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Wilkinson – Hopelessly Coping nearly killed me!

wilkinson

This week sees the release of Wilkinson – Hopelessly Coping.

His first track of 2015, and the second original production since the run of singles from his debut album Lazers Not Included (third if you include the powerful Hit The Floor with TC), he gave us the story behind it… Work in progress for over a year and a half, he explains how it’s the most challenging tune he’s ever written.

I needed to take the drop out and just let it do its thing. This one doesn’t need crazy bass or loads of stuff going on…

“It nearly killed me!” he laughs. “I knew the feel I wanted in the tune but just couldn’t do it. I started writing this in December 2013. Probably before that actually because I first played it Rhythm & Vines festival in New Zealand on NYE 2013.”

Explaining how he always loved Thabo’s vocal, it was the groove and mixdown that caused him sleepless nights, frustrating studio sessions and probably a little hair loss too.

“I wrote three different versions of the song,” he says. “I took everything out rebuilt it. Like fitting a house, I guess. Stripped it all out, started again and wrote a whole new tune. Three times. It started to make me realise the elements I actually liked. When you’re too deep into a track you don’t realise which components are really working. So stripping it back and adding them back in gradually made me realise the key points that I like. I played with the structure and went in deeper for the more chilled, liquid roller vibe that it is today.”

Revisiting the liquid masters such as Marky and LTJ Bukem, Wilkinson invested time listening to classics to remind himself what he was doing. All the while his management, his label and Thabo’s management were all breathing down his neck…

“I went back to those classics for inspiration and knew I needed to take the drop out and just let it do its thing,” he tells us. “This one doesn’t need crazy bass or loads of stuff going on. My management, Thabo’s management, my label and everyone in between were all like ‘What’s going on? What’s going on?’ Thabo was cool though, he’s a wicked, chilled musician so he understood.  He’s not rushed and he knows I’m a perfectionist. So, of all my tunes, this has been one of the most challenging and fulfilling to release. I never put anything out that I’m not 100 per cent happy with, just some take a lot longer to be happy with than others.”

Wilkinson fans should also be happy to hear that his second album – the one we exclusively revealed last summer – is well under way. While it’s too soon to confirm, an early 2016 release is looking very possible. Never keen to rush things, Wilkinson is taking an even more pragmatic approach to his second long-player…

“I’m taking my time,” he states. “The pressure was on with the first. I was really happy with it. But part of me feels like it’s more of a collection of songs so I’ve been thinking a lot more about direction and what I want to say. A lot has changed; I’ve got the band now. It’s cool, man. I’ve been relaxing more and working in my own time. I finally have time to really think about the sounds I really want and really looking at those little details.”

With another single already locked for later in the summer, Wilkinson’s doing things in his own time with his own rules. We’re looking forward to hearing more… In the meantime, he’s just released episode 4 of his tour diary. Check it out for a glimpse of life on tour…