One of the most intriguing things about the bass scene, at least how I see it, is that there truly is a place for everyone. It doesn’t matter what your passions are or what your background is, but if you put the right amount of hard work in, you are likely to go incredibly far. We are seeing a wave of more diverse groups of people coming in and making an impact on the scene. And the person I’m highlighting today has already left a huge stamp on the scene: Natalie Wood.
Within five months of joining Wavecraft Collective, Natalie has not only become the chief operating officer and the director of artist management but also drastically brought the collective back to their feet at such a pivotal moment. The reason why this underground collective has been running so fluidly and consistently cranking out some of the deepest bass releases is because of her contributions. Natalie currently manages underground artists such as Mahsiv, MarshedBass, Subtle, and many more. There’s so much in store for the collective, and with Natalie working harder than anyone I know, it’s certain that the only way for Wavecraft to go is up!
In addition, she also creates music through her wood.wurks alias. She began her career creating some big mixes, including her Restarting series, which consisted of four separate mixes that described her mental and emotional growth that began near the end of 2019 and up until this point. Natalie’s music shows no mercy, as she continues to delve into multiple subgenres of bass music and prove that she can do it all. There’s no boundary to her discography. Most recently, she collaborated with Mastuh for a sick track, “Nocturnal Garden“, a dark bass tune that kept listeners at the edge of their seats for the duration of the listen. There are so many tracks that Natalie has hidden and we are anxiously awaiting for the next time she drops another sick tune!
I had the absolute pleasure of speaking with her shortly before her wood.wurks set at the Dub Bus at Yonderville (pictured above with her girlfriend). I got to truly see how incredible she is, and why her presence in the bass scene runs so deep. There’s no denying the fact that Natalie has one of the brightest futures ahead of her, and we cannot wait to see where life takes her. You can check out the full interview below and see how she got to this point. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
HIHF: You’re playing a festival with so many legends like EPROM, Tiedye Ky, and VCTRE, but also a bunch of your friends on the same lineup. How surreal is that to you?
Natalie: It’s absolutely the craziest thing, if I could say the least. We just went through a whole year of quarantine together and I was managing eight artists. The hardest part of that was keeping them positive and driven. Subtle and Marsh were with me since day one. It’s kind of shaky to talk about this because they deserved it more than anything. For me to be alongside them is even more so crazy to me because I don’t give myself credit or recognition for my music. I don’t focus on it that much since Wavecraft and management are my main drives. But I did have a groundbreaking moment, and I told myself I am talented, people do enjoy listening to my music, and I should probably keep going with it. Being on this lineup is just full circle dude, it’s crazy.
H: What are your earliest memories of music, and when did you realize that music was something you were passionate about?
N: Honestly, my first G Jones set had me so shook. It was his Ineffable Truth tour two years ago at the TLA in Philadelphia. Before that, I was always into music, but I was never into it like I should have been. Music was a party thing for me. But when I really started taking what I did for fun, like mixing and producing, and put some talent behind it, I was like “Wow, I should really focus on this, I have something good going”. From the very beginning, my first festival was Starscape (before Moonrise was canceled) when I was 15 years old, and I have been scooting since. I have been putting dedication into the music scene and the industry, and I want to make an impact as a gay woman. I feel like that has a lot of room to make some changes.
H: How did this all lead to the launch of your wood.works project?
N: When I started mixing, I went to curated events with all my homies in hotels where we wanted to keep the party going. Once I started getting really good at mixing, I got booked for my first ever show in DC, and I had to have an alias. So my last name is Wood, and my grandfather was a carpenter and a woodworker. So I altered it a little and made it “wurks”, and it literally stuck. It’s just so fitting and the logo is perfect. In my sets, I like to take people on a journey.
H: And speaking of your music, how would you describe the music you create and the way it flows within your sets and mixes?
N: Right now, I’m all over the place. I create music off of things I’m going through, feeling, expressing, or want to express. For example, my “Restarting” project on Soundcloud, a four-part series, was when I was going through something really hard in my life. Part one was really dark and heavy, and then it became something beautiful. So, I I like to be able to describe and make people feel things and think about things. The music that I produce will never be the same sound and will always sound different. Today, I will be dropping a melodic track, the most beautiful track I ever listened to in my life. And I produced that with my boy iøRa who flew from New Hampshire to see it and hear it on the Hennessey rig. We’re looking to send it out to somewhere. Anyways, there is never going to be the same sound. Anyone can name an artist, rapper, singers, who all have the same sound, but with my music, there won’t be, to say the least.
H: Let’s talk Wavecraft. I do recall you mentioned that Wavecraft was on the verge of dissolving before you joined. What were the key implementations that you brought forth that reinvented this incredible collective of bass minds?
N: This is something that was crazy. I have been following Wavecraft for a while. I love deep, heavy dubstep. That’s just my little niche. I reached out to Evan [Dugosh] after a bit and told him, “Hey, I have an idea for a really sick project for Wavecraft. It’s going to be sick and I’ll handle everything, just trust me.” He didn’t even know me, and he responded back saying okay. Two weeks later, we were dropping the art and promo video for a compilation album, “Beautiful Beginnings”, featuring NotLö, Sky Suite, Maroc, and Engix, literally all the homies. Especially during quarantine, to be able to have them do all of that together. They busted their ass to get it done within two weeks, which was the most beautiful thing. After the album came out, I hit up Evan again and said “Yo, let me work for you.” He told me he never had someone ask him to work for the collective. This was when we only had about five conversations. But he trusted me. I only had been with Wavecraft for five months, and within five months, we partnered with Dub Day, and we now have a roster of about 22 of the most talented underground producers known to man. We have a team of college students, doctors, even a kid in medical school right now, and we’re all coming together for the same purpose.
