Bay Area producer and DJ Sam Vogel, better known as Jauz, has been making solid use of his time in lockdown. Wasting no time following the release of his Dangerous Waters EP in January of this year, he’s about to drop the “Wildlife” single that he worked on with fast-rising singer and songwriter Karra on Zoom in front of a Twitch audience.
“‘Wildlife’ is the foot in the door of what I would like to call a new era of Jauz,” he says. “The old stuff isn’t going away — this isn’t a Porter Robinson moment where I’m saying all of my old music means nothing. But I think that a lot of the next records are in a fairly different direction from what I’ve done in the past, and it’s really because I’ve had time to be at home and write music in the context of, ‘This is what I really love. I love these songs — they’re not just festival bangers.’ I’m not writing in the context of, I’m going back on tour. I’m also not super tired all the time, and super stressed out because I have no time to write music. It’s just the perfect combination of this pressure cooker of creativity. So I’m really proud of all the music that’s going to come out over the next year or so.”
This new song, he says, marks a stark progression in his sound. That’s perhaps surprising, when you consider that the previous project only came out earlier this year. Still, he say that the difference between this music and that is more profound than the differences between Dangerous Waters and his 2018 The Wise and the Wicked debut.
“The way that I see The Wise and the Wicked vs Dangerous Waters is, Wise and the Wicked was my brainchild where I just wanted to be super artistic and out there, and put out the most creative thing I could,” he says. “Whatever happened was fine. With Dangerous Waters, I was gearing up for a big tour. I wanted to make a bunch of high energy crazy records that get kids super stoked, that get me super stoked. There was a very specific goal there. How do I get people almost what they want but still take myself to a new level, a better level? I think Dangerous Waters was received better than I thought it was going to be. Fans really took to it.”
The fact that “Wildlife” was written during a Twitch stream is hardly surprising considering he’s been livestreaming three times a week during quarantine. Something good was bound to emerge from all that creative energy.
“Once I realized that we were all going to be locked in our houses, I really went headfirst into the whole livestreaming world,” he says. “So now every week I do three livestreams. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 5 p.m. PT — Monday being Demo Roulette which is where fans send in songs they’re working on and I give them suggestions and help. Workshop Wednesdays are where I work on my own songs. Sometimes I’ll bring in a vocalist — that’s how the Karra song happened. I guess my whole goal with the livestreaming thing is providing access to information for the next generation of producers, that I had access to when I was coming up via Youtube tutorials of forums. That’s how I taught myself and this is my way of giving that back.”