Jackson Stell, the Massachusetts native known by the adventurous title Big Wild, is planning for a big start to 2018 with a North American winter tour, new music releases, and more.


How'd this whole thing start (your beginnings, training in music, background, etc)?

I played trumpet as a kid but got really into rap in middle school, mainly the production. I began producing on the computer and fell in love with it (dropping trumpet in the process). I kept making music and because I didn't know what I was doing and there weren't many places to learn to produce, I began finding my own sound. I had a business in high school selling beats online and I would sell some merch in school and DJ dances. Once I got into college, I became really inspired by the weird electronic/hip-hop stuff that was happening and began experimenting with it myself. Once I found SoundCloud, I fell in love with a lot more electronic music. I decided to start Big Wild after some big life events happened, along with my first trip to California. And now here I am.


How do you think the name "Big Wild" expresses your identity as an artist?

As someone who is generally pretty quiet and shy, I need an outlet to creatively and emotionally express myself. The name "Big Wild" means to stay curious, adventurous, and open-minded in life. The name represents a part of me that just needs to get out in the world.

I noticed the single you just put out with Hundred Waters, is there more music on the horizon that we should keep an eye out for?

Yes! I have a decent chunk of time off right now and I'm working on a new body of work. I'm pushing my music in a direction that I'm really excited about. I'll be releasing new music early next year.


What cities are you looking forward to on your upcoming winter tour?

Milwaukee! I've never been but heard it's a helluva town.

Who do you feel you are most influenced by musically?

Many of my influences come and go really quickly. I'll be super into an artist for a month or two and then I find someone new I like. However, there are some constant artists I always go back to like Tame Impala, Flume, The Beatles, Kendrick Lamar, etc. Artists that have their own sound and style stick with me the most.


If you could play a show with anyone at any venue, who and where would it be?

Playing a show with Glass Animals on a tropical beach somewhere sounds like a good time.

How do you adjust your sets for different locations? Does it depend on if you're an opener, at a festival, or headlining a tour?

The biggest set changes happen because of different time limits (45 minutes, 50 minutes, 60 minutes, etc.) and the lineup of the festival/show. For example, crowds at purely electronic festivals tend to like heavier music so I add a few of my heavier songs in there. I don't make too many changes though because it's important to make a set that really represents me as an artist rather than only catering to a crowd. For me, a great set balances what the crowd wants with what an artist wants.


Musically (and/or personally), what would you like to see happen in the upcoming year?

I've been singing on many of my new songs, which is something I've never done, so I personally want to become more confident and comfortable with my voice on stage.

Although the fans love your hair commercial worthy locks, do they ever get in your way of seeing on stage?

The hair definitely gets in the way! Sometimes I feel like I'm playing my instruments blindfolded. At the same time though, it's really enjoyable to rock out with a mop on your head.


If you could create your own genre, what would it be called?

Jelly funk.

Pick a song you've really vibed with recently to share with our readers.

'Coconut Kisses' by Niki & The Dove.