Born in the burbs north of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Taylor Willi has flourishingly ingrained himself as an up and coming producer under the moniker, JD Dyslexia. Influenced by modern dubstep music, it’s safe to say that JD has successfully identified his own singularly style of dubstep. Having achieved over eight years of experience in the production of electronic dance music, JD Dyslexia has brought forth his most brilliant style of melodic dubstep to life yet. With the release of singles like, “Slow Motion” and “Mehoy”, it comes as no surprise his aptitude and perseverance has begun to pay off. With intentions of educating himself in the art of DJing, JD Dyslexia would begin to triumphantly transition from the production side of his creative process over into the realm of DJing.
As a graduate from the Institute of Production and Recording for Creative Arts with an Associates degree in Audio Production and Engineering under his belt, JD Dyslexia has been preoccupied in the lab perfecting his craft. For the last four years, JD has respectively mastered a balanced equation consisting of syncopated rhythmic patterns and what sub-base frequencies and synths make up this blended cocktail of worthwhile wobbles and wubs his sound is strikingly known for today.
JD Dyslexia's credible talent was recognized by King Records, a label based out of Minneapolis, MN where JD would begin to pick up a variety of gigs as a performing artist. As an active dubstep producer and DJ heavily involved in the Twin Cities EDM community, his raw talent is transparent and acclaimed by many. From playing numerous sets at packed-out nightclubs downtown Minneapolis to performing sell-out sets at raves throughout the inner city of Minneapolis, JD Dyslexia’s creative career is in full gear and ready for launch.
How long have you been spinning for?
I've only been spinning for about 4 years. I've been producing for about twice as long as that. I came into DJing because I wanted to play my music and learn the tables to do so.
Where is your hometown, and what is your background in the local EDM scene?
I am from the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities. I don't really credit my home town as my inspiration. I'd rather give that credit to Minneapolis. Any shows I would go to were downtown either at Varsity Theater or Skyway Theatre.
Your alias is quite clever, but who or how did the name JD Dyslexia become devised?
So the name actually came from a manager at a Journeys I used to work at. He was and probably still is my favorite manager. He was always cracking little one-liners and making the work environment a little more tolerable. At the time I was going by Crimson and was thinking about changing my name. One day I come into work and Mike (manager) has this super big grin on his face like he's about to bust out laughing. He says "I came up with the best DJ name ever". He then slides a post-it over to me that reads " JD Dyslexia". He explained the joke within the name and I loved it. I still love telling people the name and watching people go from a confused stare to laughing as it clicks in their head. So, I owe all of this to my manager at Journeys. If you read this, thanks Mike Schell!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Probably living in Minneapolis with a nice studio to make music daily. As long as I'm doing something involving music, I don't really care.
Do you have any musical aspirations or would you say you strictly DJ?
I don't think I could ever strictly DJ. I love creating music that fits my mood and sometimes its a somber piano other times it might be a thick, heavy guitar sound. I recently pulled out my old trumpet from the closet and will be relearning that as well. My music taste is a little well... dyslexic.
What are you methods for mentally preparing before performing your set?
I think it can be common for a DJ to stress about messing up a set. I know I've had the thoughts "what if forget how to use the equipment" or "what if I make a stupid mistake". These thoughts can mess up a set just by overthinking them. I just reassure myself that I know the equipment and then forget about the rest. Then remind myself to have fun. If I'm not having fun, how can I expect anyone else to.
If you were to perform back-to-back with anyone who would it be?
Probably Ganja White Night. I feel like their music and mood would match mine the best.
Out of these 3 Disc Jockeys: DJ Premier, DJ AM, DJ Jazzy Jeff… who is your favorite and why?
The kid in me wants to say DJ Jazzy Jeff because of nostalgia with the Fresh Prince. However, I think I would go with DJ Premier. I am a huge fan of his New York style of sampling classic records with the relaxed beat. It just hits me right in the feels.
What inspired you to start spinning and who would you say is your favorite DJ?
Modern dubstep was probably my biggest inspiration to spinning. The high energy music was able to be enjoyed to its fullest in a live environment. My favorite DJ is either CRAZE for his raw talent, or DJ Shadow for his unique sound.
How does it feel to be recently featured on a compilation album?
Every artist on the album is amazing! I felt extremely honored to be featured among these talented producers.
Since all of the hard work has paid off, what would be your advice to any local musicians about working with a label?
Don't stop. Keep going. Even if the pace is unsteady or slow. Persistence is key!
What kind of genre(s) would you classify your music as and/or compare it to?
I have heard my music sounds similar to Ganja White Night which is awesome because I love their music. But I would consider my music to be a modern form of dubstep with melodic influence.
What did it take to develop your relationship with King Records?
