In Conversation: Weska on taking risks, making waves in Berlin and pushing boundaries.
While most of us find comfort in stability, Berlin-based DJ and producer, Weska finds it in change.
It takes courage to pursue your dreams. Growing up in Canada’s dynamic metropolis Toronto, he left everything familiar to pursue his passion – Cody Hull – a.k.a. Weska has found success in Berlin through bold life choices and creative risks.
With an audacious determination that landed him on Adam Beyer’s DRUMCODE label and Reinier Zonneveld’s FILTH ON ACID, Weska’s daunting path is forged by innate passion. His success is a reminder that something noteworthy happens when at the core of your effort, lies pure love for your craft.
I caught up with Weska to discuss life in Berlin, pushing boundaries and what drives him.
You moved across the pond so to speak. What early memory has influenced the work that you do and really inspires you?
I have a lot of influences and things that have happened to me in the past that of course impact my decisions today, but I think my biggest early career influence was when I first heard a track of mine on Drumcode Radio. Adam had played it in Ibiza a few weeks prior and my good pal Layton Giordani called me when I was at work one day and said: “dude, you’re not gonna believe this, you’re on DCR.” It was the first time I received support from a leading artist, and the feeling was incredible, but probably to this date one of the most inspiring and pivotal moments for me.
On moving away from home.
I wanted to escape Toronto not because I didn’t like it, just because I wanted to try something different, experience the world from a different point of view. I had visited Berlin earlier that year and really enjoyed the atmosphere and vibe the city gave off. Plus it was in central Europe, which was enticing as a frequent traveler, so three months later I made it happen.
Did you have to convince your family to let you move so far away? And, how often do you visit Toronto?
My parents are very supportive of me and my career, so as difficult as it was at first when I moved away, they knew it was a necessary decision. I miss them of course, some friends and my dogs, but I have a new life in Europe and I feel extremely lucky. It also makes visiting Toronto wonderful, and I tend to come back a few times a year.
Do you ever see yourself back home?
I would love to be able to live in Canada and Europe for certain parts of the year eventually, or in the mountains out west in British Columbia. That would be a dream.
Tell us about your latest track.
My latest track is a bit groovier style of techno with a dreamy melody sequence. I quite like it actually, I made it last week and I can’t wait to play it out this summer.
Saw your set at the “Filth on Acid” showcase at ADE 2018. Was that your first time at ADE?
I visited ADE when I was living in
Torontothe last 3 years – it’s easily my favorite trip of the year! It’s now even more convenient to get to from Berlin. Though this year was my first time playing at the Filth On Acid party, and I had a lot of fun.
Weska – Filth on Acid @ ADE 2018
Adam Beyer played “Stellar Tidal Disruption” at Awakenings ADE 2018. How does having
Adam’s support impact your music, your work?
Adam is and always has been a big influence for me since I first got into techno, so at first, it was a bit surreal. But now his support is more motivating, and he really pushes me to challenge myself and further develop my own sound in music.
You managed to make the right moves early in your career. What key pitfalls did you manage to avoid?
Having a goal in mind and a center of focus was key for me. I get distracted very easily, but with music, I just continuously told myself “don’t go out tonight” or “don’t go hang out” and I would force myself (at first) to stay home and make music. Of course, I still went out, spent and enjoyed time with my friends here and there, but I made sure that music was the first priority, always. When I finished school, I lived at home, and for 3 months I didn’t have a job and I would work on music all day every day. My mom almost killed me I think, but I always tell her how important those 3 months were for my career.
‘Weska – Stellar Tidal Disruption’ getting the royal treatment at ADE Awakenings 2018 from Adam Beyer
Something you’re proud of…
I just recently opened for Eric Prydz in my hometown Toronto at our biggest club. It was a really great night as a whole, but I had my mom, dad, sister, uncle, and many of my friends there supporting me, which made it even more special. It was also the first time my mom had seen me perform, and to see the smile on her face after I handed the decks over to Eric was quite a unique feeling. I was proud of making her proud.
On how he spends his days in Berlin.
It’s different every day – sometimes I’ll hang out at home all day and make music, at my desk, on the couch, and I’ll cook. Other days I’ll go climbing, ride my bike, go to the gym, meet a friend for lunch or a coffee. My days are generally revolved around maximizing music making time, I just slot in other activities where and when I can (sometimes I forget to eat haha)
On his favorite Berlin hangouts worth checking out.
Boxhagner Platz, Gleisdreieck Park, Boulderklub, and Sisyphos here and there – love that place.
You’re a carnivore who adopted a vegetarian diet. What ultimately made you decide to do that?
A lot of reasons, basically all of them haha. Ethical, environmental, health, the list goes on. I didn’t watch any of those videos on Netflix or anything though, I’m aware of it and that’s more than enough information for me. The next step is becoming a vegan. I do eat vegan meals as much as I can, but making the full transition is difficult for me at the moment. It’s for sure a future aspiration of mine though.
Do you ever still get cravings for things? Burger or a juicy steak?
Sometimes I think about chicken wings but that’s the only one. I genuinely love being a vegetarian and cooking is so much more fun in my opinion. It just feels great, mentally and physically.
Essential items when you travel (on tour).
Protein bars, a great book, comfy pants, earplugs, Max Gylin.
3 things you do every day which drives you.
Coffee, listening to music in general across all genres, writing music that allows me to connect with people I’ve never met before.
Looking ahead, where you do you see yourself in 5 years? What’s your next move?
I would love to live in the mountains as I mentioned earlier, but more short term I think is the beach. Maybe somewhere in Portugal, or Ibiza. Other than that I’m just going to continue to put out music and do my best in spreading good and positive energy, as we can never have too much of that in the world.
Weska – Stellar Tidal Disruption via Filth on Acid
Berlin-based DJ and producer Weska is, without doubt, one of the hottest talents of the moment. Delivering nothing but impressive skill. The Canadian techno DJ and producer is only getting started. Keep your eyes peeled, there’s, even more, to come.