Imagine a festival you’ve attended with one of your best friends. Now imagine performing at that festival beside your best friend the very next year. We asked Joyzu what that’s like in our exclusive interview at SnowGlobe.
Creative electronic duo Joyzu, comprised of Sacramento locals Carson Willms and Quinton Pope, returned to the spot where Joyzu came to be on day three of this year’s SnowGlobe Music Festival, debuting their killer live show.
The brilliant yet down to earth duo, accompanied by the talented Lilianna Wilde, vocalist on Joyzu’s most recent track “Famous”, took the time to speak with us before the show.
We heard that SnowGlobe was your guys’ dream festival to play. This is your second time around playing here, and you’ve also attended as audience members as well. Tell us about that.
Quinton Pope: Right, it’s my third year, his fifth.
Carson Willms: Yeah, we are local, we live in Sacramento so it’s a yearly thing we do, and now we’re playing! This is my fifth year here in the audience. I’ve been an OG SnowGlober. And in the audience five years ago, when we were dabbling with music, really is when we said, “I wanna play here. That’s our goal.”
Quinton Pope: And luckily enough, within the next year we got to play, which was crazy!
Carson Willms: And then we decided we wanted to play main stage. And luckily we have a whole new show compared to anything we have ever done before. It’s not just DJ-ing anymore. It is DJ-ing, but we’re also incorporating live elements.
Quinton Pope: Yeah, we’re also doing some live stuff.
Listen to and download for free Joyzu’s remix of Illenium’s “Sound Of Walking Away”:
So you guys had solo projects before you became Joyzu, right? How did Joyzu come about?
Carson Willms: We were always together, but in a way we were kind of doing our own thing.
Quinton Pope: I was moving around for school, so we were always kind of separated.
Carson Willms: But we have been best friends since middle school and were throwing parties in high school and underground raves, which was crazy. Then, in college we went separate ways, but we have always been connected with each other. And then we started Joyzu at SnowGlobe two years ago! And that’s when someone asked us what our goal was for this year and that night we started it and we really wanted to play SnowGlobe! And then we did a year later, which is crazy! And we had a few songs go viral and hopefully our songs with Lilianna will go viral too!
You guys have a whole new live show you’re debuting this weekend, right?
Carson Willms: Yeah, and we are bringing out the beautiful Lilianna Wilde off our latest single “Famous” and so yeah, it should be super fun! We are super honored to be invited back. We had a big crowd last year, which we did not expect at all and then now SnowGlobe said, come on back! You guys killed it! So it’s super humbling.
Quinton Pope: Yeah I think it will be good. We have had a lot of social media interaction and stuff like that, so we will see how it goes. I think it will be good!
Carson Willms: It will be good!
And are you guys currently touring?
Carson Willms: Well, before SnowGlobe, we were playing a whole bunch, like every weekend, and then after the New Year…
Quinton Pope: Yeah, after the New Year we have a 15 to 20 show span lined up in mid February. But especially with SnowGlobe and all the prep we have had to do, we kind of backed off of shows for the last two months before SnowGlobe so we could really focus on it. So we took some time off. But we are going to start back up in mid February.
I know you said you guys aren’t on tour right now, but when you are, what’s it like?
Carson Willms: We travel on the weekends and then I go to school during the week. And then we work on music during the week. We aren’t traveling all around the world yet, but we are getting places. We are getting our name out there in California and the states around. We got to go to Chicago, which was really cool. We have only been doing Joyzu for two years and we have been able to travel in such a short amount of time, which is super crazy. We never thought we would be at this level. We are going to Mexico in the spring and potentially going to Miami, Oregon, Arizona and all over.
And you guys have performed in Mexico for SWAT before, right? What was that like?
Carson Willms: Yeah! And they invited us back. We are super excited to go back there! We are going for two weeks this year, though so hopefully our livers don’t fail!
How was playing with Zeds Dead in Mexico?
Carson Willms: Playing with Zeds Dead was wild! We have played with them twice, and luckily they like our music and they like us. They’re super supportive, and we talk to them a lot and send tunes back and forth. Playing with them is crazy because they are OG as hell.
Quinton Pope: I forgot that we actually saw them back when we were freshmen in high school and we went to their super small Sacramento show, with like 80 people. Then they got massive, and now they tour around the world.
Carson Willms: And then they asked us to play with them, which is nuts!
You guys just came out with “Famous”, what’s the back story behind the song?
Quinton Pope: That’s all Lilianna! She was the writer! (laughs)
Lilianna Wilde: Yes! (laughs) It’s about someone that isn’t actually that famous. He just started kind of acting like it you know. So he just let the good stuff get the best of him and wasn’t the person that he used to be. So that’s where it all came from. And then they (Joyzu) did this amazing thing with the lyrics and they made it way better then I could have imagined once they got ahold of it.
Carson Willms: The song kind of adapts with the industry, because there are a lot of big egos and people think that they are too big for their own good and people that are big that treat small people with disrespect. And we have experienced that a lot as smaller artists. Our goal is not to be like that. And that is why we love the song so much and the story behind it.
