Big Wild brings his new EP to Oxford Tuesday

Posted on May 2 2017 - 8:00am by Jacqueline Schlick

Big Wild is bringing his newly released Invincible EP and signature electronic sound Tuesday night to Proud Larry’s.

Producer and composer Jackson Stell is a 26-year-old from California who uses his electronic music to “speak to our desire to connect with something larger,” according to Pitch Perfect PR’s website.

His Invincible EP features artists like Yuna and iDA HAWK to deal with themes of persevering past obstacles, shutting out inner demons and moving forward after a broken relationship.

“I’m trying to capture the feeling of being in the presence of something truly stunning,” Stell said. “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 began making music in middle school, working under the name J Beatz through high school and college. He said he changed his moniker to Big Wild only after moving to California from Massachusetts because of “California’s natural beauty and open attitude towards art.”

He was inspired by The Neptunes, Timbaland and Dr. Dre, and began writing music that exemplified a cheerful confidence.

Big Wild has established a co-sign from ODESZA and opened for it on a national tour. Stell remixed its single “Say My Name” and then released his own “Aftergold” on its Foreign Family Collective label. He has toured with Pretty Lights and Tycho and performed at Coachella, Decadence and Snowglobe music festivals.

His song “I Just Wanna” swells its way to a keyboard feature that is infectious in its energizing nature, while the next track “Invincible” is more mysterious and relaxed, using iDA HAWK’s old-timey voice.

The album is a mix of sound, genre, electronic convention and strong downbeats that move and shift into a snapping background that keeps time.

“Aftergold” opens with 40 seconds of tinny but pleasant noises that sound almost like clinking glasses or wind-chimes, before being layered further with vocals. A little more than three minutes in, after a long build-up, the track takes off into an upbeat rhythm.

The music video for “Aftergold” moves as quickly as the song. It features a beautiful, serene landscape that gives way to time-lapse photography of cityscapes and wide open, natural spaces. The contrast between city and nature is paired with lyrics like, “You want some of that green rain?/ You want a 20 karat ball and chain?/ You want a pilot and a jet plane?/ Newsflash, it ain’t worth the pain.”

Big Wild’s music is fast-paced and easy to dance to, but his lyrics deal with greater issues like the preoccupation with money and translating emotion into music.

In an interview with PileRats, Stell said his track “When I Get There” was about playing with space.

“I wanted to create an anti-drop and make a drop that was really catchy with as few elements as possible,” Stell said. “The big wall of sound in the beginning came from an emotional place and I wanted to translate that to the listener.”

For those out for a night of music that defies preconceived notions of electronic sound, Big Wild’s show will surely be dynamic, collaborative and wholly unpredictable.  

Tuesday at Proud Larry’s, one can expect music that uses a hybrid drum set, keyboard and whistling, backed by Stell’s long, flowing hair and relaxed attitude. Fans should count on dancing, as Big Wild likes to make his crowds get up and move.  

“I want to communicate a feeling,” he said. “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.”

The event is 18 and over, and tickets start at $14. Doors open at 8 p.m., and the show begins at 9 p.m.