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Two Sides To Every Story: Whyel Speaks Out

It has been a very interesting few months in the life of Whyel. It was only a short bit ago that the producer was hailed as a top protege of Panda Funk's heavy hitters. Then seemingly overnight things changed; accusations were made, ties were broken and Whyel was no longer part of the Panda Funk Family. This all came to a head last night when Whyel posted a picture to his social media accounts of a new tattoo. A tattoo which covered up the Panda Funk logo which was inked onto his body during a time of promise and excitement.

real whyel

I guess the industry really is what everyone has always said it would be. I just thought I'd be able to avoid a lot of things. Guess not..

As you can see above, the post was not inflammatory. In fact it overall has a solemn tone. But when the label he once called home saw this, artists decided to take to Twitter to voice their disapproval. This is where things get a bit complicated. Panda Funk is a house hold name to most EDM fans. Their artists are well known and the team is ever growing, giving them a bit of weight in the industry. Therefore when they shared their side of the story of the falling out with Whyel, it was accepted as fact. But I have been writing and working in this industry for several years myself, and if I have learned one thing it is that there are always two sides to every story. Something did not seem right. Based on Whyel's actions, and decision to remain relatively neutral through the process of breaking off from the label, I found it bizarre that Panda Funk chose to go after him in the way they did. Luckily after the Twitter rant from Panda Funk, Whyel has decided to tell his side of the story and this is a story you will only hear from us at EDM Sauce. Here is Whyel's first personal statement about what happened:

“I had something that I invested my whole life into kick me to the curb and then watch them try to cover their tracks. My recent departure from panda funk was not on my will. I was kicked out. Why? To this day I have still not gotten a legitimate answer.

Being brought on to Panda Funk by Deorro was one of the happiest days of my life. Legit. I dedicated my entirety into my music. Deorro was a great mentor and I learned so much from him. He is one of the most talented guys i=I know to this day. The meaning of Panda Funk was ‘pay it forward' and ‘helping others', which I did and more. I have many other musicians that I mentor and help. From music to even giving people a place to live. Music has always been #1 for me and anything I can do to help music progress is my goal.

So how can someone who is promoting a ‘movement' by actively following and living it be thrown away? I don’t know. All I do know is that the last few interactions I had involving Panda Funk people were not what you would expect. I had been told that “You have done nothing for Panda Funk”. This was the most hurtful thing to hear for me. To have the last 2-3 years of my life devoted to something that I believed in so much so that I would even go as far to permanently ink onto my body, take a complete 180 spin and become something I would have never imagined is absolutely disillusioning.

I was offered a record deal with PF. They always encouraged us to have lawyers look over important documents and when I did, I was shamed for it. When I wanted to talk business they shamed me for being a ‘bad friend'. So I soon realized that no matter what I did I couldn’t win with them. It hurt but I did what any smart business person would. I solved the problem. I made the decision to fire my management who was the resident Panda Funk management. That way I could separate business from the friendship I thought I had with these people. In the end they deemed me a traitor and was looked down upon for trying to salvage what little I had left.

I was told weeks later that I was no longer apart of Panda Funk due to false accusations about me that they chose to believe. None of which were even remotely true to me or my character.

All in all I'm happy to be in a place now where I can express myself musically and move forward in the direction I feel which is best for my self and career. In the end, I just want to let the music speak…”

This is a powerful statement refuting several claims made by the label. Speaking further with Whyel about the situation even more interesting facts come to light. This begins to tell a story of a label which made an executive decision and in turn decided to run a smear campaign against the artist in order to rationalize it's decision. While many organizations might have handled an artist dispute with some grace, Panda Funk chose to seemingly attempt to discredit any positive contributions made by Whyel during his time with the label. They had many explanations on why Whyel left, but upon speaking to the artist himself, discrepancies start to appear.

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“The biggest false accusation were their reasons and explanations of why I left PandaFunk. Which is a shame because the real truth is that I got kicked out. Another accusation made was that I'm ungrateful for a lot of what they did for me, while I was in Panda Funk. Anyone who knows me, knows that isn't the truth. I dedicated my time and life towards that organization.”


It is disheartening to hear this side of the story in many ways. Especially for up and coming producers every where. It is a dream of thousands of kids to make it to a point where they are picked up by a major label. Yet here the harsh reality lies that signing onto a major organization can have serious consequences. The promise of success is a serious motivator, but to have your success, freedom, and personal choices governed by the very organization which promised to promote your art is almost tragic. I was curious if Whyel has become jaded after the experience. His words come as a warning for those entering fame with an unrealistic amount of optimism.

“I guess the industry really is what everyone has always said it would be. I just thought I'd be able to avoid a lot of things. Guess not..”

That being said, Whyel by no means looks at his experience with regret. This is where I see a true example of character. While Panda Funk wants to try to turn the tides against the artist by forcing their side of the story and attempting to discredit the other by calling his responses ‘playing the victim', Whyel sees the benefits of his time with the label.

“Deorro was a great mentor when he was around. I learned a lot; from the creative process to the business side of things.”

There is an old saying that goes, ‘There are three sides to every story. One's Side, The Other's Side, and the Truth.' I say this because when it comes down to it, perception is the key to fully understanding a complex series of events such as those which unfolded to ultimately have Whyel no longer be associated with Panda Funk. That being said, when a big name organization is using its weight to throw heavy amounts of shade towards an artist who truly just wants his art to speak for itself, something seems off. An army against a solider is not a battle. I am happy to be able to share the other side of the story through the platform of EDM Sauce, because at the end of the day everybody has a story that deserves to be told. The beautiful thing about Whyel's is that it is only just beginning.

Check out Whyel's latest release ‘Middle Finger' below, keep an eye out for his collaboration on Carnage‘s album dropping the 30th and check him out on his forthcoming national tour with Junkie Kid, Bl3r, and Starx.

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