Local DJ Ryan Wells takes the stage at Spiritbar tonight with Joel West. Ricardo Hubbs of Shambhala caught up with Ryan as he prepared for the show.
Q. Ryan, you are a man about town! Tell us how you have seen the electronic music culture evolve in Nelson.
Thank you! By the time I got involved in the electronic scene it was already really established in Nelson and the Kootenays. I was going to outdoor parties around the area in my earlier teens and in the early years was influenced by the some of the DJs playing at that time. In my later teens I was sneaking into the bar to see Smalltown DJs play, among others . I still think those shows are some of my favourites. Having bars like Spiritbar and The Royal, as well as promoters like the Pride and now AreaOne and Bassbizzniz really help with that. Its been really awesome to see so many world class acts come through over the years.
Q. Electronic music is going mainstream. What do you think is causing such a surge?
I think it’s been on this path for a while and was just the matter of time until it hit big one way or another. Plus it’s been huge in the U.K. for a long time now and things usually take a little longer over here.
Q. How many years have you been to Shambhala and has it had an influence on your music taste?
I think my first year was 06 or 07 and it has definitely attributed to my musical taste. Early on I would jam the mixtapes of the people who played my favourite sets for the whole year after a Shambhala. Now that I am so focused on my own music, I am looking forward to eventually playing there. All in good time!
Having a globally acclaimed festival a half hour drive away is pretty awesome. I also think Shambhala has a big impact on what comes through the area for the rest of the year as well. Most of the big names that come through to play throughout the year have played at Shambhala at least once before coming back for a different show. So in that sense I think it has an influence on everyone, even those who don’t actually come out for the festival itself.
Q. Electronic music is constantly evolving. What are your predictions for the coming years?
I think that its future is bright. With Skrillex just winning at the Grammys and everything else in between, it has truly been accepted by mainstream culture. As far as what happens when an underground culture goes main stream I don’t got a clue but it’s exciting.