Get To Know: Two Feet
It's been quite the year for Bill Dess, AKA Two Feet. His breakout single "Go Fuck Yourself" has stacked up close to 20 million Spotify plays in less than a year since its release, he's currently nearing the tail end of his first tour, he's just played SXSW and has been announced on the Bonnaroo Lineup. Oh, and he's got new music on the horizon. While there's quite a lot of buzz and a lot going on for Dess, there's still a lot of mystery surrounding the multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and producer. Lucky for you, we chatted with Dess earlier this week, after he played his first show in Chicago in support of Jain. Get to know more about Two Feet now!
He got his start in music working as a producer for other artists
Talking about his life prior to becoming Two Feet, Bill says, "I had a normal day job, and I was just kind of producing for random people. [I'd] produce a beat. Then that lead into doing actual pop production for people. One of my friends works at Atlantic [Records], so I started getting into more of the pop production level and that started going really well."
Although things went well at first, Bill does reveal that it sometimes got frustrating working for other people. Continuing his narrative, he says, "So I just kind of made my own project. [I] didn’t really think too much about it and just uploaded it online. 10 months later I’m doing this now. It’s kinda crazy what the internet can do. If you make something that strikes a nerve."
He'd like to collaborate with...
Speaking of striking a nerve, the song "Go Fuck Yourself" did just that with producer and musician Martin Garrix, who tipped off his fans about the Two Feet track in a video interview. Dess says Garrix's shout out gained him listeners and added traction to the song.
If given the opportunity, Dess would love to work with Garrix too. "I’d like to collab with him. We'll see if we can set something up. He has his own label, but it’s under Republic too. My A&R is over there, [and] trying to set that up. Other than that, I’m sort of slowly setting up my collaboration list for the album. I’m definitely saving those collaborations for the album."
Dess also mentions other artists he admires while talking about his influences. "I really like the Bob Moses guys...they’re really cool. I like the XX or Chet Faker...Chet Baker, even. My dad showed me him when I was a kid. Other than that, a lot of it comes from electronic producers, like Mura Masa. It’s kind of like a mix of everything, and I kind of try to forget about other producers and other people and just kind of do my own thing." While we wait patiently for the Two Feet record and possible future collaborations, check out this collaboration with Melvv...
Lots of new music is on the way
During the set this tour, Dess and his bandmate Huff played a few unreleased tracks from the upcoming EP. Talking about the difference between the new music and the debut EP First Steps, Dess says, "I guess the first EP was a little more beat oriented. I was more focused on more of the production. This one is more songwritery and developed. So it’s a transition in that sense. It’s more flushed out. More information in all of [the songs]...They’re just a little wider is a good way to put it."
As far as how he'll release the diverse EP (which should be coming in a couple of weeks), he says, "I think I’m doing double singles at a time. Instead of just one song, it’s gonna be two songs and then another couple of songs a few weeks later. To mix up the EP a bit more."
So we've got a new EP on the horizon, but what about a debut album? "I signed with Republic Records," Dess revealed. Continuing, he says, "This EP is still going to be released basically independently, through Majestic Casual, which is like an Indie Label. The next four songs will be through them. Then after that, I officially start working with Republic Records. I’ll have a 10 track album and that will be released with them in either late 2017 or early 2018. But there’ll be singles leading up to it. I’ll probably have my first single released with them some time in the summer. I’m just really excited for the next 10, 12 months."
He's a taco enthusiast
While Dess and his bandmate were at SXSW, he admits they dedicated a lot of time to learning and just playing their own shows, saying, "On the days we had shows, it felt like the whole day was dedicated to just getting that show done, and then packing everything up and taking notes. We figured out what went wrong with the live set. I didn’t really have time to go out and see too many people." Luckily, the experience of playing multiple showcases in odd places gave them some pointers for the current tour.
However, when there was any free time at SXSW, Dess says, "I just kinda would walk around and eat tacos and go to bars," adding that he did manage to catch a few sets from his friends playing the festival.
This tour has turned him into a traveler
Much like SXSW, Dess says that most of this first tour has been dedicated to the shows with minimal sight seeing. However, they did get up to some additional fun in Austin and on the west coast. "We went to the river [in Austin]. Which was really cool. Honestly that’s kind of the only touristy thing we did," Dess says. "Oh--right. My tour manager just reminded me when we were driving up the coast of California we saw the Redwoods, which was really cool. We took a route that drove up next to the ocean. Which was really cool, really beautiful. That was probably the most beautiful drive I’ve been on my whole life. It felt like a dream, you know," he continued.
Although so much of the tour is spent driving and setting up for shows, Dess says he's really grateful for this opportunity in general. "I’d never really traveled much before this. So either way, it’s still like I’m seeing a whole bunch of the country that I never thought I’d have the chance to see," he admits.
In addition to a summer tour in the works and his upcoming appearance at festivals like Bonnaroo and Lightning in a Bottle, Dess says, "I’d really like to play some shows in Europe and go to Japan. My band member is Japanese and he’ll show me around!"