Listen to Joyzu & Lilianna Wilde’s “Famous”:
How did your and Lilianna Wilde’s duo come about? Did you guys know each other before?
Carson Willms: The ARMNHMR remix.
Quinton Pope: Yeah, we had a mutual person that we were both working with, and so he linked us up. She’s a singer songwriter and we are producers, and he linked us together. We were working on “Famous” a long time ago and we were trying to get it out and then we ended up doing a remix for her. Lilianna had a song with ARMNHMR, and so we remixed that and then we got “Famous” out.
Listen to ARMNHMR & ASHR Ft. Lilianna Wilde – WANT U (Official Joyzu Remix):
“Hear You Say”, one of your most popular songs,- had over a million and a half streams on Spotify. Do you foresee “Famous” receiving the same success?
Quinton Pope: We are hoping! Out of everything that we have released since “Here You Say”, I think this is our best shot at it, as far as how our songwriting has been and production-wise. We are hoping, but it’s so hard to tell. It is literally hit or miss.
Carson Willms: We didn’t think “Here You Say” would go viral. It took 3 months for it to start taking off, and that could happen with anybody. It’s just based on who hears it and who plays it. But there is so much good music out there that is not heard that deserves to have a million and a half plays, but it just doesn’t.
Listen to “Hear You Say”:
How would you guys describe your sound?
Quinton Pope: I don’t know. It’s kind of changing. We definitely have more of a kind of melodic, pop friendly radio style of EDM. But in 2018, we are really focusing on pushing more EDM style with energy for our shows.
Carson Willms: We play a super energetic show compared to our music. And all of our music that you hear live is edits of the music that we have made. We don’t really want to be secured to just one style. We want to make everything.
How did you guys learn to DJ and produce? Did you teach yourself? Go to school?
Quinton Pope: It’s all self taught. We didn’t go to school at all. DJ-ing is all self taught, but as far as producing, we would go on YouTube, watch hundreds of hours of videos, and just…like…learn by failing.
Carson Willms: We’ve put out some shitty music in the past! (laughs)
So, what advice do you have for aspiring producers?
Quinton Pope: Network!
Carson Willms: Network, yeah! It sounds cliché, but surround yourself with people that motivate you. Because even your closest people, sometimes, if you tell them what you want to do, and it’s something like this, which is so hard to get into, they will probably say, “Ohh…good luck! It’s like winning the lottery!” But yeah , start networking. Also, it’s about locking yourself in a room for goddamn hours and hours on end!
New Years is right around the corner. Any New Years resolutions?
Quinton Pope: Man I haven’t even thought about that. Man… EDC!
Carson Willms: We want to get a major management booking and agency. A lot are interested in us and its all about proving that we are ready and worth it. It’s just about putting out music every month and growing as artists.
What about you Lilianna?
Lillianna: Yeah same here, I want to make more music, I feel like that’s the main goal!
Quinton Pope: Yeah, we actually have another song with Lilianna, and I don’t know when it will come out, but we have to place it right. It’s a weird vibe song, but it’s really good.
Carson Willms: Yeah, it’s super good. It’s different. It’s got some cool sounds.
Is there anyone that you guys are looking to collaborate with in the future?
Quinton Pope: Yeah, right now we are working with a artist that is actually here at the festival. He is super talented.
Carson Willms: His name is Young Blood and that’s our next single, potentially. He actually hit us up randomly. We like to listen to other people’s music, and we thought that it was amazing. He was like, “I want you guys to jump on this and rework it,” and we did, and it’s supposed to come out soon. But otherwise we like to work with a lot of big vocalists and remixing. We really like to remix stuff that you wouldn’t think anyone would remix.
You guys have played shows with Krewella, Zeds Dead, Hucci and more big name artists. Who has been the most memorable person to perform with?
Carson Willms: Artist-wise, the coolest and most genuine person was Big Wild. He is the coolest guy. We have played at probably five different festivals where he is on the lineup, and we actually played a tour stop with him. He remembers us, and our names. We are super small compared to him, and he is such a genuine guy and his music is awesome
Quinton Pope: Also Zeds Dead. The whole thing with Zeds Dead for Swatopia was pretty memorable and hanging out with them was awesome.
Carson Willms: I don’t know, we’ve played with some of the biggest artists in the world and none of them have treated us wrongly. They have all been great.
This is kind of random but I noticed that you have a Porter Robinson tattoo. Is he one of your biggest musical inspirations?
Quinton Pope: Yeah, I got that tattoo when I was 19, three years ago, so I was still learning how to even make music and he was my biggest inspiration. So, its crazy that he is on the same lineup as us this year and to see him, that is nuts.
Who else are some of your guys’ other big musical influences?
Carson Willms: Post Malone is so good. We are obsessed with him, and with rap in general.
Quinton Pope: Yeah we love a lot of hip-hop too.
What about you, Lilianna?
Is there anything you guys want to say to your fans?
Quinton Pope: Thank you for supporting us!
Carson Willms: Yeah and 2018 will be big! We are going to keep releasing music and doing us. That’s the goal. And thatDROP.com, shout out to you guys!