Let's be real - "making it" in music has always been a bit of a crapshoot, somewhere between hitting the lotto and getting hit by lightning, with things like skill and style playing some sort of role but it's also sorta hard to say how much. But let's be even more real, breaking out in the 21st Century has become insanely complex, still involving time-honored traits like strong songwriting, a cool look, connections, genre popularity but then adds the sheer unpredictability factor and an overwhelming amount of music publishing on any given day. Someone can break in just a few days on TikTok, get playlisted on a popular Spotify or YouTube channel and have a career almost overnight One thing that is for certain is it's just not certain what causes all of these things.

One thing we can say for certain is that if someone's offering a foolproof, guaranteed way to break through in the music industry, they might be running deals on Snake Oil and discount bridges in Brooklyn out of the same store front.

As musicians, it's all too tempting to go chasing waterfalls, to grab for the brass ring and try and do everything right. And also as musicians, you sometimes hit a point where you just say "eff it" and go for it.

As is the case with Wyld & Free, who are proving to live up to their name on their short but remarkably excellent series of breakout singles.



Their newest is "We Big Time," an insanely infectious banger so addictive it should have a warning label. "We Big Time" was born from a fluke. Vocalist Johnny C. was out visiting producer and collaborator Bleu in the Boston area for what's become a yearly pilgrimage. The pair were originally working on a more melancholic number, but ended up with time to spare. They didn't really have time to fret or over-think but didn't want to waste precious studio time so they went into the studio with the intent of creating the polar opposite - a fun, upbeat number, just for laughs and giggles and to spread some much-needed and appreciated positivity into the world.

They made the right decision, as "We Big Time" is bright, bold, fresh, bursting with joy with its gigantic "Daytripper"-esque fuzz bass and humongous boom bap Big Beat.

That's the thing about Wyld & Free - it's nearly impossible to date them. They truly sound outside of time. There's a day-glo groovy sensibility paired with a 70s funkiness, but delivered with late-90s larger-than-life production. It's like if George Harrison were to jam with Jimi Hendrix and the Chemical Brothers, with all of the awesomeness that entails.

Wyld & Free just go to show what it really takes to make it in today's music scene - being yourself, as boldly as possible, especially when it's backed up with killer style and a weird sense of humor. We Are: The Guard couldn't be more proud to help usher this ray of liquid sunshine into the world!

J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.