Picture yourself speeding across California’s Big Sur, where the sweeping coast meets Pacific waves, or perhaps hiking near Joshua Tree, stunned by the endless expanse of desert. Undeveloped, unspoiled, and unlimited, these are the types of places that fuel and inspire the ambitious sounds of Big Wild.
With his colorful and infectious music, producer Jackson Stell has become a fast rising voice in the electronic scene as Big Wild. Already a tour and festival favorite thanks to a co-sign from Seattle’s ODESZA, the 26-year-old California based producer has created a set of songs on his ‘Invincible EP’ that speak to our desire to connect with something larger, and are as awe-inspiring as a walk through a Redwood grove.
“I’m trying to capture that feeling of being in the presence of something truly stunning,” he says. “Not saying my music is there yet, by any means, but that’s my goal; to make something sound like it’s truly from another planet.”
From the momentous build-up of “When I Get There”, to new experiments with vocalists, Invincible pushes the boundaries of Stell’s spacious sound and finds him gelling with new collaborators and ideas. The triumphant lead track shows Stell developing a new style, weaving singer iDA HAWK’s alluring vocals into a tale of overcoming obstacles, and feeling unbeatable after crushing inner demons. With a similar theme, “Empty Room” combines a powerfully melodic composition with a story of moving on from a loveless relationship. Catchy hooks and Yuna’s inviting voice are a refreshing take on dance and pop music alike.
Stell’s propulsive tracks come from a producer comfortable taking his own musical route. He started making music as far back as middle school when as a Massachusetts teen he was inspired by legendary producers Dr. Dre, The Neptunes, and Timbaland to craft his own hip-hop instrumentals. Working under the name J Beatz, he produced his own tracks through high school and college until a post-graduation move to California expanded his horizons, both physically and musically, and altered his expectations for production.
Adopting a name that celebrates both California’s natural beauty and an open attitude towards art, Stell began making music as Big Wild. He refined his sound with more organic instrumentation, writing music with a buoyant optimism mixed with his relaxed demeanor and long, unfurled haircut. After catching early attention from ODESZA, Big Wild opened for them on a national tour, remixed their charting single “Say My Name”, and released his jovial hit “Aftergold” on their label Foreign Family Collective. This was the beginning of a strong and mutually creative relationship.
With an eclectic live show consisting of a hybrid drum set, a keyboard, and whistling, Big Wild has built a passionate following spanning all types of music lovers. Additional touring with acts such as Tycho, Pretty Lights, and Bassnectar as well as exuberant festival performances at Coachella, Decadence in Denver, and Snowglobe have bolstered his reputation as a must-see act. Big Wild embarks on his own nationwide Invincible Tour this spring to showcase his new EP and give fans the next incarnation of his unique live experience.
“I want to communicate a feeling,” he says. “I want to inspire people with a new kind of pop song they haven’t heard before, one that doesn’t just make you feel good, but inspires you to push boundaries.”