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Interview: Worthy Disbehaves in a Big Way


Inspired by the Bay Area and with a sound that is dirty and fun, Worthy is a man on the path to greatness. If you need to be informed, Worthy is a founding member of Dirtybird and now a pioneer of his own label, Anabatic Records. 2014 has seen the release of Worthy's album, Disbehave, which is a beautiful cohesive work, definitively representative of the Worthy sound, but also a refreshing artistic exploration (You need to pick up a copy like yesterday!).

Worthy is making moves to cultivate talent and perfect his own sound, and we at Magnetic had a few questions for Worthy and this is what he had to say...

How is everything going in 2014?

Been an amazing year so far with my album finally coming out, and having so many amazing gigs as well. Things keep getting better, I’m lovin it.

Can you give us any insight on what your set is going to be like for your showcase at Audio on July 25th? Or is that super secret and confidential?

It’s always hard to say exactly how my sets are going to go as I like to work off the crowd. All I can say is that it is going to be full of funk and bass, and there might be a couple new Worthy remixes and tracks in there.

How has the reception been thus far for your album Disbehave?

The reception for Disbehave has been nothing short of amazing. The amount of great press I have had on the album has blown me away. I thought it would be received well, but there has been way more love for it than I could have anticipated. It feels great to see that people really love it. The other night I was playing this underground in SF, and this guy came up to me and asked me to play “On The Floor”. He was like “the kids are loving it!”. And after chatting with him for a minute I discovered he wasn’t referring to club kids, but actually his students he plays it for. He is a junior high teacher. That was awesome!

Everything I have read has defined the album as genre-defying, an album that is not trying to fit into any category. Is there a greater intention with this theme of defiance, or are you merely trying to ultimately express who Worthy is as an artist?

It is really me growing exponentially as an artist and taking down all of the walls I had set up for myself over the years. I was always trying to make that banging club hit, but when I started the album I wanted to set myself free artistically and explore other sounds and just let myself write what came out of me.

It took you two years to produce and finalize your debut album, was it an intense two years of production? Or was it a very methodical and smooth production process?

The first 75% of the album was fun and smooth and I was just letting myself write and explore sound. When it got down to the end, the process intensified as I was trying to put together the final pieces of the puzzle. I had to create songs that would fit in a certain way and let the album flow; that was the part where it got more intense. It was all part of the process of putting together something I felt was special.

Do you have a guiding production philosophy? Do you have a certain set of values you take into the studio when you produce?

My philosophy is just trying to make something that sounds good and keeps me interested the whole way through. If it sounds good to me and I am proud of it, I feel like people will like it.

How would you describe the Worthy sound succinctly and simply to a new listener and fan?

Dirty and fun, bass-heavy house and breaks.

You are known as a great performer, I myself have experienced this talent several times. When you are doing a set, how much do you read an audience? Do you pay attention to the vibe of the crowd, or are you confident in your selections and let the audience adapt?

I always try and vibe with the audience and to a certain amount I let that guide me. If I feel like a certain line of songs are not working or feel there is a loss of energy in the room then I try to change it up and go in a different direction. As a DJ you have to have that ability to read the crowd to be great, in my opinion. You have to know when you can push people too while getting a bit experimental, and when to play it safe.

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How is everything going with your label Anabatic Records?

The label has been doing great, and we are gearing up to take it to the next level off the back of the momentum from the album. I have a whole new team coming together to really push it. We are doing a lot of A&R at the moment and looking for new artists to sign. I look forward to growing it over the next year.

What are some Anabatic releases and talent we should keep our eye on this year?

The next release is the Eyes Everywhere EP, coming out in about a month. This one is just massive and full of some amazing tracks and a remix from Wuki. In the fall we have the Disbehave remix album coming out, and an EP from an artist named Aszido, as well as another NU- Bayss compilation.

Anabatic Records was established to enable you to experiment more with your own production, what sort of experimentations and results have you seen since the founding of the label? Would you say the Worthy sound has grown and flourished?

By creating the label I have allowed myself to grow by creating a lot of different styles of music, and keeping the label relatively diverse in sound. It has helped me to find myself and grow my sound. I always get told there is a sound that I have and I would say having the freedom to do it on my own terms has helped me develop that sound.

What drew you to move from the East Coast to San Francisco in 2001?

Justin Martin was a big influence in swaying me to move to San Francisco. We met on the east coast, and when he moved out here he would call me and tell me how amazing it was and that the house music scene was going off. A couple years later I came and visited and instantly fell in love with the city and the scene. I ended up moving out a month later in April 2001 and been here ever since.

What are your thoughts on the San Francisco scene? As a founding member of Dirtybird and now of Anabatic, you yourself have made San Francisco into a credible electronic music locale!

There is nothing like the scene in San Francisco. There is always an insane amount of parties going on here and so many international acts come through every week, more so than any other US city. We are lucky to have the audience in this city to keep it sustained. It is the city and the scene here that has helped me and so many other artist flourish. The sense of community is unparallelled and it is an artistically driven one. It is a place where you can really let yourself create and experiment with sound and art, and people are their to support it.

Who and what are some of your inspirations?

When I am at home, I love looking out the window at the view of the Bay and San Francisco. It is really grounding and inspiring. Also, I am constantly inspired by all the amazing musicians around me. Everyone I know that makes music truly inspires me in some way.

Who are you listening to right now?

I have been listening to a band called Real Estate a bunch lately. Also, Nick Monaco’s new album which is fantastic, and whatever great tracks drop into my inbox.

Follow Worthy on Facebook, Twitter & Soundcloud

Buy Worthy's album Disbehave today on Beatport or iTunes

The event at Audio in San Francisco on Friday July 25th will be a full on party in celebration of Worthy's new album "Disbehave" with opening support from fellow Anabatic label-mates Kirin Rider and Benjamin K, and a special opening set by local San Francisco talent Grensta.

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