Now, before anyone floods the BOD inbox with hatred, house music is by no means going stale. In fact, alongside techno, the genre is as flavorful as it's ever been. Nevertheless, with an underground music palate as diverse as Denver's, its always a melting pot of what's currently hot. With this in mind, the ascension of DJ duo WLD N FRSH to the forefront of the genre couldn't come at a better time. Furthermore, the growth of their Denver House Music platform continues to play a huge role in the amelioration of the ever ripe house and techno scene.
Artists in Colorado's underground dance music scene always hold the proverbial recipes for a delectable Smorgasbord of beats. Thus, it makes sense that Y'vonne Wild and Le Fr3sh are stepping up to carry the torch. In other words, it's definitely their time to spice things up with their unique flair for cooking up dank concoctions on the dance floor. Certainly, they've come out of the gates running, after a long layoff in 2020, with several tasty mixes and live performances. So, if you're still sleeping on that WLD N FRSH piquancy, it's definitely about time for you to get with the sauce.
The Long Road to the Top for WLD N FRSH
While most of the industry continues to feel the slump of the COVID-19 sophomore season, artists like WLD N FRSH continue to bubble up. Perhaps, it's possible that a lack of festival overload is behind the rise of the local artist. In their current state of skittishness, venues and promoters are relying on the voraciousness of local artists to line their newly emancipated dance floors. However, upon closer inspection, the success of acts similar to this duo likely owe their accomplishments to their fervent passion for the music. Surely, Y'vonne and Douglas are a perfect example of this as the strength of their holy matrimony is only matched by their shared love of musicality. Although, if you've spent any time following the Denver house scene, you're probably already well aware of that.
What you may not know is that the journey of WLD N FRSH to the forefront of the Denver house scene didn't start in Colorado. Their journey into sound actually kicks off in the vibrant Dallas breakbeat scene before being a house DJ duo was even a thought. Long before Y'vonne even touches a turntable. Beyond this, both are heavily entangled in different aspects of the industry. Douglas, slowly working his way to the apex of the Dallas DJ scene while Y'vonne channels energy into her vocal articulations within the locus of live music. Despite the unique origins of the duo, they still manage to find their way to each other, like so many of us, within underground dance music's sphere of influence. Of course, the one thing that unites us ubiquitously is our profound love for the scene. As a result, BOD definitely had to be sure to check-in with WLD N FRSH- for the love of house music.
Bass'D Out DNVR: You two have definitely been busy since the dance floors have opened back up. How has it felt getting back in front of the crowd after the lockdowns?
WLDNFRSH: It has felt amazing! There is so much energy on the dance floor, more than there ever has been. The scene is re-energized and we have a whole new appreciation for the community and all our friends after only being able to connect via livestream.
BOD: Did you expect things to turn-up as quickly as they have?
WNF: We really didn’t know what to expect but what we did know was that Denver was going to bounce back strong and as soon as the night clubs opened back up people were going to flood in with a newfound appreciation for them!
BOD: No doubt! Denver definitely bounced back in a major way. Did the layoff change you in any way as artists or your approach to performing?
WNF: Yes, absolutely, it changed us both. It strengthened our bond and taught us to work together. Before it all we were more of a b2b act but the layoff gave us time together to develop into an actual duo.
BOD: Have you noticed anything different about the vibes at shows so far or is everything picking up right where it left off?
WNF: The vibe is quite different, there is more love and energy on the dance floor, passion has been re-ignited and people look like they are enjoying the moment in a whole new way.
BOD: I feel you on that. The few shows I've been out to this year have had crazy amounts of energy at them. Speaking of layoffs though, you both came up in the Texas nightlife scene but found yourselves in Colorado after taking extended breaks from music. What brought you out here?
WNF: We needed a change of pace, the mountains and Manitou Springs called to us. After living in Manitou for a while we started to get into house music and made a trip out to Beta Nightclub for the first time. That night was magical, and it inspired us both to move to Denver and to get back into music.
BOD: What is it about the Denver scene that made you both want to get back into music?
WNF: We discovered a love for house music during a time that we needed it most. It re-ignited a passion that we had left behind in Dallas and brought back the feels.
BOD: I agree, passion is definitely what drives the scene. With that in mind, what led you into playing house music after playing other genres for so long?
WNF: House music has soul - they say house music is a spiritual thing and it truly is. It pulled us out of some of our darkest times and it inspired Y’vonne to learn to DJ.
BOD: Before leaving Texas, you two linked up on a breakbeat track called, ‘Feel the Music.’ Would you say the seed that grew into WLD N FRSH was planted back then?
WNF: Yes, but our vision of working together musically was much different back then. It wasn’t until we found house music and Y’vonne decided to transition from a vocalist to a DJ that it all started to come together.
BOD: Well that makes sense, since you def seem like a very polished duo. Will we ever get to see a WLD N FRSH breaks set?
