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Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2011
Solo Electronic Indie




"Crywolf Debuts His Album 'Cataclasm':"

“You have to become before you can create.”

Such is the philosophy of Justin Taylor Phillips, aka Crywolf. His whole life has been a journey. His childhood in Hong Kong, his teenage American assimilation, his struggles to find himself as a person, a musician, and an artist all led to this moment and a 10-track album called Cataclasm.

“I feel like this album came exactly at the time it was able to come,” he says. “Finally, my abilities matched my aspirations.”

It's lyrical, powerful, and cinematic, a sweeping composition immediately larger in technical and emotional scope than anything the artist has produced before – and that's the key. With Cataclasm, Crywolf has ceased to be a simple producer and dons the artist cap without shame.

To tap into his inner voice, Phillips extricated himself from the Los Angeles scene and traveled to northern Iceland. He spent a month and a half in almost total seclusion, joined only in short stints by his girlfriend and his little brother.

Listen to Cataclasm below, which Billboard is premiering exclusively.

He lost himself in the process, experiencing what he calls a “weird psychosis,” talking to himself and working feverishly on the task at hand. He incorporated the sounds of the stuff around him; the chirp of Icelandic birds, the crunching of water bottles, the sound of drumming on his wooden ceiling, his table, and his pots and pans. All of it was new yet natural to him, like a snake shedding dull restrictive skin to let fresh colors shine.

He'd visited the country once before with friends when he lived in New York City. They only went because tickets were so cheap, but it was a landscape that spoke to him on some hidden level.

“It just blew my mind when we were there, the entire aesthetic of the place is just incredible,” he says. “(It's) beautiful and soaring, but it has this tinge of alien atmosphere. I only went there for 10 days, but I just knew that was the place I wanted to make my album.”

Growing up a scrawny, red-headed boy in China, alienation is something Phillips can relate to. Even at 10, when he moved to New York his mother kept him on a homeschool education, leaving him even slower to adapt. It wasn't until he dropped out of college, unable to pay the high tuition when scholarships didn't come in, choosing instead to use his money on a motorcycle cross-country couch-surfing trip that shattered his perceptions and altered his worldview.

“So much of my life was spent lusting after this idea of being one of the cool kids,” he says. “On that trip, I finally decided to stop trying to achieve this picture of what's cool or what's the ultimate form of myself and instead just started to -- and this sounds really cheesy now that I say it out loud -- embrace myself. Just going for what I want myself instead of going for what I think is the cool thing.”

A few years later, he began producing dubstep under the moniker Crywolf. It started as a fun diversion, but his first EP Ghosts found surprise success. As his fanbase grew, his interest in EDM diminished. He tried to be more experimental, tried to apply that sense of self he'd found on the road into his releases, but it all felt a bit half-hearted.

“I was just making it because I liked playing it live, because it was fun to watch people go crazy,” he says. “I was trying to put myself in this scene where people make this heavy shit that I don't like. I don't listen to it. I don't like the fans of it. It sounds so dumb now, but there's a lot of fear that keeps you in those places. You're like, 'I'm established as this sort of artist. If I change, what if people won't like it?'”

By definition, a “cataclasm” is “a breaking asunder; a violent disruption.” Phillips traveled to a frozen island formed by volcanic eruptions to dash the chains of his sonic cycle. It was scary. There were times when he thought it might ruin his career, but he kept going.

“When you really put in so much work to create something that you're ridiculously proud of, it almost stops mattering if people like it,” he says. “If I just sent this around to my best friends and never even released it, I would be just as happy wth it and just as proud. I don't need it to be validated by the general populace's approval. When it got to that place ... all those fears, they didn't factor in.”

People do like it, though. “I love it already!” fans gush on Facebook, responding to teases and singles as hinting to a “true musical experience.” Phillips would tell them they're right. It's his true self they're experiencing.

“If you're not somebody that you're proud of being, you're not going to make art that you're proud of creating,” he says. “I don't see any place in my life for analyzing what other people think is cool and doing that, analyzing trends, or trying to follow any of that shit … There really is no other option besides doing it 100 percent, authentically, exactly what you want to do.” - Billboard

"Crywolf shares new song “Akureyri”"

Los Angeles producer/songwriter Justin Taylor Phillips has been performing under the Crywolf moniker for four years, quickly ascending in the electronic scene. His 2013 debut EP, Ghosts, broke the Top 20 in the iTunes Dance Charts. The next year he reached No. 3 on the iTunes Electronic chart, and this year’s full-length debut, Dysphoria, continued his charting trend. As he amassed success, however, he felt pressure to conform to electronic music trends; he sought an escape.

As he’s been chronicling in a mini-documentary series, Phillips took a flight to Iceland and stowed himself in the village of Bildudalur (which boasts a modest population of 65 people) to begin recording fresh material. From the depths of seclusion, the new songs have taken shape in the form of his new record, Cataclasm, out November 19th via Okami Records. Today, he’s giving us a taste with the haunting “Akureyri”.

The moody track opens with pensive piano notes and chugging synthesizers. Phillips’ voice swoops in smoothly, crooning, “Can you move on?/ Can you wait for this to change?” As his voice rises, the tone of the song begins to grow lighter. What starts as dark and brooding evolves into an uplifting ballad, soaring with Phillips’ delicate vocal performance. It’s as tranquil as the Icelandic scenery while having the bite of Phillips’ previous work.

