DJ and producer Jauz has collaborated with the ultra-talented singer-songwriter Karra for their brand new single, “Wildlife”! The song is an uptempo EDM banger with a soaring chorus and bassline. Despite the upbeat nature of the song, the lyrics are a different story.
Here at CelebMix, we exclusively got to talk to Jauz and Karra over Zoom to find out a bit more about the track, as well as Jauz’s lockdown sessions on livestreaming website Twitch!
What was the inspiration behind “Wildlife”?
Karra: “We wrote it about one of my other friends who was struggling through depression and some other kinda crazy lifestyle things. She was kind of having this ‘wild life’ and we wanted to compare the lyircs to an actual ‘wild life’ and having to protect someone through it.”
Jauz: “I thought it was such a relatable concept to people who live in Los Angeles, who do what we do, although it is very relatable to us and what we do, so I could feel attached to the song. I think the concept could also be applied to so many people going through so many things in their lives.”
How did you two decide to collaborate with each other for the song?
Karra: “Being a songwriter, you have those goals of the DJs and artists you wanna work with, Jauz has always been on that list for me. I always wanna work with the people that I feel are making a statement, it’s really hard to reach people like him when you’re just hustling and writing songs everyday, but he actually messaged me on Twitter.”
Jauz: “You’ll always have to keep your ear to the ground, I feel like the way I found out about Karra as a vocalist is the same way that I tried to do my brand in the beginning. I would see Karra’s name on all these different songs, featured on songs by artists that I know, I’m always looking for vocal samples.”
Karra: “I think we were just kinda brought together through the industry and working hard and being the best that we can be as musicians, and we got connected.
“When I sent Jauz this particular song, I hadn’t heard from him for a couple weeks because he was still on tour, then the pandemic happened and he started up his Twitch streams. He then reached out about doing this live session and we actually worked on the song together in front of, what, two million people?”
Jauz: “I had this idea to do every Wednesday, on my livestreams, me and Adam [manager] came up with this concept to bring in vocalists and work with them live on the stream, and it will give kids an inside scoop on what a session really feels like, even if we’re not in the same room.
“I think because I went out of my comfort zone, it forced me to work with all these artists that I wanted to, but I was always like, ‘Oh, I’m too busy doing this or that’. But because of the lockdown I thought I might as well start as many new songs as I can. I’m really glad I did.”
You two came up with the track over Zoom. What was the process like. Was it it hindered in anyway?
Jauz: “I don’t think it was very different to what I normally do. Someone like Karra and Reed, her production partner, they will always be writing songs. Karra, Reed and her friends write a song, they kinda give the backbone of the song, they give some sort of musical context, and I’ll get sent that and it’s almost like I’m remixing a song and turning it into something of my own, and that’s my favourite way to work. I would much rather get the bearbones of a song and be like, ‘Oh, I see where I can take this.’”
Karra: “I think it’s pairing up with people that are good at things you aren’t, my strength is writing songs and vocal production. Reed and I have spent a lot of time perfecting vocal mixing, writing and editing so that we could give a DJ or producer the finished vocal for him/her to create this dope track.”
Jauz: “It wasn’t just the vocals too. If I had just gotten the vocals without any musical parts that Reed would have created, the song would have come out totally different. I rewrote a lot of parts, but the plucky sound that goes throughout the choruses, if I hadn’t have heard that, the song probably wouldn’t have turned out the way it did.”
Karra: “That’s kinda where we have to make the decision on how far we want to produce out the track, and how minimal we want to keep it, to push the direction of how it sounds.”
How does it feel to be releasing a new track in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic?
Jauz: “I’m honestly super conflicted.”
Karra: “There’s so much social injustice going on in the world now, with the protests and stuff, it’s definitely an angle that makes it more difficult to navigate.”
Jauz: “I had a lot of club and dance records that I was working on and getting ready to finish. I had tons of stuff planned for 2020, in the context of a normal year where I’m going out and playing shows.
“Once the pandemic happened, I saw no reason for me to be putting out club records when everyone is at home and people have no jobs or whatever. They’re not going to be able to attach themselves to those songs, they’re not gonna be able to relate to them. And I don’t feel comfortable putting them out, because that’s not where my head it sat.
“However, with a song like “Wildlife”, it feels much more emotional. I feel a lot better putting it out. The idea of protecting people that you care about, and the many themes in the song, relate really well to the feelings and emotions going on in the world. This is the kind of music I want to be putting out right now.”
Will you two perform the song together once lockdown is over?
Karra: “I hope so!”
Jauz: “I’m getting jealous seeing all these producers bringing out Karra on their livestreams! Although I haven’t been doing that many livestreams since, the main purpose is that I have been writing so much new music, so it doesn’t make sense in the current iteration of a Jauz live DJ set, you know what I mean?
“I would rather not be out there playing all these livestream events at the moment, but I’ll do a couple here and there. My main goal is working and finishing all this music, what feels like a new era of Jauz music. Then I can start putting it out and getting people familiar with it, then we’ll be back to playing shows sooner than later.”
Karra: “My prediction is to kinda ride this out, and once there are live shows, both Jauz and I are gonna be in such a different place in our careers, and it’s gonna be super powerful when we can come together on stage again, because people will know the song.”
Jauz: “It’s gonna be a pop smash!”
Jauz, you have been streaming on Twitch every week during the lockdown. How has this been experience been for you to see your fans turn out to watch?
