Behind The Beat: Worthy
Only The Beat: Thanks for doing this with Only The Beat! We appreciate it. Excited to have you out in Detroit next week for that Blu Party.
Worthy: Yeah, me too! I’m excited for it!
OTB: So you’ve obviously been busy since Disbehave and it’s remix album. EPs, remixes…overall, what has your focus been recently?
Worthy: My focus has actually been being on Defected at the moment. I’ve been working on getting some remixes done for them and another EP finished up, and solidifying my connection to them. That’s been blooming. Also developing Anabatic a little bit more.
OTB: Do have anything coming up with future for Anabatic? New albums coming out, new artists you’re looking for?
Worthy: We’re kind of doing little bit of a restart. We’ve got some new people on the label. So we’re lining up to get a really strong lineup of EPs with some new artists and some more established artists here. Within a couple months I think we’ll get that rolling out and hopefully build up the label a little bit more.
Worthy: Something that just sparks an idea or if there’s a part of a song I think I can work with and turn it into a bit of my style, and keep their original aesthetic within it. With the Odesza one, I heard their song and thought I bang out a sweet remix to this, I was really digging all the sounds that they used. I pumped that one out in like a day or two (laughs).
OTB: Do find yourself caught off guard with inspiration or do go searching for things you can add your sound to?
Worthy: It happens both ways. I had been sent that Odesza remix as a promo and I heard the middle part and knew I could do a cool remix of that. It kind of sat in the back of my head for a while and then I got inspired to do it. I was looking for something different to remix and do something cool I could give away to people. And I just stumbled upon it and thought, “Oh this is so perfect. I can really work with this!”
OTB: You’ve mentioned this in a previous interview that you split up why you Disbehave remix album. “There is a point where you can overload the listener when you give them too much and they will not be able to fully appreciate everything.” How do you feel like the commonality of streaming services like Soundcloud and Spotify and things that give people so much access to so much music has affected this idea?
Worthy: It’s kind of hard to say. With Soundcloud you’re getting a lot of different stuff all at once. I think there’s a bit of a difference when you’re talking about a DJ compilation versus streaming services. When a DJ sees a crazy compilation with 40 different tracks, that’s a lot of stuff to ingest and find what you like because there’s so much on it. But when you listen to Soundcloud or Spotify, you can just have it in the background at work or while driving. I think it’s a bit of a different thing. If you have a good song on there, you’ll catch a new fan and people will come and discover you.
With a DJ compilation you’re going through so many tracks you can overload it too much and it loses something. I know when I go looking for music and I get this big compilation it’s overwhelming in a way. Forty tracks seems more daunting than going through forty EPs for some reason.
OTB: Little bit more a variety you feel like you can expose yourself to maybe.
Worthy: Yeah, maybe that’s it. It’s just an overload. That’s just me personally though (laughs).
OTB: So let’s go back to San Francisco in the early 2000s. What was it about that city at that time that inspired you to move all the way across the country?
Worthy: I had just moved back to DC from New York after finishing college, and I was kind of really just bored there to be honest. I was just doing the same thing I was doing in high school. And it was cool, I just wanted something different. Justin Martin was out here and I came out and visited the city for a week and just fell instantly in love with it. And the scene was going off and I felt that the east coast was really slow with dance music. There was just an energy surrounding the dance music scene here that I hadn’t really felt anywhere before, even in New York. There was a really tight knit group of people going out and supporting it. You could just feel the creativity that was brewing in the city, and I just knew I had to be out here. And I moved out a month later (laughs)!
OTB: And if you could go back and deliver one message to yourself in 2001 as you get off that plane, what would it be? Words of encouragement? Advice?
Worthy: Probably…be super confident in what you’re doing. Because it’s going to work out. There’s definitely times where I didn’t know if was doing the right thing here for a while. It’s tough at points being an artist and trying to come up. So yeah…tell myself to stay confident in what you do.
OTB: You’re doing these parties in the park, and was there a point the four of you realized we’re really onto something here?
Worthy: It was probably in the end of our second year doing the parties and all of a sudden the party exploded with the amount of people that were there. It just doubled in number and thought, “this is crazy! Oh my god!” I just had this feeling that we were making something really cool here all of a sudden. And people were catching on. It just blew me away at that moment. I remember, where we were doing these parties had theses hills around it, and I walked up and looked down and thought, wow that’s really cool looking. I can’t believe we all just made this!
OTB: Is that something that the Dirtybird campout is trying to capture again? Less shows, and more of these unique events and community gatherings?
Worthy: I think with everything that Dirtybird is doing, it’s still trying to capture that moment and that feeling we tried to create back that. Definitely with the campout it’s really fun because we’re all there together, and we’re not all together all the time when we go and play different events and different Dirtybird showcases. It’s pretty cool.
And it’s really awesome that we have all of our old friends who come out to help create the barbecue. It has a lot more of a family vibe that anything else we’ve doing lately.
OTB: All these people that were probably at these shows in San Francisco way back then, huh?
OTB: How did you even go around collecting music back then? We have Shazaam now, and that works 70% of the time if you’re lucky. You have all this music without lyrics. If you heard something you loved, how did you go about tracking it down?
Worthy: It was a lot harder back then for sure (laughs). Back then, it was going to the record stores and going through lots of different music on vinyl and just becoming friends with the people at the record store back then is what you did. If you went in enough, they’d go “Oh you’re gonna love this record!” There was definitely a connection with the people there that they would pull out records they thought would line up with what you were buying. And if someone is playing something cool at a party, you just have to go up and look down and see what was playing or ask them.
OTB: It’s like real life Soundcloud or something.
Worthy: Yeah (laughs).
OTB: This is also something that you’ve mentioned before and it’s obvious if you listen. How do you find a balance between producing club bangers and home listening in an industry that’s increasingly driven by ticket sales?
Worthy: I just always try and create different sounds for myself. I went down the path where I always trying to produce the banger, the club hit. When I put out Disbehave that wasn’t a thought. I needed to do something to inspire myself and look deeper within myself creatively. Doing that helped me in creating those club tracks as well. By doing that I think I helped boost my profile and give people something else to listen to other than of the same style of tracks that I was always doing. People will come out and think, “I like this Worthy song that completely different than what he’s going to play out, but I want to see what he’s going to play in the club now.”
OTB: Who are some people that are new to the scene that we should keep our eye on?
Worthy: I just put out this guy Karuva. His EP just came out on Anabatic and it’s really good. Marc Spence is really killing it for me. Letman. There’s so many people making so much cool music recently. It’s super inspirational.
OTB: I guess that’s one of the benefits to having almost an overexposure to music. If you look long and hard enough you’ll find tons of people making really good stuff.
Worthy: That’s so true. There are a ton of really cool artists out there. I will go dig through Beatport and I’ll find these tracks that not too many people have heard. I’ll think, “Wow. Here’s a gem! I can’t believe this didn’t get picked up by a whole bunch of people.” I’ll look and it’s only been charted by one person, so I get a secret bomb in my bag that no one else has that will blow people away.
OTB: Any last thoughts? Anything we should know about Worthy or the label?
Worthy: We’re always looking for new artists on the label. If anyone out there has some cool tracks, send it to us on Soundcloud. And I got my latest remix on Defected this week.
OTB: Very cool. That’s all the questions I have for you. I appreciate your time connecting with me today!
Worthy: Thank you very much!
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