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Home » Mag » Wino Willy: From Belt-Drive Turntables to Boom-Bap Bliss

Barbara Vaz - Wino Willy: From Belt-Drive Turntables to Boom-Bap Bliss

Wino Willy: From Belt-Drive Turntables to Boom-Bap Bliss

A beatmaker defying genres and building his own musical universe

Barbara Vaz 20/02/2024

Astral Boom-Bap & Afrofuturism: Wino Willy’s Sound Refuses Labels.

A teenage bedroom alchemist, armed with belt-driven turntables and a copy of Audacity, conjuring beats that would soon soundtrack the underground hip-hop scene in Beijing.

That, my friends, is the origin story of Wino Willy, a producer whose sound defies boxes and easy label.

Born in Edison, New Jersey, and raised in Philadelphia, Wino’s musical journey is as diverse as his beats. He worked on his craft in China, rocked live sets in bustling cities like New York and Atlanta, and finally settled in the vibrant melting pot of New Orleans.

This unique blend of influences fuels his multi-brand of “astral, textural boom-bap” – think spacey soundscapes laced with Afro-futurism, where hard-hitting drums meet ethereal melodies.

Wino Willy playing records in his studio with a boombox in the beackground

Wino Willy, portrait, picture courtesy of WW

But his magic lies not just in his sonic kaleidoscope. He’s a full-on collaborator, weaving his sounds into cohesive projects like Snake & Crane Secret with Raheim Supreme and Past In Present Tense with Strong Maurice. Each track feels like a journey, a testament to his innate ability to connect with other artists and bring their visions to life.

With a discography featuring names like Mach-Hommy, Your Old Droog, and Daniel Son, the artist already carved his name in the boom-bap scene. But he’s far from finished. Currently gracing New Orleans stages with his live sets and with fresh releases on the horizon, Wino Willy is an artist on a mission: to push boundaries, defy expectations, and leave you grooving with his brand of musical alchemy.

We invite you to step into Wino Willy’s world, where beats bend genres and collaborations spark sonic wildfires. Don’t sleep on this one.

Hey Wino Willy, and welcome to Production Specs, do you want to introduce yourself to our readers?

Peace, I’m Wino Willy, I’ve been cooking beats for a minute. Glad to connect with y’all. I believe that Sampling is sacred.

When did you start making music? What were your inspirations when you first started?
I started making beats in 2006 after catching some bumps on Adult Swim. I grew up a hip-hop head and appreciator of all types of music. My grandfather AL always took me to grab great jazz records and inspired my sound.

What was your first commercial beat sold, or placed, ever?
Fuze The Mc, Tell Me. Made it on the Roland SP-404.

How long did it take you to produce something that you were proud of?
Within that first year. I got content making 4 bar loops that would work.

What’s your favorite production set-up?
Akai MPC LIVE x Roland SP-404MKII and I also use Ableton Live 12.

What’s the best digging advice you’ve received from someone?
My grandfather always said that if you look at the liner notes you can find some gems. The session musicians typically play on other dope records. I also believe that you can find heat anywhere. Don’t be afraid of change.

If you should tell, what’s your worst production mistake ever made?
Vocals mixed too low and not checking on other systems.

One essential mixing tip?
If all of your sounds are clear at -12db it will be easier to make it knock at 0db after the fact. You don’t have to drive the volume the whole time.

What can we expect from you in the near future?
I have a vinyl coming via Sinking City Records with _thesmoothcat from New Orleans.
I have a couple of albums coming this year. Stuff with Ferris Blusa, Chubs, Gabe ‘Nandez and more. I’m going to have more instrumental work released towards the end of the year.

Any final word for the readers?
Believe in yourself and focus on honing your craft. Find your local beat scene and get out and grow.

If anyone wanted to get in touch with you for beat inquiries, how can they do it?
They can reach out to Nate Cameron for production and features, and go to Patreon for more exclusive content.

You can also find Wino Willy on Instagram, too, and just vibe to his astral sounds.