Bristol-based DJ and producer Will Clarke has solidified his status as a very talented tech house artist. He has received recognition and support from some of the top names in electronic music such as Carl Cox, Fisher, and Claude VonStroke, who’s also the founder of Dirtybird Records and had signed Clarke onto the record label as well. Will Clarke recently founded his own independent techno label in November 2019 called All We Have Is Now.
Clarke’s music on this label is techno-heavy and contains a lot of vocals. He is currently on a North American tour bearing the same name as the label and the first two stops were the 1015 Folsom nightclub in San Francisco on Jan. 24 and the Exchange LA Nightclub in Los Angeles on Jan. 25. Here is ONE EDM’s exclusive interview with Will Clarke as he discussed his new record label, musical styles, favorite cities he performed in, and his favorite sports team.
Kenny Ngo: How do you feel about being in charge of your own independent label, “All We Have Is Now”?
Will Clarke: It’s what I’ve always wanted to do since Day 1 of entering this industry. To be able to control full artistic direction, release when I want, and not be tied down by any other barriers; it’s perfect. Also, I really want to be able to give artists a platform just like Claude VonStroke, Adam Beyer, Alan Fitzpatrick, Dense & Pika and every other label I signed to that gave me a chance to release my music.
What are your likes and dislikes about managing the label?
Likes…100% full artistic control from the name of the label to the artwork to the sound and all the in-betweens. I’ve loved how Ryan (my manager) and I have built a really nice team for the label too, so we have Nick Harris managing the label from Bristol in the UK. We also have The Good Company looking after UK/Europe for the label, Insomniac for N/S America, Etc Etc for Australia & New Zealand, also on press we have Listen Up. So we have built this really nice team that is everything I could’ve wished for and more, I feel super lucky. Don’t get me wrong it’s been a lot of hard work getting it sorted around 9 months to be precise.
The dislikes about the label, honestly I don’t really know yet, there are a lot of teething issues to start but that’s the same in any business or new venture, so maybe come back to me in a few months on that.
When you started your music career, what was the #1 goal for you to achieve?
Headline Glastonbury Festival. Still a long way from that eh hahahaha…also not too sure if it will be Will Clarke that does that but maybe another project that I’m involved in. However, one thing I do say one of my goals was to make people happy with my music and I feel blessed that I get the chance to do that most weekends.
Your first single on your new label is titled, “U Take Me Higher”. What are the track’s significant sounds should people take notice of?
Over my career, I started out expecting people to hear what I want them to hear. However, I realized pretty quickly that I can’t expect anything of anyone and ask anything of anyone. The music is there, once its released its no longer Will Clarke’s music it’s the general publics and they can have their own opinion on it. The one thing I do want to point out is that the rule for the label is that the song must have a fucking dope vocal that makes people feel good.
How was it like producing your two recent EPs, “Love Somebody” and “Listen Linda”?
These were both fun records to make and process. “Love Somebody” was Huxley and I, we just bounced ideas back and forth. “Listen Linda” I believe was just an afternoon in my studio back in the UK.
In your opinion, what is the main difference between your musical style when you started your career and your musical style now?
Lots but also still similarities, I have always been clear to write big beats and big baselines, I still am doing that, I just feel the records are little tougher and have more melody.
Do you have any advice for prospective DJs who want to be successful in the music industry?
I think every DJ/producer has answered this question a million times I answer the same answer every time. Work hard, listen to constructive criticism, it’s not going to happen overnight, lock your way in the studio for 2 years and don’t do anything else, work harder, and be original.
On your international travels, what city or country did you enjoy performing in the most?
Performing the most is always a hard question, I do really enjoy playing in San Francisco as it’s always a wild night. However I’m going to change it up to my favourite cities I like to visit and that is Tokyo and NYC. Both amazing cities in their own rights, when I land in NYC I feel like I have landed at home just get the most amazing feeling. Tokyo is very similar to NYC however worlds apart as well, the culture and the fashion and the food is just the best ever there.
Your North American tour is titled “All We Have Is Now”, named after your aforementioned label and one of the cities you’re going to perform in again is San Francisco. What was San Francisco like for you when you were there?
Yes, I love San Francisco, it’s my top place to go to in California. It’s a very raw city, people are fun, the parties are good, and the food is amazing. There are a lot of people just being themselves which is hard to find in big cities.
Regarding English football, since you are from Bristol, are you a fan of Bristol Rovers or Bristol City?
Bristol Bears, they are the rugby team, I’m not a football fan.
*Anyone who is a fan of Will Clarke or is curious to see him perform can visit his website and purchase tickets for any of his tour stops. His upcoming show is on Jan. 30 at The Grand Boston in Boston, Massachusetts.