Jauz: “I had been starting to do music production on Twitch streams for six months before the lockdown happened. Even on my bus tour, we had this IRL stream bag, my videographer would just hit a button and we would go live on Twitch for most of the concerts on our tour, so people could watch them in real time.
“I’ve always been a big fan of livestreaming and Twitch and the whole community. For me, I would much rather do that than the DJ sets. I feel like I’m giving more to the community by educating people and entertaining them in ways other than just playing the same 50 songs that I always play in a set or whatever. It’s more fun for me personally. I’m really enjoying it and it’s something that I’m gonna continue working at super hard.”
Karra: “I really relate to that because I’m also building up my own audience. I actually post production tutorials and I’m actually getting some traction on TikTok, and it’s exciting to see a female put her face and sound out there, and teach people. Education to me is power and I think that makes so much more of an impact than just keeping everything a secret to yourself and just doing the showy stuff.”
You have a segment on your Twitch streams called ‘Demo Roulette’ where fans can submit their own tracks and you help critique and give them feedback. How does it feel to be able to engage with your fans and help those who are aspiring musicians?
Jauz: “I wanted to be able to create something that felt like how I was a kid, what I would have wanted. When I was growing up making music, I had YouTube tutorials and all this stuff, I could post my songs on forums and had kids in the forums commenting feedback, but I was thinking, ‘Okay, how can I take that and extraplicate on it and raise the bar on it?’. Because now we’re in an era of technology that didn’t exist back then.
“Even if you’re watching and it’s not your project that I’m working on, you can still see my workflow, while I’m working on a song, how I fix things, how I make things sound better, I feel like even if you don’t really know how to make music and you’re just starting, if you just watch me go through someone’s project and do my thing, I feel like it’s a lot easier to pick up tips and tricks that way than watching someone step by step.”
Karra: “When I started songwriting, the biggest way that I learned was just being in a session and watching other people write, so I totally relate.”
Jauz, do you have any favourite memories of your lockdown Twitch streams?
Jauz: “During a demo roulette segment, there was this kid from Australia, his name is Yash and we were doing I think MP3s that day, so I can listen to 30, 40, 50 of them and not give as in-depth feedback but a lot more people can get their songs heard.
“So, the way it happens is completely random. I use a random number generator, everyone submits and this kid just popped onto the stream and was like, ‘Hey, I’ll pay $10 if you listen to my song right now.’ I was like, ‘That’s not the way it works!’
“He was like, ‘Yo, I’m an essential worker, I have to go to work in like 10 minutes, I’ve watched the stream like 30 times and my song hasn’t gotten picked, I work at McDonald’s man, I have to flip burgers.’ So I left it up to the people watching the stream.
“After a while, everyone decided to listen to the song, and not only is the kid a great producer, but he’s one of the most incredible vocalists I’ve ever heard, ever. I love the song so much, that I made him send me the project, and now it’s our song together. I love that dude, and I want him to succeed so much.”
Jauz, you released a new EP earlier this year – how has it felt to promote it while at home?
Jauz: “I feel like by the time the tour was over, the promotion side for the EP had kind of run its course. It was more, we put out the songs and teased them right before the tour, so that kids could get excited to hear the songs right before the tour, now it’s like, if you’re a fan you already know these songs.
“Those are very clubby records, that I usually play at my big shows and festivals, so I’m glad they came out before the tour. I’m much more focused on this [the new single].”
Karra: “You always have to readjust throughout your career, you never are doing the same thing.”
Do you two have any other dream collaborations for the future?
Jauz: “Working with Bring Me the Horizon is like my dream goal. Karra technically already did it.”
Karra: “That song that I was on [with Bring Me the Horizon], Halsey recut it. It’s so weird to think about.
“I feel like I kind have exhausted my EDM collabs world, so I’ve just been focusing on my pop project, so I would love to collaborate with rappers, a female rapper like Saweetie or someone bada** like that, that would be for me.”
Karra, what’s next for you in terms of your music career?
Karra: “For the past six years I’ve been doing a lot of EDM and songwriting and vocal producing for other people, so this last couple months it’s been all about me, and I’ve been working on my pop project. I’ve signed a production deal with someone really special and then obviously my boyfriend is executive producing with us as well, and all that information will unfold on July 17th, because my first song comes out in a couple weeks.
“This [“Wildlife”] is such a great segway into what I’m doing next, because the music is dancey, but it has a lot of hip hop inspiration, a lot of pop so I’m excited to do something different.”
Jauz: “I’m excited to hear it!”
Finally, do you two have anything to say to your fans?
Jauz: “Thank you guys for sticking around with us when the world has been in a crazy place, I think if there’s anything to take away with all the crazy horrible s*** that has gone on in the world this year, it’s that I feel like personally, not just dance music, but music as a whole is going to have this incredible renaissance in the next couple years, because everyone has been stuck at home and all we can do is write music, and be creative and try new things.
“I think that the coming years are going to be some of the most incredible years I have ever experienced.”
Karra: “I also wanna say thanks to all the people who have shown me support since the beginning, new fans, it’s really exciting for me to be on this journey with all these incredible artists and to be highlighted as one of those artists is such a honour – and to be working with Jauz is such a honour.
“I think we’re gonna get through this year and come out even better, stronger and inspired!”
We would also like to say a massive thank you to both Jauz and Karra for taking the time out to talk to us! You can also read our previous interview with Jauz here, where we got to talk to him at last year’s South West Four (SW4) Festival in London.
“Wildlife” is officially out now, and you can listen to it below:
Make sure you follow Jauz and Karra across social media:
Let us know your thoughts on the song over on Twitter @CelebMix!