Manchester’s finest Wil­low aka Sophie Wil­son is the pur­vey­or of a style defined from a bub­bling melt­ing pot of dub­by tex­tures, min­i­mal pat­terns and stripped back influ­ences. With an out­put span­ning the realms of clas­sic hip-hop, stripped back bro­ken beat and sparse ele­ments of left­field house and ambi­ent tech­no; Wil­low has devel­oped a sound that’s unusu­al­ly dis­tinc­tive, yet hard to define. Her intro­duc­tion came in 2014 when vet­er­an DJ Move D includ­ed her first pro­duc­tion Feel Me’ in his Fab­ric 74 mix. Hav­ing pricked ears when he played the track out for the first time, Move D passed Feel Me’ on to his friend Lowtec – who decid­ed to give it a full release in a com­pi­la­tion on his Work­shop imprint the fol­low­ing year.

The sub-heavy house tune with an ear­worm R&B vocal was a high­light on the LP, and then became No.6 in Res­i­dent Advisor’s tracks of 2015. Wil­low made her return to Work­shop in 2016 with a full EP; bring­ing togeth­er warm, twist­ing melodies with del­i­cate vocal flecks and heavy low-end stabs over lin­ger­ing dimen­sions of beat-less bars. 

It’s in my heart man. When I first start­ed going out club­bing I kind of lived in Sankeys. I was in there Fri­day night, Sat­ur­day night, from the begin­ning till the end. I remem­ber think­ing: how do they make you feel like this with music? I want to do that’ ”


The fin­er points of Willow’s sound con­tin­ue to stir intrigue from the mys­te­ri­ous vari­ety of her pro­duc­tions to date. Her dynam­ic DJ style has been honed from years of record col­lect­ing in Manchester’s North­ern Quar­ter, and the start of an on-going res­i­den­cy in Not­ting­ham as one of the key dri­vers of par­ty series 808, which led her to play along­side the likes of Opti­mo, Beat­rice Dil­lon, Tama Sumo and of course, Move D. Evi­dent in her much dis­cussed mix­es for the likes of Boil­er Room, Res­i­dent Advi­sor and now an NTS res­i­den­cy – her sets are a heady weav­ing togeth­er of the ele­men­tal foun­da­tions of house, tech­no and the intri­cate sounds that fall in between.  

Now based in Lon­don, Wil­low has become a name in demand at some of the best clubs and fes­ti­vals around the world play­ing along­side names like Daph­ni, Ben UFO, Four Tet, DJ Koze, Omar S, Motor City Drum Ensem­ble, Joy Orbi­son, Pear­son Sound and Work­shop reg­u­lar Kassem Mosse at clubs like Live at Robert John­son Offen­bach, De School Ams­ter­dam, Panora­ma Bar Berlin, Print­works Lon­don, Con­crete Paris, Blitz Munich, DC10 Ibiza etc. 2018 has seen Willow’s reach rise even fur­ther with a res­i­den­cy at Man­ches­ter’s Ware­house Project, Aus­tralia, India and South East Asia tours and gigs at Motion Bris­tol, Robert John­son, Lux Lis­bon, Wak­ing Life Fes­ti­val, Houghton, Field Day, Farr Fes­ti­val and Gottwood Fes­ti­val in the UK, Boil­er Room sets at both AVA Fes­ti­val Ire­land and DC10 and much, much more.

Fuelled by a love of vis­it­ing new places, meet­ing new peo­ple and lis­ten­ing to good music – Wil­low is a pro­duc­er and DJ who’s on a bound­less upward rise.

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