Willaris. K Interview: Dream Studio, Live Sets, Upcoming EP, Performing In USA + More

Willaris. K, aka Jack McAllister is an electronic producer from Australia. Having just signed with Astralwerks, Willaris is set to release his newest EP; Full Noise on July 17th. He has already released one track from the EP, ‘Chapel’ with WaveIQ, which just had its music video released. Created by Mortis Studios, it was shot in a handheld style immersing the viewer into the frenetic mind of WaveIQ with mixed media text and graphic overlays.

Willaris. K has paved the way for electronic music across Australia and now the world, his technical production capabilities are next level, showcased by a plethora of successful records such as ‘Dour Nights’, ‘Alchemy’ and the newly released ‘Chapel’. At just 26, Willaris has a bright future ahead of him and the upcoming EP is only going to propel him more.

You can catch Willaris. K in Australia as soon as the festival and club scene is back in full swing!

What’s it been like releasing music in the current landscape? Have your releases been impacted by COVID-19 at all?
On one hand it’s been shit not being able to play shows to celebrate the releases, on the other hand I think LUSTRE came out at the right time. Out of all of the upcoming releases that’s the most ‘at home, headphones’ EP. Think it gives people the opportunity to really digest it before seeing it in the live context.

‘Chapel’ is very different to your other tracks, it’s the first track of yours with a rapper, did that change how you approached the track creatively? 
Not really, I had no expectations going into the session with WaveIQ and it just happened so quick which is usually a sign you’re onto something. I think it may come as a shock to people based on my released music but I’ve got a lot of unreleased music that’s in the same world.

Your live sets are crazy, sometimes with dancers and other live elements. What additions to your live show do you plan to make?
I’m going to add some hardware synths, some visuals, change the stage design and obviously the live set will be vastly different musically. I’m keen to make a bunch of live edits of my older tracks.

How does the Australian dance music scene compare to America? Did you have to make any significant changes to the music you play?
I suppose the difference for me at this point is having a much bigger fan base in Australia and people know all the songs, so the shows are mental. Hard to comment on the US because I haven’t played many shows but the ones I did I included more vocal led tracks than I usually do.

For the average dance music enthusiast, what sets your performances apart from the norm? 
The whole set is original and I play a lot of unreleased music/early ideas I’m working on. In a way the crowd is a part of my creative process, I take a lot from crowd response and how it feels in the room with unreleased stuff.

You used to DJ at local clubs in Brisbane, often into the early hours of the morning, how did that help mold you into the artist you are now?
Learning to DJ, learning to perform and be comfortable on stage, etiquette, what to do and what not to do after seeing other artists come through over the years.

Your releases have often been accompanied by artistic visualisers, is this an important complement for the track? Do you have much input in their design and creation?
Yeah definitely. It’s varied throughout different releases. The whole visual concept for LUSTRE came from having dancers in the live show which came about after I saw Sari (choreographer) tag me in a dance video on Instagram to ‘Alchemy’ and I asked if she’d like to do it on stage with me, then it was brought to life by Joe at Astralwerks alongside Chris Kore (digital) and Paul Phung (photos). All of the ‘Alchemy’ visual stuff was by Yeoseop Yoon, he is a genius.

You’ve mentioned before about an interest in doing movie scores and soundtracks, even playing around with the idea in ‘Indifferent’. Have you looked any further into this? Could we be watching a movie in the near future and see the score was done by Jack McAllister? 
Yeah I have! Working on something special at the moment.

You’ve got a lot of talent on this EP; WaveIQ, GN, Paul Mac. Do you enjoy working with other artists? Is there anyone in particular that you would love to work with? 
I love collaborating with people, I’ve found it really helpful to enter new worlds musically. I’d love to make something with King Krule.

What does your ideal studio set up look like? Was there anything done differently with the Full Noise EP studio wise? 
Nah, Full Noise was made between 2017 – 2020 in multiple different locations, mainly Tweed Heads, Sydney and Melbourne. Ideal set up is a house near a beach in a national park surrounded by rainforest with windows all around, a cosy studio with a wall of synths and drum machines, everything linked. That’s the plan.

Obviously you’ve been busy in 2020, releasing 2 EPs, 10 songs all up, as well as a collab with Skin on Skin and a DMA’s Remix. What else have you got planned for the year?
I’ve got my Full Noise EP dropping July 17th, plus a couple more remixes and we’ll see what happens after.

Listen and watch Willaris. K and WaveIQ’s latest single ‘Chapel’. Catch his EP ‘Full Noise’ coming July 17th.