Tim Wu, known by you and your friends as Elephante, has been taking over Festival stages across the globe over the past year. The Michagan Native and Harvard grad has dropped some timeless tracks including “Troubled” earlier this year. His ear for melody and ability to manipulate sound has brought Tim heavy hitting remixes to tracks originated by the likes of the Chainsmokers, Jack U, Katy Perry, Calvin Harris and Lorde (to name a few). His freshman EP “I am the Elephante” release just a year ago and was widely recieved as a hard hitting progressive tape. One of the fastest growing DJ's over the past months took some time to chat with me about growing his brand, how things have progressed, whats to come and his outstanding bleached locks. The Melodies he produces are gold. Read on to gain some personality perspective from one of up-and-coming minds in EDM!
Interview ensues (Tim is Italics, I am Bold)…
Dude, I actually just came from getting my hair done. Dude, I can literally hardly feel my head. It burns like hell, it’s completely numb. You know it looks sweet and all that but the pictures don’t show the actual pain of getting your hair bleached.
Moonrise was a hell of a festival. Heavy bass lineup. Between the Lightning storm that shut it down for 3-hours (with no beer) on Saturday and the mud party it turned into thereafter. Dude people were literally racing down the Preakness race track, in the mud, and belly flopping, our section was taking bets on who would win these races. Anyways, after your set on Sunday you mentioned it being one of the radest shows you have ever played. What differentiated the Baltimore crowd from others?
Dude, 3-hours with no beer? That’s crazy! Haha. Man, the energy was just insane. I don’t know if it is because you guys had been pushed out for that three hours without beer the day before or what, but, it was just crazy. The stage I played on was literally RIGHT on top of the crowd. You’re at a festival with so many people and it was like I could reach out and touch people. It was like an ocean of people right out in front of me and I truly felt like I was floating on top of it. It had a club feel because everyone was so damn close but there was just so many people. All that said, it seemed out of a dream. As my set was winding down the sun was setting behind the track. It was just super magical man.
So, I know you probably get this type of question often but I can’t elude to it. You went to Harvard and graduated with an Economics degree… What did your boys think when, upon graduating, you told them you would be pursuing a career in DJing/Producing?
It was tough man. Some were supportive, my best friend acted as my manager at the time. The consensus for the most part was like “that’s kinda weird… Good luck I guess…”. It kinda sucked to be honest with you. Especially when you’re first starting out, like I was struggling for artistic life! I would play a show in NYC and I would be begging my friends to come out. There was always an excuse. “there’s this other party” or “I have other plans”. At the end of the day though I was on a mission, just made me sad more than anything not having their support. Now, the same people are looking for passes all the time.
Well, look at Tim Wu now! The Animals Wanted Tour seems to be going awesome. Especially on the heels of “Troubled” dropping which has been a huge success… What are the emotions all of this has been provoking in you?
Crazy man. It’s really been insane. In the Spring I was really out their grinding promoting my EP. And now I’m starting to see it full circle. At the beginning the crowds were still wild but it’s not like, wow all these people are singing MY songs. I found success with Remixes early on, but now it’s like Im not the remix guy anymore. Now, and what was made apparent at Moonrise is, holy crap, all of these people are singing along to my songs. So surreal. Really man, it’s been crazy to see all of this come together. So stoked about all these shows in so many different places and so many different venues.
“Troubled” is a really powerful song. Walk us through the production of that.
Troubled is a song that I felt and still feel extremely passionate and strongly about. Not to get to political, but, there’s a lot of things going on right now and it may seem that everything is crashing down around you. This song is a reminder that not all is bad, it’s about trying to find grace and peace.
I’ve read over and over about your admiration for Skrillex and John Mayer. Two completely different Artists. I am actually from the same town as John Mayer..
We talked a bit here about the Legends of Johnny “Fairfield” Mayer. This went on for a good 5-minutes and is mostly irrelevant to the average person reading this. None-the-less, we concluded that I am in fact a bigger John Mayer guy (that is my conclusion, not Tim’s).
But Skrillex, have you been experimenting with more bass heavy music?
I love Bass music. Part of the allure at this point is not entirely knowing how to do it. The energy of a bass crowd is just absolutely unreal. You listen to a guy like Skrillex and its just like, WHAAAAAAT just happened. It’s definitely something that I may look to incorporate but my forte is really within the melody. That’s where my background is, but, who knows we may definitely try to incorporate it into live sets and future production.
What’s next for Tim Wu and what do you have to say to the people that have been catching or plan on catching Elephante shows?
We have a handful of singles that are very close. From there we will drop an EP. Just trying to wrap up these singles. A bunch of stuff in the works right now. Expect a big project coming soon! To the fans. THANK YOU! Thank you for your support on my EP and Troubled. I remember having panic attacks prior to the release of the EP like what the hell is going to happen. And here we are. None of this is possible without you guys. I love partying with you guys and the energy that you are bringing across the country. It’s because of you that this is possible. Thank you.
One last thing, you see the “unknown DJs” now known as Marshmello and Malaa. Rezz rocks the stunner shades… When are we going to get an Elephant helmet?
Hahaha, you know it was a thought early on, but at this point I think we are going to ride this thing out hahaha.
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