Featured Artist: Willa

Hey again ;). Alright so lately I’ve been feeling a bit lazy and unproductive so I wanted to releasee a double header today so without any more fuss I’d like to jump right into my newest installment for my artist series.

Some of you know him already as you’ve seen him serving’ up pizza with a healthy slice of techno! He’s a crazy good  DJ and artist who goes by the name Willa!

Describe what music does for you.

For me, music is all about being lost in the moment. Vibrating on the frequency of now. Music makes you feel good, makes you feel grounded, makes you feel present and alive. It really gets you going, is what I’m trying to say!

Where are you from? What were you doing prior to pursuing music?

I was born in Oakland but grew up in south Florida in a town called Boca Raton. I like to think that’s where I learned to spot fakes 🙂 I’ve always been interested in music, and I started DJing when I was 18. It wasn’t until I moved back to to San Francisco in 2014 that I started taking it much more seriously. But outside of music, I’m a UX/Product Designer.

willaa-SF

How’d you decide on DJ/Mixing and/or Producing? Why?

I remember as soon as I was allowed to get into nightclubs I would go by myself, get a red bull, and watch the DJ do their thing for hours. I always was so energized by the idea of conducting a room with dance music. Eventually I got tired of always wanting songs to be a little bit different, and having my own unique ideas for a spin on a popular song— so I started producing.

How long have you been DJ/Mixing and/or Producing?

I’ve been DJing for just over 10 years and producing for about 2.

How’d you form your artist name anyway?

Willaa was the handle I had on a music app called Crossfader. I had some friends that would shout “Willaaaa!!” when I entered a party (or even just when I entered a room really) I got a kick out of it and it kind of just stuck with me.

What has been your most memorable experience thus far?

It’s hard to nail down just one—so here are three.

1st:I DJed at my friend Tweety’s surprise 30th birthday party on a boat tour of SF bay. We went under the golden gate bridge and the song of the party was Storm by Justin Jay & Chris Lorenzo. The melodic breakdown at (time) came just as we were turning around under the bridge and they cut the motor on the boat for a moment so we were just floating in the bay breeze with the sun shining. It was a legendary moment.

2nd: DJing at the PinkezUp renegade at Dirtybird Campout 2017—WOW! It was a long day on Sunday and all the renegades were getting shut down after the main stage stopped.. except for one! I started playing at 3am and by 3:30 the whole dome was packed with people as far as I could see. It was so glorious and memorable—all my friends I met throughout the weekend were there… pure magic.

3rd: Opening for Bruno Furlan at Halcyon. Getting to hand off the decks to someone I admire surrounded by all my friends was surreal. Plus Halcyon is an incredible venue

Any clubs, venues, or festivals you have played that really stuck out to you? 

Halcyon is an amazing venue in SF—the sound is killer and Will, the light FXs guy, REALLY knows his stuff so the visuals are always spectacular and match the mood of the music and room flawlessly.

One of the most difficult aspects about being in this scene?

Drama and bullshit with your friends around bookings or competing parties… it sucks to accidentally compete against people who are your good friends when you each throw parties on the same day and are pulling attendees from the same crowd.

Do you feel like nowadays you can’t experience the music the same as you did when you were just a listener? 

Sort of. One friend told me that watching DJs at festivals with me is like going to a restaurant with their friend who’s a chef. It’s like everything that’s served I just say “Well this is OKAY but it’s not how I’D do it…” I got a kick out of that. The truth is once you’ve been DJing for a long time then you can’t help but hear imperfections in mixes. And when you do, it ruins a bit of the fun. It’s no secret to my friends that I can’t tolerate listening to sub-par DJs… BUT- it just makes really good performances that much more magical, when I can forget about being critical and just send it with my crew.

Favorite Artist or Favorite Track right now? 

OMNOM fucking love that guy.

 

Any other upcoming Artists and/or new Tracks we should know?

Mega shout outs to my homies Late Eighties, N808, Icecreams, Ney & Miss Mak—they’re killing it right now and I’m a big fan of them all 🙂

Any mixes/tracks of your we should check out?

