Following the release of his debut album Superdream, Big Wild looks to bring a diverse sound to the historic Turner Hall Ballroom in Milwaukee this Thursday, March 21.
Jackson Stell, who performs as Big Wild, has developed immensely as an artist since his early days of producing hip hop beats in Massachusetts. Stell said a trip to Big Sur, California, inspired not only his name but also a new chapter in his life, where he now aims to “to take chances, [be] adventurous and [stay] curious.”
Big Wild first gained traction in April 2015, after the release of his breakout single “Aftergold” under ODESZA’s Foreign Family Collective. In the following years, Stell released his debut EP, Invincible, which blends synth-production with classical instrumentation to create a big, sweeping sound fit for the Californian landscape in which he now creates.
The clean and lush production of Big Wild’s previous work rings true in his debut album, but incorporates new elements — notably including Stell’s own vocals, something he has never utilized in his prior work.
“I think I wanted to do it because I was reaching a creative wall, in terms of just making instrumental music, and felt like I wasn’t really able to make what I wanted to make without using vocals, so it was a natural next step,” Stell said.
The addition of Stell’s vocals and songwriting in Superdream are pivotal components in furthering the many personal themes explored in this album, as seen in “City of Sound.”
As the lead-off track on Superdream, “City of Sound” speaks to inspire confidence with its contents.
“It’s about being comfortable with your own voice and not being afraid to speak your mind or share who you are to other people,” Still explained.
Big Wild has especially enjoyed performing “No Words” and “Alley-Oop” in front of a live audience, but feels “each song has its own moment in the set.”
The nostalgic 80’s dance vibes help create an uplifting and feel-good quality for listeners throughout Superdream, and the audience members on spring break will certainly dig these vibes.
Despite a full year of touring across the world and performing at summer festivals, Stell said he has recently found inspiration for a new body of work.
Big Wild plays Turner Hall Ballroom in Milwaukee on Thursday, March 21 at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 online and at the door.