Few EDM DJs can claim the same longevity as Knick Weiller. Under the moniker Bro Safari, the Atlanta-born artist has proved that evolving is the only way to stay alive.
Weiller will be in Charm City today to play what promises to be a rowdy, really-fuck-your-Converse-up kind of set. Valentino Khan will be joining him for the tenth leg of his Pretty Good Tour. Weiller has collaborated with Khan in the past––back in 2012 they put out a remix of M.I.A.’s “YALA,” turning it into an (objectively) vicious, delightful trap track.
The show starts at 8:00pm at the Baltimore Soundstage, a venue that Weiller has become familiar with over the years. “I’ve been to Baltimore more than any other city, I think, at this point. My first show as Bro Safari, outside of L.A. where I was based at the time, was in Baltimore for Steez Promo. They’ve supported me from the beginning,” said Weiler. In the nearly five years since, he’s gone on to play sets at the likes of Moonrise, Ultra, Lollapalooza, and Hard Summer, among others.
Back in town on the heels of a new single release, the Austin based DJ talked with WJHU Radio about how he’s managed to stay on the front wave of some of the most successful subgenres of dance music in the last two decades.
Starting off with no formal music schooling, Weiller has proved his natural talent for taking heavy bass and adding a dark edge to set his tracks apart. Growing up on punk rock, Weiller admits he indeed became that early 90’s teen, “in baggy JNCO jeans dancing in the corner with glow sticks” at raves. “I’m not sure I ever had glow sticks,” he adds. But still.
Flare (jeans) denoting flair, Weiller took his production and live performance talents to the nascent realm of Drum and Bass. He ended up in the trio Evol Intent, which achieved international success and launched Weiller’s long career of touring. When their schedule started to slow, the idea of Bro Safari became a second chance at life in the EDM limelight. Bringing that same “heavy, aggressive sound” that he acknowledges runs throughout his discography, Bro Safari set out to keep crop-topped hips moving and festival bro’s working through their third CamelBak refill.
Peaking with massive songs like “The Drop” and “Scumbag”, Safari took his place as a Godfather-figure to the rise of trap. Weiller has said in past interviews that it’s annoying to see people stop dancing and just wait for the next drop, but places the responsibility on himself––“You just gotta mix faster.”
The new single “Reality”, released September 9th, does step away from the sound of earlier EPs, but Weiller is pleased with the finishing touches he put on a years-old idea. The track features strong vocals from Sarah Hudson, and required “a much different approach, in terms of mixing the record” than other styles Weiller has been putting out. While Dubsep might seem like an odd direction to be headed after a successful flurry of Moombahton songs (another genre he’s pioneered), Weiller is in a stage where he’s “not trying to speak in any definitive terms and just keep myself open"––"If I get comfortable and complacent, everything could crumble and I can’t have that happen, I have too many people counting on me.”
Those Moombahton tracks, with bass that will follow you to the bathroom stalls at Soundstage, were in large part thanks to one of Weiller’s closest collaborators, UFO!. Safari has found a soulmate of sorts in the fellow-veteran DJ from San Francisco.
“He’s the most creative, unique person I know. I love him to death. There’s no holds barred, when it comes to putting a song together, if him and I can tap into the chaos he brings to the table and I can keep everything controlled on my end…we can sit down and knock out ten song ideas in a day.”
With a bromance burning so bright, it’s clear that Weiller doesn’t shy away from working with others and taking on side projects. During a WJHU exclusive interview with Safari, we managed to find out that Weiller’s wildly entertaining past project, Ludachrist, could be rising again. Created with Jake Stanczak, aka Kill the Noise, it turns out the absurd and ironically janky website for the group might be worth keeping up with. “Jake and I don’t consider Ludachrist to be finished, we still feel like we have another album or mix in us.”
You heard it here first.
Bro Safari, the fairly easy-going, self-professed family man––he credits his 5-year-old son and supportive wife for his success––has rightfully earned a place as one of the most experienced and unapologetic DJs touring right now. He says his future on stage is hazy, sensing that he is on the cusp of a new chapter, which makes now a better time than ever to catch all of his heavy hits live. Check out “Reality,” feat. Sarah Hudson, or show up at the Soundstage tonight for the enduring sounds of an EDM taste-maker. Bring your glow sticks.
Listen to the full WJHU Radio interview with Bro Safari here. Knick talks tour, his favorite track he’s remixed (humble brag––it’s his own), finding that perfect high school throwback, and even gets blushy over his bff UFO!
By jessica moog on Sept. 23, 2016, 1:22 p.m.