The arc of the song is actually inspired by a recurring dream of Phillips’, where an ex-girlfriend would slowly fade away. While he tried to grasp onto her, “she was willingly going with it.” Phillips tells Consequence of Sound the dream gave him “the gut-wrenching feeling of loss, along with the tranquility that comes from finally accepting it. That was the strangest part about it – the juxtaposition of such disparate feelings. The day I wrote this song, I woke up with that feeling thick on my mind, and I knew I had to get it out.” - Consequence Of Sound

"Crywolf Shares Dramatic Single "Wake [E-Bow]" Off Forthcoming Debut Album"

roducer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Crywolf, real name Justin Taylor Philips, is the sort of jack of all trades who makes larger than life tracks that are hard to fully experience in one listen. Like "Wake [E-Bow]," the second single off the artist's forthcoming debut LP Cataclasm (out this November on Okami Records), many of his tracks experience powerful swells of sound that eventually unfold into more ethereal, intricate valleys, offering the listener the sort of 360 experience that makes you feel something real.

Ahead of his upcoming LP, Philips has shared a full stream of his latest single, which he tells us was inspired by Radical Face's 2007 track "Wrapped in Piano Strings," which he would listen to while speeding across the country on a 3 month motorcycle trip he embarked on shortly after dropping out of school at the age of 19.

Phillips also shares some more explanation to why the track is so meaningful to him: "The feeling it gave me was one of the most beautiful I have ever felt. It was like a religious experience. It brought me close to tears a few times. For the first time, I saw the world as profoundly beautiful. This song is inspired by that feeling... Escaping the familiar, venturing into the unknown," he says.

Try it on for size below, and if you're going to embark on your own life-changing motorcycle journey—please wear a helmet. - THUMP (VICE)

"Album Premiere: Crywolf's 'Dysphoria'"

"Lots of people talk about euphoria, but very few talk about it’s opposite, dysphoria," says Justin Phillips, the electronic musician from Los Angeles who makes music under the name Crywolf.

"Dysphoria" is the name of Crywolf's new self-produced project, which we are happy to premiere today. It is officially out June 22 through Okami Records; pre-order it now via iTunes and listen to it in its entirety below.

"Dysphoria is defined as a 'profound state of unease or perceived isolation,' " explains Phillips about the title. "The ancient Greeks believed that states of dysphoria were induced by the presence of mysterious deities, foreign powers with unknown motives. If a foreign deity was in close proximity, you would start to feel their strange world seeping into your own, bleeding in."

"It’s easy to write about the familiar," he continues. "It’s difficult to write about the foreign, the mysterious. This was my exploration into that unknown — forces that affect those among us, causing them to do things they would have never done — the things that haunt us, that go bump in the night. This is a project made on an alternate plane of existence. During the last two months of production on this album, I was locked in my room for weeks at a time, and I think it got in my head a little more than I intended. I started talking to myself, started behaving erratically, repeating the same phrases over and over ["We Never Asked For This"]. I think it shows."

Crazy stuff. Does it show? Listen now to find out. - Red Bull

"Crywolf Premieres "Neverland" and Explains His Upcoming Release 'Dysphoria"

Justin Phillips, a.k.a. Crywolf, has only been behind the board for a couple of years, but his dedication is clear—this Angeleno is not a hobby producer. Ever since his initial offering Ghosts fired up the Hypem charts in 2013, it's been a whack-a-mole-style grind to appease his rabid online fanbase. Phillips has embraced the challenge with open arms, frequently reminding himself of the mantra, "Easy is overdone."

Check out Fuse's exclusive premiere of Crywolf's brand new single, "Neverland," featuring Charity Lane, below.

Propped up by a cutting, percussive backbone, Justin and Charity search for Peter Pan's elusive home on the track. The airy ecosystem is anchored by a Purity Ring-meets-traphouse chorus. "Neverland" drifts through indie pop scarcity on the verse before building to a subtle, and unexpected dubstep breakdown—an intriguing first look into the upcoming Dysphoria, Crywolf's official follow-up to 2014's lauded Runaway. The aptly titled Dysphoria reportedly follows a mysterious storyline—no doubt fueled by Phillips' irregular eating and sleep schedules—which is expected to unfold throughout the month of June.

Phillips explained the project to Fuse:

“Dysphoria was produced in a relatively short period of time, which meant 12-18-hour work days for me. During the last three months of creating this, I started getting some pretty heavy cabin fever—losing track of what time it was, what day it was, only eating like once a day. I was going slightly crazy, and for a project like this, it works.”

Dysphoria is slated for a June 23 release on Okami Records. - Fuse



Crywolf, otherwise known as Justin Taylor Phillips, is a producer, vocalist, and multi instrumentalist from Los Angeles, CA. Since Crywolf's conception three years ago, his intimate, melodic, avant­garde releases have garnered their own unique following, with a loyalty rarely seen in the world of electronic music.

His releases are no stranger to commercial success either; met with support from international acts such as Ellie Goulding, Skrillex, Bassnectar and more. His first four EPs all charted in the top 3 on itunes and secured spots on the Billboard charts for over two weeks. His most recent effort, Cataclasm has been hailed as his best work to date, debuting in the top 10 on Billboard electronic, and has been covered by major media outlets such as Billboard, Vice, DJ Magazine, and more.

With over 100 million total plays across online streaming platforms such as Pandora, Soundcloud, Youtube, and Spotify, and a tour for his new LIVE set on the way, 2016 is set to be a huge year for Crywolf.

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