Alphabets Heaven – Interview 2015

Jonny Wildley, is a Brighton based artist. I first came across his Alphabet Heaven beats in a crammed Green Door Store where he completely conquered the room playing a set that span genres, using a delicious collage of loops and samples which mixed the space between Hip-Hop and electronic music into one. We couldn’t be more excited to have Alphabets Heaven play in the finale of BrightonsFinest’s Alternative Great Escape show, so I caught up with Jonny to find out more about man behind the music.
 
Where did you grow up and do you think it has influenced your music?
I grew up in St. Albans, a market city just north of London. It had a pretty great music scene for teenagers. Lots of bands, lots of music. I have a feeling that’s all gone, or moved to a different area of Herts.
 
What music were you brought up on?
Mainly rock. Hendrix was a huge part of my early life.
 
What was the first instrument you played, and do you have a favourite?
Guitar, from when I was about 12. I still write most music with a guitar, or at least guitar in the abstract. However, I really like playing bass. There’s something kind of selfless about it.
 
Has your style/genre of music stayed the same?
Not really. Alphabets Heaven started off as a vaguely academic experiment on different musical lines affecting the dynamics of each other. I still think about that type of thing every now and then, but how I think about music has changed.
 
What made you start Alphabets Heaven?
Sometimes it’s fun to throw yourself into a new world and see what happens.
 
Is there a story behind the name?
I think it’s the same type of thing Retna is getting at. There’s some kind of beauty and mysticism in language itself, it’s almost outside the people who use it. Freedom.
 
What are your main influences?
There’s this weird feeling you get when you’re listening to something and you can’t understand it. It’s like there’s a part of the mind that represented a preconceived notion of what can and what can’t be destroyed by the music. I live for that feeling.
 
How do you approach the writing/recording process?
Do you surround you self with people or hide away behind closed doors? I like both. Sometimes you need to work on something for 11 hours straight to get it right, but sometimes you need a friend. Whatever works really.
 
What do you love playing with when you are making music?
I have this reel to reel I absolutely adore. I don’t really use it for anything important sonically but it seems to organise my thoughts.
 
What music are you listening to at the moment?
Just got Ex-Easter Island Head’s Large Electric Ensemble – its people thinking about instruments in completely different ways.
 
What has been you happiest memory with music?
I did a set at Shambhala Festival in Canada a few years ago that was pretty special to me. Seeing Pharoah Sanders a few years ago, and Steve Reich perform octet about a decade ago, they were life changing experiences. Too many to count though. I’ve been incredibly lucky to see and be around some amazing people.
 
What are your future plans for the summer and after?
I’ll be going for bike rides and writing.