If there is one thing I respect in up-and-coming artists it’s an unwavering work ethic. This is a business where having talent is not nearly enough to succeed. The producers who may be less talented, but put in the hours will always come out ahead of the ones who sit back and marvel at their own work. Westend is an artist who not only has that work ethic, but is also immensely talented and I’m happy to have him on THE BIRDHOUSE for a guest mix and questionnaire.
Over the last two years or so Westend has been busy building a catalog of dozens of releases on labels that have given rise to numerous Dirtybird artists. Box of Cats, Audiophile, Perfect Driver, and Sweat It Out are just a few of the imprints with credits from Westend, and now he’ll make his official Dirtybird debut on our upcoming BBQ compilation.
How did your music career get started in earnest?
I began making music when I was 16. This was when I was still in high school and it was more of a hobby than anything else. I didn’t start taking production seriously until after I graduated college and was working a corporate job. I was getting support from some of the Dirtybird Players like Vonstroke, Justin Martin, Walker & Royce and having more gig offers come in. It got to the point where I wasn’t able to take more time off from work and so I quit my job and have been producing and DJing since!
Where are you from and does it have an influence on your music?
I was born and raised in New York City. It definitely has a huge influence on my productions and work ethic. The city is a machine that never stops with something always going on in every aspect of life. I try to take that energy and emotion and put it into my music. Whether it’s an empty Subway car ride or a warehouse party deep in Brooklyn, I can always find inspiration here.
How many times did you want to quit trying to make this your career?
I surprisingly never wanted to quit making music a career but there were definitely times where I had doubts. I went to Duke for college where most graduates start working in finance or consulting with 16 hour workdays. There was always a lot of pressure to follow that path and keep music as a hobby. I just kept at it and only worried about constantly doing bigger and better things and was able to eventually make it a career.
What was one piece of equipment that helped define your sound early on?
Massive by Native Instruments. I use it in every track and it allows me to get a bunch of really unique bass and synth sounds.
When you were getting started, which artists did you try to emulate (both musically and careerwise)?
Justice. I love the tension and energy in their music.
When you have a tough week or a rough tour, how do you get yourself back on track?
Meditation and a massage. Maybe a nice sushi dinner also.
Where and when are you at your most content/happiest?
Traveling the world with friends an family. Or deep into a state of flow while making music.
Do you have any secret hobbies or hidden talents?
Not much of a secret but I am addicted to all types of fishing. Always try to fit some in when I can.
Favorite and least favorite colors?
Favorite and least favorite words?
Favorite board game?
Favorite guilty pleasure food?
Krispy Kreme doughnuts
Favorite guilty pleasure song?
German or Detroit techno?
Festival, club or illegal warehouse?
Festival but its gotta be in a pretty location
Biggie or Tupac?
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Exercise or Netflix?