Jackson Stell, a.k.a. Big Wild, has been leaping through creative portals that know no bounds, and the people have spoken – his current Spring tour has sold out almost all the dates throughout the U.S.! With bookings at major festivals all over, including most recently Euphoria Music Festival in Texas and Coachella in Cali, Big Wild ain’t slowing down anytime soon. His immaculate production threaded seamlessly with his talent on many different instruments, including various drums, piano and even his mouth (in the form of whistling) makes for a truly one of a kind sound and live show. The raw energy Jackson brings forth to engage the crowd is something you do NOT want to miss if you get the chance. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Big Wild before his show in Portland last Friday to get to know him a little better.
CYM: Welcome to Portland! You are about half way through your Spring Tour. How’s it been so far?!
Big Wild: It’s been really good. Almost all the shows have been sold out. Crowds have been super energetic and just getting to meet people who listen to my music has been really rewarding too. Everything has just been really great!
CYM: I saw that. Congrats on selling out all those shows! I had some friends trying to get in, but they couldn’t find a ticket. You actually sat down with CYM about 6 months ago at the Bluebird Theater in Denver opening for Gibbz. I know it’s been a whirlwind but tell us some of your highlights since then?
Big Wild: Man, it’s been non stop. Playing at Euphoria and Coachella recently has been really huge. This tour in general– it’s my first time doing something like this before. Also, in between that time, I was on tour with GRiZ and Odesza and that was a huge experience too.
CYM: It’s all happening very quickly for you.
Big Wild: Totally. I mean, some of these shows I don’t even know about two weeks before and I just go with it. Everything has been very spontaneous. It keeps me interested…I really like it.
CYM: For sure. Continuous spontaneity. So, I know that when you first started creating music, hip hop was your main source of inspiration. Who are some of your favorite hip hop producers/groups of all time?
Big Wild: Definitely really into producers like Dr. Dre, The Neptunes, Pharrell, Timbaland, J Dilla. Pretty much all the really famous producers is what first drew me to hip hop…the beats, the instrumentals, the laid back West Coast vibe. I am basically into any hip hop. Groups like A Tribe Called Quest, Kendrick Lamar, Chance The Rapper. I love a lot of the new stuff coming out, lots of amazing music being created!
CYM: If you could pick ONE hip hop rapper to flow over a Big Wild beat, who would you pick for a dream collab?
Big Wild: I think right now, Chance The Rapper. That dude is really creative, definitely on some next level shit. I know personally, sometimes when I hear a vocalist, I just get a feeling I could make something dope with and Chance is definitely one of those people. Hopefully some day!
CYM: For sure. That would be epic! Switching realms…I heard the name Big Wild stems from your first trips and move to Big Sur and your love for nature overall. Tell me a little more about when you came up with it.
Big Wild: I came up with the name on my first trip and move to California. The extreme nature was unlike anything I had seen in my life and it was super inspiring. It was tied in with nature but it’s also about being adventurous with your sound and pushing boundaries. That’s also a huge component of this project.
CYM: I love that. It doesn’t set any limits for yourself, so you can get out all those comfort zones. Have you had a chance to explore the Pacific Northwest much?
Big Wild: I have a little bit. I think this is a really beautiful part of the country. I mean, I have toured to Seattle, Portland and Vancouver, but I definitely need to make some time for a solid camping trip. We have a few days off in Vancouver, so I am hoping I can get some hikes in.
CYM: It indeed is! Definitely do that if you get the time. Keeping on the nature topic…at this creative point in your life, if you could escape to anywhere in the world that you have or have not been to, where do you see yourself hiding away and drawing the most inspiration from?
Big Wild: That’s a good question. I think I would really like to visit South Africa. The reason I say that is because the guy who is doing our visuals tonight (Sebastian Borckenhagen– Animation, Dan Sanford- V.J., Jonas Claesson– Illustrations) has a really distinct and awesome style. He’s a super talented animator and visual artist. The vibe I have got from him and some of the artists we have worked with from there makes me think South Africa is a place I could get a lot of influence from. It’s about exploring both the nature and culture.
CYM: Rad! I hear South Africa is amazing. You are on the festival circuit a LOT this year. Are there any specific ones or ones you have never been to that you are extra stoked about?
Big Wild: I am actually really excited to go back to Capitol Hill Block Party in Seattle. I am also stoked for Vertex Festival in Buena Vista, Colorado. Their line up is dope. There’s a lot I haven’t been to…North Coast in Chicago and Camp Bisco too. It’s hard for me to pick one!
CYM: Awesome. Sounds like a grand ‘ol Summer! Is there anything else you want to add. Anything for your fans and the people of the world?
Big Wild: Totally. I have several remixes that I am finishing up to release in the next few months. I have a bunch of new singles I am super excited to put out there. Lots of original music..some statement songs that I feel really capture the sound I am going for. Lots of new music on the way!
CYM: Well, we are super excited to hear it and really excited for your show tonight. Thanks for sitting down with Compose Yourself Magazine! We will see you out there.