At the young age of 34, Worthy has already accumulated quite a full résumé for himself. Being a founding member of one of the most influential U.S.-based electronic record labels in dirtybird Records, the label-head of the highly-successful Anabatic Records, and being an overall great guy, Worthy has proved time and time again that he is deserving of his name. With continued support from house legends such as Carl Cox, Sven Vath, and Richie Hawtin, Worthy has become a staple within the deep house community. His dance-inducing tracks simply gets every listener’s ass moving, as he puts on one hell of a party. We had a chance to sit down with Worthy and ask him a few questions about his style, what it’s like to run a label, and what the early days of dirtybird were like.
For those in Colorado, Worthy will be playing with fellow dirtybird member Christin Martin this Thursday at Cervantes! The Dankles has teamed up with Elevated Arts & Entertainment to run a ticket-giveaway, which you can enter HERE! Also, be sure to check out Elevated Arts & Entertainment‘s page for more info on the show, and Bus To Show for a transportation option from Boulder!
The Dankles: Hey Worthy, appreciate you taking the time out to talk with us, why don’t you start off by telling us a little about yourself?
Worthy: My name Sean Worthington Williams, but everyone calls me Worthy. I am 34. I have live in San Francisco for over a decade now but I grew up in the suburbs of Washington DC. I have been DJing for 16 years, and producing for 10. You can find most of my music on Dirtybird Records and Anabatic.
TD: How did growing up in Washington D.C. and New York influence the style of your production? What do you miss most about each place?
W: I heard a lot of great music growing up in DC and living in NYC. NYC by far influenced me the most in the area of electronic music. It was the first place that I heard house music and drum and bass. DC on the other hand gave me the desire to become a musician. I would go out and hear bands play, which inspired me to play in bands with my friends in high school.
In DC I miss my family the most since they all still there. In NYC I miss the vibrant energy that being around so many people creates.
TD: What did you grow up listening to? What was the first album that you ever bought? What was the first show that you went to?
W: I was really into punk, metal and rock when I was young. The first album that I ever bought was Guns N Roses – use your illusions 2. I honestly can’t remember what my first show was.
TD: When you moved into San Francisco, how did you initially get hooked up with Claude (VonStroke)? What was your first impression of him?
W: I met Barclay (aka Claude Vonstroke), through my best friend Justin Martin. I was in the bar that Justin and his brother Christian used to bartend at and that’s when Justin introduced me to this goofy, big guy, Barclay. We’ve been doing shows together ever since.
TD: Few people realize that dirtybird Records started out as just an outdoor party with a group of friends. What were those early Dirtybird parties like? What do you think makes the Dirtybird BBQ’s and showcases unlike any other shows? And what has been the largest change in the label parties since their inception?
W: Those early parties had such an amazing fun and friendly yet dirty vibe to them. It would be all of our closest house and techno heads, our friends with kids, and friend’s parents just getting down, BBQing up some food, and drinking beer in the fog or sun. You just could not ask for a greater crowd to play too. The closest it gets to that vibe now is the Dirtybird quarterly at Mezzanine, but still that’s indoors so the dynamic is totally different. What makes those kind of parties special is that we all rotate the times of when we each play. You just don’t know who will be opening. Everyone always brings there A game whatever slot they play. The thing about the label parties now is there are a ton of artists on Dirtybird who have never experienced that original vibe. Some of them can create a similar vibe to it, but some don’t.
TD: You also started the label Anabatic Records a few years ago, which has released some of my favorite bootyteching tracks out there. What has been the largest challenges you’ve faced with running a label? What has been your favorite part?
W: The biggest task is finding the time to put into it. It takes a ton of time and energy keeping a label going since there are so many aspects to running a it, and my top priority is definitely as a musician and DJ. But my favorite part is seeing a song do well and charting. When I see that is puts a smile on my face, and makes it all worth the commitment.
TD: When working in the studio what is the vibe you are trying to create with your tracks? What makes your sound different than anyone else out there, and what is the reaction that you’re trying to get from the crowd with your songs?
W: It depends on the song, I want to try and get something a bit different from every track that I do. In the end I just want the song to be interesting and powerful and musical. I want the audience to listen to my music and wonder what will come next and feel pulled to keep on listening.
TD: It seems like you’ve been consistently churning out solid tunes at a rapid rate for over a decade now, what does 2013 have in store for Worthy? Any releases that you’re especially excited for?
W: I have been working my butt off on a full length album for about a year now. I am still not sure where it is going to be finished, as it is a bit deeper and musical for me, so I am really focused on perfection at this point. There will also be a couple of other EPs coming out with some more crazy tunes that are not fitting the vibe of this particular album.
TD: If you could collaborate with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be and why them specifically?
W: I would love to work with Quincy Jones. That guy has made so much amazing music it would be just out of this world to collaborate with someone on that level. There would be so much to learn from somebody with his depth and understanding of sound.
TD: What does your studio look like and what’s your favorite VST to use?
W: I have a really simple studio, which is my preference. My favorite VST is Rob Pappen’s Subboom bass. I just love the low end that comes out of that one.
TD: When you’re up on the decks, do you like to read the crowd, or do you go step up there with a vibe that you’re set to create from the beginning?
W: I like to read the crowd when I get on the decks. There are certain songs that I plan on playing in a set but I incorporate them into my sets while feeling the energy and vibe of the crowd. It is always my goal to give them something special.
TD: You’ll be coming to Denver on April 18th to play with Christian Martin, where else can we catch you the next few months?
W: I will be in Edmonton on the 20th. Then I am off to Coachella to play the Do Lab Stage on Sunday the 21st, which was definitely my most fun gig last year. In May I am in LA to play at the Stardard downtown on the 12th, Detroit to play the Dirtybird party during DEMF on the 25th where I will be doing a tagteam set with Christian Martin, which I am really excited about. Then EDC Chicago on the 26th.
Dankles rapid-fire questions:
Favorite track to revive the dance floor with:
Worthy & Eats Everything – Tric Trac
Best track to start off the night with:
I never know, maybe. Simon Garcia – Control
Best track for a sunny pool party:
Ran Shani – Sushine
Song in my library that you wouldn’t expect:
Bill Conti – Gonna Fly Now (theme from Rocky)
My guilty pleasure song:
Robin Thicke – Lost without U
Artist who deserves more recognition:
Mak & Pasteman
Best new label of 2013:
Favorite Anabatic Records track:
Worthy – Work the Walls (Magik Johnson Remix)
Song I wish I thought of:
PSY – Gangnam Style
Song that no one could hate:
Somewhere Over the Rainbow