Here are my original tracks

And my latest mix of tunes I’ve been digging – plus a bunch of unreleased songs!

 

Do you have any cool shows or projects in the future?

Playing with Ardalan and a bunch of friends this Friday in the mission! Really excited for that one.

How far do you want to take this?

I’m never gonna stop.

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Any last minute things you’d like to say?

I think what’s made a difference for me this past year is leaning on and collaborating with my friends in the scene much more. Nobody is in this game on their own—we’re all on this wave together. Let’s ride it!

Subscribe to Christian ReciKnows’ Newsletter below to learn more about music, fashion, art, photography, my life and more!

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The Photograher Series: Drew Pador (OpenFire Photography)

Hi! Hope you’re all doing well and getting in some tacos on this fine Tuesday. One of the things I’ve been meaning to do lately is post an interview series about something different from music.

And so today, I am pleased to present to everyone one of my close friends Drew as the start of my photographer series! Drew and I met during the start of a group I moderate for called Bay Area DirtyBirds (s/o to all you birds). We hit it off from the start and have since been sending it and looking for more fun!

 

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For the readers that don’t really know you, can you give us some details of who you are are and what you do?

The name is Drew and I was born and (mostly) raised in the Bay Area. During the weekdays I work an IT job to support my hobbies.

When did you buy your first camera?

Funny story: I actually got my first camera gifted to me in January this year by my company, but I grew up using my friends gear when we would go on adventures.

How long have you been into photography? Or how long have you been doing this as your career?

I started to get interested in about 2007 when I started going boating on the Delta with some new friends. They all had nice DSLR’s to shoot us behind the boat when we would wakeskate, and I found I really enjoyed being behind the lens. Only this year have I really begun to try and get work at clubs and events to build my portfolio.

Describe the style of your photography. 

Being relatively new I am still exploring all types of photography, but it has mostly been club nights or events thrown by different collectives in the house community in the city. Other than that, I have really enjoyed dabbling in landscape and night photography.

 

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Do you mind sharing some of your best work?

 I love to share! Check out my pics on Facebook here! (Hyperlink FB link)

How do you manage to get yourself out there? What kinds of social media do you use to help promote?

Facebook and Instagram are a must, and I also have a website that I publish my work to.

What has been one of your most memorable experiences?

I was invited to shoot a small festival up in Mendocino just a couple months ago and I was completely blown away by the whole experience. So many great candid moments with beautiful scenery, it was truly a magical time!

If you could work with anyone, who would it be? Why?

Hands down, Clark Little. His passion for waves is what drove his photography and I really admire that and use it as an example. I love the house music scene in San Francisco and getting to capture moments of my friends and I doing what we love is such a blessing.

One of the most difficult aspects about doing this?

Balance between getting my shots in and trying to have a good time with my friends. The scene is so much fun it can be challenging to stay focused, lots of distractions!

 

Do you feel like you’re constantly experiencing life through a lens? 

It has gotten to the point where I feel almost naked without a camera. Capturing a moment that some might miss and getting to share my unique perspective is super rewarding.

Where do you get your inspiration from? 

 I am really inspired by other artists, getting to see them in their element, doing what they are passionate about and capturing that.

What photographers do you look up to? 

 All the National Geographic photographers and surf photographers.

Do you have any cool projects in the future?

 I am working on a private event that I am hoping will turn into a really great photo opportunity, so stay tuned for that collection.

Follow Drew on his journey in photography on Instagram and Facebook!

Check out Drew’s portfolio at  https://home.openfilre.photography

Subscribe to Christian ReciKnows’ Newsletter below to learn more about music, fashion, art, photography, my life and more!

Christian Recinos’ Newsletter Subscription

Don’t worry I won’t spam you, just let me know in the “Details” section what kinds of things you want to hear about whether it’s music, festivals, fashion, art,.. pretty much anything!

Follow My Facebook Page!

Twitter Fingers (Twitter)

The Gram (IG)