Los Angeles-based artist WizG swung by to chat about his recent single, the backstory on how he fell in love with dance music, and more.
There’s just something special about the sun-soaked city of Los Angeles that has allowed artists of all walks of life to grow their careers and truly flourish. This includes Josh Wizan, formally known as WizG, who calls the city home and has channeled its energy to create soundscapes that continue to uplift listeners with a unique blend of electro-pop, future bass, and more.
First emerging on the scene with tunes like “What About Us” and “Back To You,” WizG began his ascent through the ranks of the scene with the intention of bridging the gap between human emotion and music – and he hasn’t slowed down since. This led to a flurry of releases in 2020 that included songs like “Stranger” and “My Young Love,” both of which saw him collaborate with Sissy, along with a remix of Kesha and Wrabel’s “since i was young.”
Last year saw WizG continue his upward trajectory while working with Jantine on two fresh tunes, “Never Be The Same” and “Forget Me Not,” which only further showcased his production talents. Now, he’s unveiled his first single of 2022, “Don’t Wanna Need You Now,” which arrived just in time for the summer months ahead and is filled to the brim with his pop-fueled house sound that is simply irresistible.
Looking to gain some added insight into the mind of WizG, we caught up with him after the release of his latest single to dive into its production, how he got his start in the scene, and more. Listen to his exclusive guest mix on SoundCloud, download or stream “Don’t Wanna Need You Now” on your preferred platform, and read on for the conversation.
Stream EDMID Guest Mix 323 || WizG on SoundCloud:
Hi Josh, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us today. We always love diving into artists’ backstories to kick things off – so what’s the origin story that led to the creation of WizG?
My story is similar to a lot of other inspiring music producers and DJs. I experienced my first-ever electronic music festival in high school and fell in love. The stages, the lights, the productions, the crowds, I could not get enough. It was my first time seeing dance music up close and personal. I saw how the crowd reacted to every choice the DJ made, and I was in awe. I left wanting more.
I really had no knowledge of music theory, no clue how to play an instrument; however, I had a burning fire to one day perform on big stages and create memorable songs like the DJs I saw. So I did what every inspiring artist does after going to a festival, download Ableton.
Your sound leans on the poppier side of the dance music spectrum. What drew you to this specific style?
Growing up, I’ve always loved and gravitated towards pop music and love songs. I first fell in love with dance music during the progressive house era, and after learning how to produce it, I felt it was a little too formulaic and predictable for me. I love incorporating different pianos, guitars, and drums in my records, and I am a sucker for emotional lyrics. Seeing my inspirations combine pop and EDM, I knew that was the blend for me.
Los Angeles is a mecca for dance music, but also a variety of other things as well. What’s your favorite aspect of living there? Do you feel it has helped shape the path of your career?
I am blessed to be born and raised in Santa Monica. LA is my home. I love everything from the beach, great restaurants, nightlife, and even traffic. It shapes who I am. Growing up in LA, I always had access to street performers, concert venues, live music, and incredible nightlife. I’ve had the privilege of seeing amazing music acts come from all over the world to perform, ultimately adding more fuel to pursue my dreams of being a professional music producer and DJ.
Just a few years ago you dropped a remix of Kesha and Wrabel’s “since i was young.” How did this remix come about? Did you feel any pressure when crafting it up for such a huge pop star?
Kesha and Wrabel were doing a remix package for their track, and my manager happened to receive the stems for it. Within five days, we submitted our remix into the hat and got approved for an official remix.
It was my first ever official remix which was pressure in itself. Looking back on it now, I’m surprised crafting up a remix for two huge pop stars didn’t scare me. All I wanted was for it to get approved, and I’m happy it did.
Let’s bring this up to the present and dive into your new single “Don’t Wanna Need You Now.” Can you walk us through your production process on this tune?
It has been about roughly six months since I have released music. I have not only evolved as an artist but so much as a person. This new release is the start of a brand unique sound for WizG. No more mid-tempo, slow ballads.
DWNYN revolves around a horn melody. It was the first melody I played on a synthesizer one morning and the first element I laid down into Ableton. From there, the track came to life. I knew I wanted an uptempo pop-driven record that could be played in any setting or room, so the direction was easy. I then had my good friend Brooke Tomlinson record vocals, and the track was complete.
You’ve frequently collaborated with other artists like Jantine, Sissy, Cappa, and more in the past. What’s your approach in the studio for tracks like these compared to your solo work? Are you creating the beats with the lyrics in mind or vice versa?
Writing a song always starts differently. Some songs start with the chords, others with the drums, and others with just the vocal. For most of my sessions and collaboration, the track is mostly 85% finished. I have lyrics and vocal melody in mind. However, I let the vocalist have free range to express and capture the emotion and message I am trying to depict. Each session, I go into the main question I ask myself is, What do I want the listener to feel when listening?
As a rising artist, what do you feel has been the biggest hurdle you’ve faced as an artist so far in your career? Have you been able to overcome it?
The music industry is filled with constant ups and downs. The biggest hurdle I have faced to date is staying even keel. Not getting too high on yourself and not getting too low on yourself. Being an artist is like being a professional athlete. You want your career to be as long as possible, and you want to perform at your best consistently.
To overcome these highs and lows, I try to remind myself that there will always be another phone call. The good and bad will always be there, but I must deal with the highs and lows and not take anything personally.
Finally, looking toward the future, what goals do you have for this project for the rest of 2022 and beyond?
My short-term goals for the WizG project are to show my fanbase what they can expect with every release. Give them excellent music track after track. I also hope to start performing more often. Now that I am sitting on a ton of unreleased music, I want fans to know what it will feel like to attend a WizG show.
I want the WizG project to be a household name when it is said and done. I hope the project can reach the heights that all my inspirations have. I want to create full bodies of work, headline the biggest stages, have residencies at various clubs, and inspire and connect people with my music. There is nothing more powerful than inspiring and connecting with others.
Outside of music, I hope to start a non-profit for mental health one day. I am a huge advocate for mental health. I believe your mind is the most powerful thing, and there is nothing worse than having your mind disrupt your life negatively.