Natalie Wood, aka wood.wurks, is an important member of the underground and she swung by to chat about her recent work, Wavecraft, and more.
The underground bass scene has been flourishing lately, especially over the last year, and one of the most influential and empowering people running things right now is Natalie Wood. Music has played a huge role throughout her life from playing the saxophone and guitar to being in her school’s drumline and eventually falling in love with electronic music after discovering UKF on YouTube. More recently, Natalie has also begun to hone her chops as a producer and DJ under the name wood.wurks.
Natalie’s production forte is in the realm of deep and dark sounds around the 140 bpm mark, and she’s recently cooked up some seriously eerie, bass-driven melodies with Mastuh on “Nocturnal Garden.” Additionally, she also has shown off her mixing ability with the Restarting series that represents the healing and recharging process she set off on at the end of 2019.
On top of being an all-around badass as a rising artist in the scene, Natalie is also the Director of Artist Management and Operations at Wavecraft Collective. This collective is changing the underground in many incredible and positive ways as they shine a light on some of the most forward-thinking producers in the scene. For anyone who is looking to get more into the underground Wavecraft is a label you need to have on your radar, especially with the creative mind of Natalie helping run things.
Anything that Natalie sets her mind to she can achieve, and she inspires so many to pursue their passions while also having a heart of gold. Knowing what a brilliant and unique soul she is, we wanted to pick her brain about her recent work as wood.wurks and with Wavecraft, so listen to her exclusive guest mix and read on for the conversation!
Stream EDMID Guest Mix 267 || wood.wurks on SoundCloud:
Hi Natalie, thank you again so much for taking the time to chat with us today. Before we get into your more recent work, let’s take a trip down memory lane. Who were some of your earliest musical influences and what brought you to the dance music scene?
My love for music started when I was young. From middle school band to many different genres of music growing in my first-gen iPod. It was just always the thing for me that kept me moving. EDM… Sheesh, the first track I ever heard was from the UKF YouTube highlight reel and it was all over from there.
Over the past nine years, I’ve traveled the country, seen countless sets, found new and moving artists that have the talent out of this world and some. It’s been a passion and the thing that keeps me going every day since.
Was there a specific moment that you realized you wanted to create music? What propelled your passion to produce such a wide array of bass music?
There were certain things I clung to most to express myself when growing up and one of those things just happened to be music. I started my journey with music in 4th grade with the saxophone then in 6th grade where I entered the drumline, and I picked up guitar freshman year of high school. From there, I began expanding different genres that seemed very dark to others but stuck with me for the long run.
Being able to produce and learn more things about 140 bpm, experimental bone-hitting bass is amazing to me. Working alongside some huge inspirations and being able to say “you know what better yet let’s collab” is the best part yet. Music is FUN to me and the greatest hobby.
Recently you and Mastuh have been cooking up some serious sounds together on tracks including “Nocturnal Garden” and “Ancient Native.” How did you two first meet and what is it like working with him?
We first met in mid-2020 when I slid into his DM’s and said “Yo lemme be your manager” – the rest was history. He trusted me and took pride in being represented by me and outside of the amazing business relationship he’s become one of my closest friends. The crazy thing is we haven’t even met yet! Our first time meeting will be at the first Wavecraft Takeover in Denver on April 16 and I couldn’t be more excited. Working on projects with him is ENJOYABLE and Ancient Native most definitely won’t be the last.
While you’ve released a number of dynamic mixes over the past year one that has stuck out as special is your Restarting series. Can you share a bit about what that series meant to you? Do you approach all of your curated mixes with this type of intention?
Just even hearing the words “Restarting Series” gives me chills. The end of 2019 is when I took this life-changing decision to put forth all energy into closing the doors on a terribly draining and toxic situation and taking the leap to RESTART. Part one was the first chapter and an up and down ride of emotion. Still, to this day, I have people telling me that the first part drives them to rethink and recharge.
Part two is featuring my good friend CHAPPA as a “breath of fresh air” to a sense. Part three was when I reached a point where things were getting brighter, I was happy with myself and able to take the moment to give myself props. And finally, part four was “The End” which was showcased with my good friends DUBKEKS and the amazing VJT in a livestream event. That was the end of my Restarting process.
I often go back and re-listen to those mixes from start to finish when things get hard and I feel stuck at a standstill. It’s a good reminder for me that things have been worse, and are only getting better.
Aside from your work as an artist, you also dual as an artist manager for Wavecraft Collective as well. How did you start working with this collective and what has the journey been like so far?
I started working in artist management in December of 2019 after a huge shift in my life (for the better) and ever since then, I have really cultivated a journey that’s been incredible for me to think about and reflect on. In August 2020 after growing my roster to eight amazing artists and doing countless livestream events, my personal favorite being “A Digital Empire,” I proposed the idea of a huge compilation album to be released on Wavecraft Collective. Reaching out to Evan Dugosh, the owner of Wavecraft Collective, changed my life. We worked and busted that album out in a month in a half featuring some amazing friends, Notlö, Vibe Emissions, and Feelmonger.
It really showed everyone involved that art is beautiful and possible even in the darkest of times. I went out on a limb and asked Evan for a position on the Wavecraft Team in whatever way I would fit best. Every day since then it’s been absolutely amazing. We just recently expanded our team and artist roster, gaining a total of almost 40 members and it’s so beautiful to me. This journey has been life-changing and I am forever thankful for everyone involved and the supporters of myself, my roster, and the team as well. All in all, there’s a lot coming in the future and I’ll say this – THE UNDERGROUND IS MAKING CHANGES.
Seeing festivals possibly becoming a reality this year, are there any you are hoping to play/have your artists play?
I’d love to see the entirety of @WavecraftCollective all over the map. Our roster of 23 artists are some of the most talented and most deserving artists on this planet so this year I’m riding for them. I’d love to see us land at UNTZ, Infrasound, Sound Haven, and my personal east coast favorite, Camp Bisco.
If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who wants to manage artists or work in the industry, what would it be?
Be passionate about it. Don’t give up. Don’t get discouraged and compare and contrast to someone else’s successes. EVERYONE STARTS SOMEWHERE. December 2019 was my starting point. Remember that and mark that so you can set and base goals to be where you want to be. Find a good team that you can trust and stay true to them and your artists.
Finally, with the new year in full swing, what can we expect from you and Wavecraft as we dive deeper into 2021?
Expect to see Wavecraft really diving deeper into highlighting and spotlighting our artists to the maximum capacity. Expect to see some of the most unique projects, expect to see some more Wavecraft takeovers and to hear some of the most amazing music. And lastly, expect the same consistent, undeniable love and passion to the underground.
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