Outwild is a talented producer from Toronto, Canada whose former artist name was Inukshuk. On September 30, Outwild released the deluxe edition of his latest EP, Everbright, out now for download and stream via Seven Lions‘ Ophelia Records. The deluxe Everbright EP contains 10 tracks including the cinematically atmospheric “May You Always Be” and the upbeat title track “Everbright”. Everbright originally had six tracks and the original EP came out back in June.
Outwild first arrived into the electronic music scene in 2015. Since then, he has released many amazing tracks that accumulated millions of streams across Spotify and Youtube. Outwild’s Everbright release directly followed up on the success of the Letting Go EP, which came out in March. Here is One EDM’s exclusive interview with Outwild, an artist who become Canada’s top EDM star in the near future.
Kenny Ngo: What did you do this past summer aside from making music?
Outwild: I’m not going to lie, a big part of my summer was dedicated to music production and brand development. It’s been the first time in a long time in which I’ve had the opportunity to really be focused on finishing projects, record/stream live sets, and plan out broader promotional campaigns.
That being said, I dedicated a reasonable amount of time to self-care. In a period where we don’t have much control over what’s happening in the world, I tried my best to focus on proper diet, exercise, and overall healthier lifestyle habits.
You have released your latest EP, Everbright, on September 30th. How was the production process of the EP like for you?
Everbright has been an interesting project because it was developed over a very long period of time. Many of the tracks come from different areas of my adult life which, incidentally, gave them each their own sense of sentimentality. As I’ve mentioned with not having time to focus on finishing projects, that’s what had drawn out the writing of this EP.
I think, in a way, it adds to what you’re able to hear on the record. I didn’t just write one song and quickly moved on to the next. Furthermore, I developed relationships with these pieces which led to a more thought out process, not much of what you hear is incidental.
Which songs from Everbright did you like the most while producing them?
My two favourite songs on the record are “May You Always Be” and “Everbright”. I always wanted to have an introductory track that complemented a single, which is exactly what those two are.
I originally wrote “Everbright” as a seven-minute-long epic, however, that long duration just didn’t seem to sit well. In fact, I cut the song down a bit but it was still too long, which led to the final decision to cut the initial build-up of energy to be separated into its own track, this ended up being “May You Always Be”.
The EP released on Ophelia Records. How is it like working with the record label?
I love Ophelia, they have been nothing short of amazing to work with. They have been very organized and easy to get in touch with from day one.
Ophelia Records have an amazing team of managers, artists, illustrators, publishers, and more. It has saved on so much stress with them covering so many services under one umbrella.
How is it like working with Seven Lions, the founder of Ophelia Records?
Jeff and I haven’t had a ton of personal contact but he’s been super supportive in of my releases as well as my recent rebrand. He has always been there as a second set of ears on my production too which has been really helpful!
Your former artist name was Inukshuk, which is a man-made stone landmark that Inuit and other indigenous Arctic cultures often use. Growing up, how did you see the Inuit culture celebrated in your community?
Growing up in Canada, Indigenous culture has always had a presence in our art and architecture. When I was younger there was not much information about that side of the countries history in our standard curriculum.
I do love to see the use of Indigenous influence in the Canadian experience. However, I do really think that those aspects of the countries history should be more regularly recognized.
What made you decide to change your artist name from Inukshuk to Outwild?
I had always found Canadian Indigenous culture to be inspiring and loved its connection to nature. That is why I chose the name and symbol of the Inukshuk to begin with because it was a human form found in nature that offered a sense of direction and security.
It was a guiding light in exploring the unknown. However, as my brand began to grow and project to a wider audience, it became more and more apparent that my use of the symbol was misrepresenting what it truly was. This made me uncomfortable and, after educating myself on Canada’s Indigenous history, it became obvious fairly quickly that my use of the name ‘Inukshuk’ shouldn’t continue.
I wanted to feel confident in my brand and I was slowly becoming ashamed of it. After a lot of thought and consultation with close friends and family, I decided to change my name to Outwild. The new name still sits under the same general theme and sound of my old brand. However, it holds no cultural significance. It’s just about the music, now.
Are there any rising Canadian DJs you can recommend for everyone to check out?
For sure! There’s Miles Away out of Vancouver, British Columbia, I was proud to showcase his work on his remix of ’The Way You Are’ on this deluxe EP, he and I have also collaborated in the past on our track “The Pages“. He’s a super talented musician, producer, and vocalist, be sure to check out the work he’s been releasing on Lowly recently.
There’s also We Are Fury, the melodic bass duo from the West Coast. They just released their debut album, Duality, on Seeking Blue, they did a spectacular job and it’s great to see the release doing well!
How is the Toronto music scene doing these days during the pandemic?
Toronto has always had a great music community. However, because of lockdown and our fairly strict reopening phases, the music scene has been pretty non-existent.
We have some great venues in the city that, during normal times, host thousands of great acts throughout the year. I’m really looking forward to things opening up again and watching the scene recover.
If the pandemic ends today or dies down a bit, which location do you want to travel to the most?
That’s a tough one! At this point, almost anywhere. I have been within the same radius of Toronto since March so it would be really great to see some new sights in the coming days. I’ve always loved the American southwest so it would be nice to go back to California at some point!
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