H: I want to backtrack a bit and discuss the compilation album. Can you describe to me the process of curating that within 2 weeks?
N: So when I reached out to Evan, I told him I wanted to put together this album. At the time, I was managing Feelmonger, Shatter, Mauka, Spirit Galore, Wiley (fka WileyCoyote), Stretch, MarshedBass, and EYE. From there, we got a collaboration going. My whole roster would collab with friends. For example, EYE worked with Mistah Dill, Ginseng was with ezbz, Shatter was with NotLö, Sky Suite was with Mauka, WileyCoyote was with Vibe Emissions, and it was incredible. We got together on a Twitter group chat, we all hyped each other up, and we got it out so quickly. NotLö mastered the whole thing, the cover art was done by Mauka’s girlfriend, and we had the visual promo made literally in 24 hours. And I still to this day think that was the best piece of work put out last year. Not just because of all the people involved, but because it’s pure beauty.
H: You can check out the compilation album here! What are some of your favorite memories from being apart of Wavecraft?
N: Everything. I can’t pick one. Denver stands out the most. Meeting everyone in person in Denver, for a show that we put together in our bedrooms, was sick. Meeting Evan also stands out. Truly everything. I wake up every day and I’m like, “Damn. We’re really out here.” I have a tattoo of Wavecraft. I will forever stay with Wavecraft. I just found my little place.
H: I’ve seen Wavecraft a lot recently, especially with the amount of amazing talent on the roster, like JiV, Mantra Sounds, Mastuh, and Fryar. You’re an artist manager for many of these artists, so can you describe what the most redeeming thing about managing the artists within the Wavecraft team is?
N: Seeing them achieve their biggest goals. With my artists specifically, I make them set goals and I try to help them achieve those goals. And that’s my favorite thing when I can help them do that. It’s the most crediting thing to me. These three boys that are playing Dub Bus [Subtle, Stretch, MarshedBass] are achieving their goals. For two of them, it’s their first festival. It’s small things like that that really get me going. It feels so effortless, but these people truly deserve it. They are the most talented kids.
H: With the pandemic finally coming to an end, how has it felt to be able to finally connect with so many like-minded people in bass music and grow with them?
N: I’m going to speak on behalf of the entire Wavecraft team. It’s been nothing short of amazing. But we’re remaining lowkey until next year. Next year is going to be our year. We have some big things we’re doing in 2022. We’re taking it smooth-sailing right now. A bunch of our boys are getting booked around the country. Wade (DiCe MaN) just brought Dub Day to all three new states, with a fourth on the way. There’s a bunch that’s going on in the winter as well, but next summer is going to be our summer. Honestly, being able to connect with all of them in person, be able to tell them all of this, and see how excited they are is crazy to me. All of these kids are gonna go home and be so inspired, and that’s the feeling we want to keep alive.
H: As you mentioned, next summer is going to be the summer of Wavecraft. What are you most looking forward to when that time comes within the team, as well as yourself?
N: Big. Wavecraft. Takeovers. Hopefully pop-ups in different cities. I don’t want to be too sure of it, you know. But I’m going to manifest. I do see 2022 being a huge year for us. The partnerships we’re going to establish with a bunch of amazing companies is just as important. I’m trying to branch out and work with people who are genuine and true to themselves. We have so much talent, and I feel as though a lot of people would use that to their benefit.
J: You’re a gay woman in the bass scene. We’re seeing a widespread call for diversity at the right time. What should we all be doing to promote more inclusion in the scene?
N: If you’re like me, don’t worry about anyone other than yourself, and don’t give up. I’ve honestly had so many people try to knock me down on this process. During quarantine, I was doing stuff that not even I know I could do. For a lot of people to just see me pop up with these eight amazing artists by myself, independently, with no company behind me, they still tried to break me down. All I did was stuck to my guns, stayed true, stayed genuine, and continue to be who I was, and that’s what I keep with me. If you ask anyone here, they will say the same thing. If I could do anything, it’s gonna be to spread awareness to mental health, opioid addiction, and a lot more. And I don’t think being gay is a problem in the scene anymore, but people still struggle with it. I want people to feel welcome and safe.
I have a whole vision and I can’t describe it as there are so many things I want to do. When I get something going in my brain dude, I don’t stop until I get it done.
H: What’s the one piece of advice you would give to someone who is looking to do the same things as you are?
N: If you love it, don’t give up. People are so intimidated. This industry, unfortunately, is egotistical. There are people who want to get to the top and don’t care what they do to get there. And I want to stop that. There are artists on Wavecraft that don’t even have 200 followers on Soundcloud, yet they are better than the headliners that I see on half of these festivals. I tell them every single day to not give up, never worry about the numbers or your crowd size. Because one day, if you love it, it’s going to stick. There is no need to beat yourself up if you get an early time slot or if you’re not getting as many plays on your tracks. There will always be a better one. That’s all I can say. Stay true to yourself, and be a good person.
Huge thank you to Natalie for chatting with us before her set at Yonderville. Be sure to check out her wood.wurks project above on Soundcloud and follow her on socials.
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