just released one of my favorite tracks this year is ‘To the Beat’ out now on Reptile Dysfunction.