We are backkkk once again with another edition of our industry spotlight. Christopher Watkins, aka Goop Wizard, is transcending the way we envision visuals with his unique and raw VR skillset. We here at Electric Hawk are thrilled to premiere Goop Wizard’s visual set accompanied by our bb boy Vieira’s raucous and tumultuous final Harmony Festival set. The two genius minds came together for an otherworldly experience of enormous bass and epic illustrations. Check out our interview as we step inside the brain of Christopher and stream the mesmerizing set below!
So first off got to ask, where did the name Goop Wizard originate from?
Well me and my friends use “Goopy” to describe a certain state of mind when you’re really absorbed by the music especially in a visual aspect. Making these visualizers with the oculus controllers had the feel of being a wizard so I went with that.
How did you first get into VJing?
Seeing DATA BYTE and Android Jones’ work, that led me to find Microdose VR. After that, I did everything I could to get my hands on it luckily I already had the VR setup. Once I did I made a few videos and threw them up on YouTube, nothing much came of it the first few months and I got a bit demotivated.
When did you have that aha moment when you realized that you could start to showcase your work?
Around January of this year, my friend had seen me working with Microdose one night and was really into it. This was after 3 months of not putting much out there. Instead of a song this time I went with mixes from LSDream, Toadface and Liquid Stranger. Within a few weeks they hit over 50,000 views. I figured wow I might be able to really do something with this.
Tell us a little about the work you are doing with VR because it’s really fascinating and different, a unique new element being brought to VJing.
Well with Microdose being a VR program it really helps at a whole new element to creating visuals, combining music, dance and art all at once. I’m also working on a few VR chat projects for virtual concerts. I think right now with everything going on with the virus these are some of the best ways for people to get to enjoy shows at home without putting themselves at risk.
How do you foresee the impact VR will have in electronic music down the line?
There’s some really great programs coming out for mixing and visual experiences. I know tribe XR was one I particularly liked for making mixes and it’s a really cheap program and a great way for people to practice mixing without having to invest in all the equipment, if they have a VR headset of course.
How would you describe your artistic style/vision to someone who has never seen your work?
Trippy and immersive, microdose’s visual aspects are insane. I catch myself getting mind blown by what can be done with that program time and time again. I’ve tried to coin different visual styles for different types of music of course from slow detailed drawing to absolute visual insanity just depends on where the music takes me.
Who are some of your artistic inspirations (VJs, artists, producers)
Android Jones, DATA BYTE, Zebbler, and Chris Dyer, their stuff is absolutely mind blowing. Toadface and Yheti have some of the craziest sound styles. Their music really takes my mind to a visually weird place. I’ve tried so hard to push myself to capture what places their music sends me.
If we were to check your Spotify right now, what were the last five albums you listened to?
Yheti- The Party has Changed, tiedye ky- Baby Blue and the Super Moon, Toadface- Bugs for Breakfast, Dirt Monkey-Primatology, and lastly Ganja White Night- The One
What are some of your favorite activities or things you like to do to inspire your creativity?
Watching visual sets from other VJs, as well as just checking out other artists works, like fractal patterns and geometric flows. Going out and walking is always nice. It clears my head and jamming out to some sick mixes really gets me wanting to create.
Who are some dream artists/festivals you’d love to work with one day?
Wakaan Festival or a festival with Android would be amazing. Artists wise I’d say Mystic Grizzly, Shanghai Doom, Space Wizard, Inzo, Luzcid, Toadface and G-Rex. There’s more than that honestly, I just can’t think to list them all.
With the tumultuous year that 2020 has been for all of us, what are some ways you’ve been able to practice self care?
Staying at home and watching a lot of these virtual shows honestly. As well as just being able to make visual sets whenever I want that’s been a big plus! Also have been occasionally dabbling in creating music and mixes, definitely not my forte but it’s pretty fun and passes the time.
What advice would you have for VJs just getting started or even in your position?
Keep pushing yourself until you reach what you are visualizing in your head, coin in YOUR style. Make connections with people whether it be artists or VJs for tips, or DJs and producers for chances to work on things together, and push stuff out there and show everyone what you got. If you keep it up and try to always better yourself people will take notice.
What’s next for Goop Wizard? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully I’ll doing a lot more shows as well as festivals. With everything being shut down I’ve really been itching to get out there and put on some live performances. I love creating these and I honestly think it’ll be decades until I even think to pull away from this path.
What do you think the future holds for VJs?
I think with technology getting better and cheaper every year a lot more people are going to be able to put out their creative expression into the visual arts. Microdose is a game changer. It’s amazing the things that can be done with Resolume. As long as VJs stay current and keep pushing to be as best as they can I think it’ll be a very bright future.
Visualize Vieira’s Mantis Mix with Goop Wizard below:
If you’re looking for new music? Keep up with our weekly Spotify Playlist, Fresh Hunts or follow us on Twitch. Whether it’s the newest drops from Vieira, all your other favorite artists, some old school, or underground. We just want you to hear it.
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