WNF: Breakbeats hold a special place in our hearts, it brought us together. Douglas had been a breaks DJ in the Dallas scene and we both met on a breakbeat night at one of the clubs that Y’vonne bartended at back in the day. We do like to incorporate a breakbeat or two in our sets whenever we get the chance but yes, at some point there will be an all breaks set!
BOD: So Y'vonne, crossing over from vocalist to DJ seems like a drastic change. Was that a smooth process for you?
Y'VONNE: Yes, the transition has been fairly smooth. I think my experience with live performance as a vocalist has made me more comfortable on stage as a DJ. I have always been into music, I play the piano and used to write music so DJing felt like a natural progression.
BOD: Do you still have a passion for singing?
Y'VONNE: I love singing, it is one of my greatest passions! I am learning to produce my own music now so I can incorporate my vocals into tracks and eventually add vocal samples into our live sets.
BOD: Douglas, you put in so much work earning your stripes in the Dallas scene. Was it hard starting over at the bottom in Denver or did you enjoy the challenge?
DOUGLAS: Starting over at the bottom in Denver was a bit of a challenge in the beginning. Going from playing main stage gigs in Dallas to hole in the wall venues and private parties was humbling to say the least. Re-branding as a house DJ and re-defining my mixing style was probably the most challenging aspect but with the help of some amazing people in our scene, I was given a chance and have been fortunate enough to play some amazing venues and gigs.
BOD: That's what's up! You've definitely earned quite a bit of respect in Colorado for sure. Do you miss the Dallas scene at all?
DOUGLAS: Yes, I miss the Dallas scene, there is nothing quite like playing in your hometown. I came up as a club kid raver in Dallas and got into DJing on a pair of technics. It is not an easy scene to break into. There is some major talent in Dallas, so I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of it all.
BOD: Between the two of you, who is the better crate digger and finds all those hidden gems for your sets?
WNF: I think we are equal when it comes to finding those hidden gems. We both have a similar taste in music and ultimately balance each other out. At times Y’vonne is on it finding those tracks with the deep and dirty basslines and at other times Douglas is feeling it and finds those breakbeat gems that add dynamics to our set. We really work well as a team and that carries over to all aspects of what we do.
BOD: When you’re at home, who hogs the decks more?
WNF: It really depends on what we have in the works as to who hogs the decks more. Depending on if one of us has a solo gig or if we have something coming up together kind of determines who the deck hog is for the week.
BOD: Who is the bigger techno-snob?
Y'VONNE: Douglas is the bigger techno-snob, he loves the moodiness of it.
BOD: If you weren’t a husband-and-wife DJ Duo, what job would you be doing as a husband-and-wife duo?
DOUGLAS: If we weren’t DJing as a duo we would probably be in theatre together performing on stage. We both enjoy acting, coming up with skits together and Y’vonne is a working actress on the side.
BOD: It's always interesting to see how couples who DJ adapt to one another's infatuation for the music. I’ve noticed in your sets that your tracks tend to play off of each other and you both set each other up to drop bangers rather than just play banger after banger... This definitely makes your sets sound less like a b2b and more like a cohesive performance. Is this intentional and do you use a similar approach for all your sets?
WNF: It really depends on the night and if we are trying to curate an experience. We love to tell a story and take people for a journey from start to finish. We put a lot of time and hard work into most of our sets and intentionally work together in a cohesive way. Our approach to each set varies depending on where we are playing and who we are playing for.
BOD: Denver House Music is definitely holding it down for house music in CO. How important is the DHM project to you and what do you hope to achieve through the platform?
WNF: The Denver House Music project is very important to both of us but especially important to Douglas. It is a community that is meant to support and grow the house music movement in Denver. Douglas is one of the admins that helps run it all and has been a part of it since the beginning. The DHM platform is meant to be a support system to various DJs and producers around Denver and at the end of the day we just want share and grow the love for house music.
BOD: I love that! Helping cultivate the scene is what Bass'd Out DNVR is all about. Are there any house music artists you feel don’t get the bookings/recognition they deserve?
WNF: There are a lot of DJs and producers that have been in this scene for a long time, putting in work, that don’t get booked to play the big festivals or shows. But honestly, our scene is pretty awesome and usually there is something to get involved with if you have the drive to make it happen.
BOD: What can fans expect from WNF in 2021 and beyond?
WNF: WNF is just getting started. We will continue to evolve and get better and add more layers to our performance. Not sure what the future has in store for us but we have a vision that we are working towards and with the love and support of our friends and the community we will continue to grow.
BOD: Any comments, shout-outs, gripes?
"Shout to Quite Right Records & DHM for supporting us and helping us grow over the past year. A huge shout out to our soul tribe, all the friends that have supported us along the way, we love you all and appreciate each and every one of you!"
Mad love to WLD N FRSH for showing love to Bass'D Out DNVR. Please be sure to follow them at the links below and be sure to check out their fire live set from A Moment In Time, below.
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