Spree Wilson

posted January 14, 2010 12:00:00 AM CST | 9 comments

Tennessee-born, Atlanta-bred artist Spree Wilson is a self-described “gumbo” of sounds. You never quite know what to expect when it comes to Spree’s music, but that usually makes it all the more memorable. With a list of musical influences that would make both diehard rock fans and Hip Hop heads proud Spree clearly has a sound all his own. His eclectic sound has even garnered praise from artists such as Q-Tip and Jay Electronica, and a production hand from No I.D.

In this DXnext, Spree speaks on everything from comparisons to Andre3000 to his recent career move from Atlanta to New York City.

Influences: “It’s not a particular genre that influences me more than the other. I get influenced by everything. It’s little things I pick up from here and there and I kinda just piece them together. Kinda like a jigsaw puzzle. I wouldn’t say Hip Hop influenced me more than Rock & Roll or Rock & Roll influenced me more than Jazz. At the end of the day it’s all equal to me. Music is music, and it’s something I can learn from anybody. Whether it’s somebody like Thelonious Monk or somebody like [Beach Boys singer] Brian Wilson you know what I mean. Somebody who can create music on a higher level.”

The Spree Wilson Sound: “It’s like a pot of gumbo. When you stick your spoon in it you don’t even know what you gonna get. You might get some shrimp, you might get some okra, some chicken. I don’t know. That’s what I describe it as. Something like that, something to that effect. Something that’s different, but good for the soul.”

Beyond Genre: “I just kind of create what comes out of me. It’s just not like ‘Oh, I’ma make a rock song.’ I never think of it as that. What usually comes out of me is usually what I listened to as a kid. It’s not…a forced thing or anything like that. When people hear it it encompasses everything. It’s just like a genre-blend. I just try to do what comes natural at the end of the day. For me at least. Stay true to myself. I’m doing something that’s far from mainstream. I mean you have people who have been successful at the things I’ve done. Like an OutKast or a Gnarls Barkley or something like that, but it’s hard to be mainstream. It’s hard to try to be mainstream and different at the same time. Different is so in right now, but it’s still kinda hard.”

The Standard Woes: “People not wanting to believe in you because you don’t have a name or people being scared to take risks on their music cause it’s not what’s typically out there. These are just typical independent woes. It’s not anything different than what any other independent artist goes through on a regular basis. It’s the struggle of the artist. Every artist has to walk that path at some point. Being shunned and being someone nobody believes in or somebody people won’t take a chance on. It just makes you better. It’s [nothing] I complain about. Everything changes in due time. I always tell people I’ll let history dictate where I stand. There’s no telling where I’ll be at tomorrow. My situation may change.”

From The ATL To NYC: “It was definitely a career move. In the course of my stay here [Atlanta] I kinda accomplished a lot. I’ve played practically almost every venue here. Been written up countless amount of times in the local publications and national publications. I just felt that I was in a point in my life where I could keep running the same track over and over again or I could kind of submerse myself in a different environment and try to see how I would be around a different crowd of people. Sometimes you just gotta do that. I think New York is a step that all artists should take. It’s one of the places where you should at least live. All my heroes are there. All my heroes I ever looked up to from the Bob Dylan’s, the John Lennon’s, each of them have lived in New York at some point in their lives.”

Andre3000 Comparisons: “Everybody’s compared to somebody at one point. I’m sure at some point in my music I’ll probably take something from Andre. Either consciously or unconsciously. It’s quite possible that there’s something there from Andre 3000 whether it is the music or whether it is the eclecticism of the sound. On top of that being from Atlanta it’s either you’re gonna be hood and anything different from hood is OutKast or Gnarls Barkley. Like Janelle Monae, she don’t rap [and] they compare her to Andre. At the end of the day my job is to build a healthy catalogue where eventually those comparisons will start to disappear and then I’ll be able to kinda stand on my own. That, that’s Spree Wilson’s sound.”

Down The Road: “Where I am in 10 years is not where I’ll be at the end of my career, you know what I mean. So it’s like usually where I wanna be it far exceeds where I thought I was gonna be. So even if I tried to make a prediction…I just try to be the best. To be the best I can be. Hopefully, the plans that are put in place for me in the universe kinda coincide with what I have in my head.”

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