Just being involved in the scene as much as I could. I still remember working the front door of barfly when I met Josh Joyce. He was working street team for skyway and we started talking about music we liked. Eventually he mentioned a record label he wanted to start and I jumped aboard.
What overall impact do you want to leave the community with?
Do what makes you happy, even if it isn't what everybody else is doing. It is easy to get caught in the popularity contest and do the same thing everybody else has been doing. This doesn't help evolve art or music. I love seeing or hearing of a new art form or music genre. Push the boundaries!
They say..”It is not the destination, it is the journey to get there.” Would you say this is true for you as well or do see it another way?
I don't think you should have a super defined destination. People change and so do interests. Enjoy the journey and let it guide you.
Who would say is the most influential DJ/Producer for our generation?
I'd have to say Skrillex. He pushed to boundaries of electronic music to create a unique style of music that still inspires new artists.
What is the most crucial thing that is necessary to be successful in this scene?
Persistence. The scene evolves very quickly and if you slow down you can get lost in the vast amount of creatives looking to do what you are doing.
In what ways has the music scene in Minneapolis helped shape and mold your creative career?
I've always loved the amount of music that comes from Minneapolis. We have a lot of creativity flowing through the city and it is very inspiring to watch grow.
How has the EDM scene influenced your creative career?
One thing I love about the EDM scene is how open it is. It has inspired new sounds and even inspires visual art. The people who make music in the scene love sharing new sounds and styles which is then expressed throughout the scene. New sounds can inspire new art, visual or audible.
Do you have a favorite track(s) you've released so far? Which track(s) and why?
"We The People" is a song I released a while ago but is still probably my favorite. It is very different the my usual stuff but it has a message that is even more important now. I was making a rather relaxed track and wanted a vocal sample to lay over it. I found the extremely inspirational speech in "The Great Dictator" where Charlie Chaplin (of all people) explains the importance of sticking together against oppressive leadership.
How has your style of music changed and/or progressed over the course of your creative career as an artist?
I think my sound design has evolved the most. I still try to incorporate catchy melodies but I've tried mostly to create unique sounds into my music. My interest in sound synthesis has created more intricacies in the sounds I design.
What is one thing you can share about yourself with Turntable Talks that you believe your fans don't know but would want to know more about?
I think I had a fairly unique introduction into music production. The first "program" that I learned basic music production in was actually a Playstation 2 game! Back when video game rental places were a thing I found a music production "game" called Magix Music Maker. At the time I had some knowledge of how to play music but knew nothing about making music. I became very interested in the production of music as I stood in the video store and read the back label of this ps2 game. I begged my Mom to get it and have been hooked ever since.
Do you have a specific destination you'd want to live at and/or travel to in the future? If so, where and why?
Straight out of high school, I moved to Florida. This experience has only made me appreciate Minneapolis more. I've been to bigger cities and more sought after places but there is something about Minneapolis that I cant get away from. Minneapolis has my heart.
Do you have any plans for the release of new music up your sleeve? If so, what can you tell us about this new music?
YES! I have been sitting on an EP for a while now. Its has some slower wonky stuff and some hard hitting bass-y stuff. I had a lot of fun making these tunes and I hope people have fun listening to them. It will be my first time releasing a collection of music and has a bit of a movie theme. And so I have decided to call it "Premiere". Keep an eye out!
Where can your fans generally find you? Any specific venues, residencies, media streaming, and/or social media platforms?
All of my music is on Soundcloud and the new album should be up on Spotify soon. I also have some music on Youtube. I have played Barfly, Exchange, and The Lab (Which is my favorite to play).
What do you enjoy most about producing and performing music?
My favorite thing about producing/performing is creating a mood. The feeling that is curated when you hear a melody or rhythm is what keeps me from doing anything else. It is a feeling that you can't find anywhere else and is universal among everyone.
What are some things you believe the EDM community can contribute to provide a better environment for local talent, industry professionals and live music events alike?
Peace. This community is here to get away from violent aggression. Love. People are here for the love of the music. Let that be the main motivator for what you do. Unity. This is not a competition. We are here to help each other grow not step on each other. Art is not a sport. Respect. Give it, don't demand it.
What three tips of advice do you have for local artists looking to pursue a successful creative career in the music industry?
Learn the right amount of modesty. If you tell people you are the best and over boast yourself, people won't want to work with you. On the other hand, If you don't let people know what your aspirations are you won't find any gigs.
Where do you see yourself in this industry 5 years from now?
Hopefully inspiring others :)
What about the music industry is both positive and negative for up & coming artists looking to establish a successful career in the music and entertainment business? What makes these variables positive or negative and how do you believe the industry can improve these said variables?
I think the amount of people looking to "make it" can be seen as good or bad. The music industry is fairly over saturated. If you don't keep at it, you can get lost in the noise. But also there are a lot of people to learn from. You can learn from other people's success or failure.