Isn’t it wonderful to be young, good looking, and talented in this day and age? 21-year-old Australian DJ, Will Sparks, took the EDM scene by storm in just under a year. In that short period of time, he has performed at music festivals such as Tomorrow World, Stereosonic, and Bounce — and not to mention his regular tour of the globe, performing to adoring fans. Despite all that, he didn’t let all that fame get to his head. JUICE got a chance to speak to the young rising star and he was as modest and humble as any other guy!
You’re rising in the scene at a substantial speed. How does it feel like, being this young and this successful?
It’s hard to comprehend, you know? It all happened within a year. It feels like it’s been 5 years but it’s only been a year. But you know, you go with it, you go with the flow and everything just happens and you just adapt. It’s a massive lifestyle change. I’m living out of suitcases, spending my days on planes. I mean it’s hard to say but my head’s still clear and I’m still modest and still so thankful for where I am.
What was it that made you want to make a career out of producing and DJing?
I didn’t care, back in the day, when I used to just DJ for no money. I produced, and I didn’t do school and I just didn’t care at all. I did it because I loved it. That’s what made me happy. When you start getting paid for it, you get a manager and well… that’s when you know. So it’s really great that I can make a career out of what I love doing. Even if there’s no pay, I would still do it. I’ll take it when I can, do it when I can. I just really, really love the scene, the music and just everything about it.
Have you always liked having the spotlight on you or was that something you learnt to love as your career begun?
I was the opposite! I was so shy… Well okay, maybe not shy, I was just a bit… I don’t know. I was kinda confident but I didn’t like the spotlight. Like when people used to sing happy birthday to me I’d be like, “No! Stop! Don’t say my name!” I used to hate hearing my own voice and that’s all I hear these days. It’s definitely something I have to learn to cope with and deal with. But when I’m on stage, nothing else matters, I couldn’t care less what anyone thinks. It’s just natural.
Were the people in your life supportive of you when you first started?
100%. It’s the reason why I did it. My mum said do it because that’s what you love doing. Who knows what will happen? Even if it doesn’t work out, you’ll be fine. She’s an artist, you see. And that’s what she did. She dropped out and she got really successful off that. So who’s to say it won’t work out the same for me, right? As for my friends, they were like, “Whatever, Tiesto. Have fun with that.” (Laughs)
You’ve done a lot of remixes of other artistes’ songs. Which one did you enjoy mixing the most?
Well, I remember ‘Blurred Lines’ did really well in the charts. I don’t really play it anymore. It’s kinda commercial, you know? It was a pop song that kind of came and gone. But that kinda helped propel me into the scene. I guess… well, I guess I don’t actually really enjoy mixing other people’s stuff (laughs). Making my own original tracks is definitely the most enjoyable. Yeah, it’s mostly my own thing now.
If you could work with any artiste, dead and/or alive, who would it be? Why?
I think in the electronic dance scene, I would love to work with Showtek. They’re obvious geniuses with what they do and God I’d love to see what they do in the studio. Whatever filters they put on their sounds or whatever, I don’t know how they do it, but it’s amazing. So that’d be great. Dead… I think Michael Jackson. I mean, I’m just thinking of him singing over one of my beats and I’m like, “Woah, That’d be so cool!” It would be so funky and he’d be dancing over it and everything. That’d be really cool.
Where do you pull inspiration from for your own tracks?
Well back then when I make my original songs, it’s just me bopping around in my room, thinking about things to myself. I would just jam and groove on my own. It really is all about the jam. AfroJack is also a big inspiration, with his distinct Dutch sound. That’s about it, really.
What was the worst thing that has happened while you were on tour?
Oh, man. It was bad. I didn’t back up my laptop and it had all my original productions, all my music and just everything I was working on. And I lost it. I lost my laptop. I was so tired and out of it, and I left it in the pocket of the aeroplane seat. We were taking the train in Tokyo, and I opened my bag to get a few things and that’s when I realised I lost it. My heart just came out of me. I got the woman to call up the airport and she spoke in Japanese for about an hour and I just went all depressed because I knew it wasn’t backed up until she suddenly exclaimed, “They found it! They found your laptop!” I just screamed in relief and we celebrated that night. And that night itself, I backed up my laptop (laughs).
You’ve got a pretty packed schedule, touring all over the globe. Do you ever get homesick? If you do, what do you do to make yourself feel better?
I did get very homesick at the beginning of my tour. I just sat down and asked myself why am I doing this? I’m gonna go home. And it’s so stupid to think like that because it’s such a big opportunity and I’m finally doing something I’m good at and I’m just gonna throw it away? But it’s just a really depressing feeling to feel like you’re missing out on so much with your friends and family. This is a really long story, but one day I met this really spiritual guy on the plane. He sat next to me but never said anything at first. After two hours into the flight, he just stopped me and said he needed to speak to me. He told me this lengthy story and at the end of it he told me that God told him this morning that he was going to sit next to someone who needed to speak about things and that he needed to help this guy. I just went flush and he told me that he missed his flight earlier that day and that’s when he said he was told by God. Weird thing is, I missed my flight earlier that day too. Freaky. Some whole weird sh!t going on. He kinda brought me back to life. He made me more confident and made me tell myself to not get depressed anymore and just, do. From then on, I’ve been fine. Great story, right? You better write that in (laughs).
You’ll be spinning on the first day of FMFA2014. How excited are you for that? Do you have time to stay for the remaining two days as a part of the crowd?
I just found out its only me, R3hab, deadmau5, and just a few acts on the first day. That’s awesome. It’s the first day, it’s gonna be a good crowd and they’ll have maximum energy! It’s gonna be great, I’m really excited for that. I don’t have any sideshows for the tour, so far. I can’t wait to watch deadmau5, he still is the best performer, live. I remember being in the crowd, watching him, two years ago and now I’m gonna be on the same stage as he is. Crazy! I’m also pretty excited for Hardwell and Pharell. If I’ve got time, I’ll definitely stay for the whole thing.
Catch Will Sparks on the first day of Future Music Festival Asia 2014 (13 March 2014) at Bukit Jalil National Stadium.