Wrap Up And Watch Out: Wizzy Wow
Tinie Tempah, Wretch 32, Chip, Estelle, Lady Leshurr and Roll Deep are just a few names that appear on Wizzy Wow’s production CV. The well-known beat-maker has a star-like quality. If he isn't seen popping up in music videos, then you can be sure to find him mingling with the stars at industry parties and events. The Wrap Up's James Walsh managed to catch the north London producer away from his studio to get the lowdown on how he first got started in music, how his star has risen, and we also find out what exciting plans he has for the coming months.
The Wrap Up: Wizzy! It's a pleasure speaking with you today. Going back to the beginning, can you tell us who some of your main musical influences were growing up?
Wizzy Wow: Nice to speak to you too. Growing up, I listened to a lot of Tupac and DMX. Producer-wise, it was all about Timbaland, Pharrell Williams and Bryan Cox.
TWU: Okay, so when did you first catch the producing bug?
Wizzy Wow: It was back at school. Me and a mate started by messing about with a tape recorder, recording all the music we used to listen to, and we then started to ask ourselves where we could get beats like the ones we were recording. I got Fruity Loops soon after that and didn't look back!
TWU: What age were you when you decided you wanted to pursue it professionally and how did you progress from making beats on Fruity Loops to the level you're at now?
Wizzy Wow: I was about 14 when I started to envision myself as being able to be a big producer like the Pharrell's of the world. In terms of progress, I think it's been more through affiliations than anything that has helped me. I grew up in the same area as Wretch 32 and he would always vocal my stuff. As The Movement began making noise, other people then heard about me and it really helped me to get my music out there. Wretch was on BBC 1Xtra regularly and would always big me up on the tracks.
TWU: How would you describe your sound and production style?
Wizzy Wow: It's left, but right (laughs). It's weird, but a good weird. I don't get artists asking for a particular style, they always ask for 'that Wizzy Wow sound.' It’s just good that people feel I have a signature sound.
TWU: You've actually produced a lot of records people may not have realised you were behind. For those who haven't come across you before, can you give them a brief rundown of your work?
Wizzy Wow: (Laughs) There's A LOT! Obviously I've been working with Wretch for a while and I did 'Never Be Me' and 'Let Yourself Go' on his album, 'Black & White'. I also had a track on Skepta's 'Community Payback' mixtape, Roll Deep's 'Swagga', Wiley's 'Music I Like', about five tracks on Scorcher's 'Concrete Jungle' and I did 'Lego' for Lady Leshurr last year as well.
TWU: Bringing things up to date a little, what have you been working on lately?
Wizzy Wow: I've been working with Loick Essien on his EP since January, there's one certified track that will be coming out for sure. I've produced the first track for Estelle's album and I'll also be on her next album – she's planning on dropping two this year. I'm on Wretch's next album and I’m in talks for Bashy's album too. Chip's also been down a bit and we've spoken about working on his album and mixtape. I've got a lot of things going on in the States as well, which I can’t speak about too much. I also produced the track for the adidas Olympic campaign. Very big shout out to adidas and Wretch for that because we came out with something great.
TWU: Things are going extremely well for you, but what other plans do you have for the rest of 2012 and beyond?
Wizzy Wow: I'm working on a producer EP at the minute, something like you might get from DJ Khalid – minus the shouting (laughs). I'm creating the music and looking to get other artists who fit the beats well. It'll be about ten tracks or so and I’m hoping to release it in June. There's no official release date as yet, but I'll probably go with 'I Am Wizzy Wow' for the title. I'm also working with Enj and Tippalay to form a team called Winners World, which may eventually evolve into a Young Money kind of thing in the future. However, it's just about us working together and making great music right now. I want to get into the studio with artists who I’ve looked up to for a long amount of years, that's an aim of mine. I'd also really like to help make an artist blow up big! I'm currently working with a few acts who are really talented. There's London Ivy, who’s more on the commercial side of things. There's Shimmy Stylez, who’s on a kind of electro/rap tip, and there's a couple of singers too: Hayley Cassidy and Mezamet. For them to blow up would be a dream come true, so be sure to check out their music when you have time.
Stay up to date with Wizzy Wow on Twitter – www.twitter.com/WizzyWow
Words: James Walsh (@JW_DittoMusic)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)