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 new EP Invincible, producer Jackson Stell, A fast rising voice in electronic music, takes the next step in the colorful, infectious music he makes under the name Big Wild. Already a tour and festival favorite thanks to a co-sign from Seattle’s ODESZA, the 27-year-old Santa Cruz-based producer has created a set of songs 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.”
Stell’s propulsive tracks come from a producer comfortable taking his own musical route. He started making music as far back as middle school, a Massachusetts teen inspired by legendary producers such as 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 celebrated the state’s natural glory and wide-open spaces where he draws inspiration, Stell, now Big Wild, began refining his sound with more organic instrumentation, making music with a buoyant optimism that gels with his relaxed demeanor and long, unfurled haircut.
“I want to communicate a feeling,” he says. “I want to inspire people with a new kind of song they haven’t heard before, one that truly pushes, and erases, boundaries.”