We get stoked when we discover young talent who we think are going places. When Walkabout hit us up a few months ago with his single In My Head, and we learned he was going into his senior year in high school, we were immensely impressed. With a style that reminds us of Whethan mixed with Illenium, we can’t wait to see him make a name for himself. We also couldn’t wait to get him on 60 Questions, which we did earlier this week! We learned that his favorite emoji is the smirk face (“because it works well with the ladies”) and that his spirit animal is a donkey. Please welcome Des, otherwise known as Walkabout!
Des! Welcome to 60 Questions.
Des: Thank you! Excited to be here.
Us too. What did you do today?
Des: Today was actually my first day of school! I just started my senior year of high school. After school was soccer, then some music, and now I’m talking to you.
Senior year! That’s exciting. You’re from Philadelphia, right?
Des: You got it.
What’s your favorite thing about Philadelphia?
Des: I’d have to go with the food, we have really good food here. But the music scene is also awesome. I think that most people don’t really know what’s in Philly, but there’s a lot of cool underground stuff that no one really knows about.
Since you think the food is great, do you like Philly Cheesesteaks?
Des: Haha surprisingly enough I do not. If you’re going to get a cheesesteak, it has to be from Philly. But I’m not big on them.
Fair enough. Do you have any siblings?
Des: Des: I do, I have two older brothers.
What’s your favorite thing about high school?
Des: My friends. It’s a ton of fun getting to spend most of the day with them, whether it’s in class or sports or whatever.
What’s your least favorite thing about high school?
Des: Probably that it’s going to end! I don’t really feel like growing up- it would be nice to just keep being a kid and keep making music- living in my room and just doing me.
What’s your favorite class?
Des: Stereotypical, but I’m going with music class. It’s what I excel in so I enjoy it the most.
What’s your least favorite class?
Des: Probably… math. I don’t do too hot in math haha.
Have you taken the SATs?
Des: Ugh yes. My dream was to do so well in music that I wouldn’t have to take them, but unfortunately I’m not quite there yet haha.
And the dreaded question… how are college applications going?
Des: Good! It’s a process that is very scary and feels like a huge decision, but I’m making progress on it.
Care to share which universities you’re looking at?
Des: Totally! I really like NYU- Manhattan would be sick. I also really like the Berkeley College of Music and Northwestern. I’m looking at more liberal arts schools that have good music networks and where I could continue to work on my music.
You mentioned you played soccer- what position do you play?
Des: Left back. I’m also the captain of our team which is a lot of fun.
Do you play fantasy soccer?
Des: I do! My friends and I have a league. I’m a big fan of the European teams
Makes sense. So who’s your favorite Premier League team?
Des: The Tottenham Hotspurs!
Nice! Shifting gears a bit, where did the name Walkabout come from?
Des: My favorite band is the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and they actually have a song called Walkabout. I was never really a big fan of the song, but the name really stuck with me.
Let’s talk about your new single Loyal- can you tell us how you came up with it/your inspiration?
Des: Of course! So Sophie wrote the original song and posted it on her SoundCloud- I heard it a while back and was really impressed, and I asked her if I could use the vocal track with an instrumental I had been working on. She agreed, and after some tweaks and editing we came up with the version we released last week. We're both really happy with how it came out. As far as inspiration for the lyrics, the song is about her cheating on someone else; it's an unapologetic confession to an ex-boyfriend.
Very cool, we like it a lot. Ok, the next 5 questions are game we call Hot and Cool. You know the drill- you have to decide whether you would date this person who’s super hot and super cool, but they have a weird condition.
Des: Haha got it!
Great! So hot and cool, but they have to listen to Eminem songs to fall asleep.
Des: Sure, fine with me.
Hot and cool, but they can only eat with their hands.
Des: Hmmm I don’t think so, that throws me off. Like I can’t stand loud eaters, and this is probably worse.
Hot and cool, but they have to wear swimming goggles in public.
Des: No way, I’m already not much of a water/pool guy so there’s no way this would not work.
Hot and cool, but every Saturday they dress up like it’s Halloween.
Des: Haha I could get down with that, let’s do it.
Hot and cool, but they correct you anytime you say anything grammatically incorrect.
Des: That’s a tough one- what’s funny too is that I feel like I know people like this. But I don’t think so. I’m sure I’d learn a lot, but that would get so annoying.
Agreed haha. Ok, back to normal questions. Who do you look up to most in the music industry?
Des: So my music taste ranges all over the place, but as far as who I look up to… I’d have to go with John Frusciante- he’s one of the main reasons why I started playing guitar. But I also look up to the big DJs of our time, like Martin Garrix, Marshmello, The Chainsmokers. I really like how they’re so supportive of young artists starting out. I actually met Marshmello at a music festival a year ago, he grew up around the Philly area and was super cool to connect with. I met the Chainsmokers a little while ago too, also super nice. I have the utmost respect for big artists who aren’t snobs and are supportive of young artists.
Well when you get big I’m sure you’ll be the same way! If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Des: I’m going to go with Ibiza. I’m very lucky in that I’ve been able to travel quite a bit growing up, but Ibiza is definitely at the top of my list. Especially in the summer. But I’m a few years off from making that happen haha.
Great choice. Maybe we’ll see you playing there in a few years!
Des: Haha let’s do it.
What's your favorite high school dance?
Des: That’s easy, Homecoming. For the past few years I’ve DJ’d for my school’s homecoming, and we always through down super hard. I actually didn’t even go to Prom last year, I was working really hard on a song at the time and decided not to ask anyone. I did make it to the afterparty though.
Doesn’t sound like a bad choice to us. Who’s your celebrity crush?
Des: Selena Gomez, she’s gorgeous.
What’s your favorite book?
Des: This book call DJ Rising. It’s about this kid who wants to be a DJ, but his mom is a heroin addict and they don’t have any money. He ends up meeting this famous DJ who basically mentors him and helps him figure out his life. It was a cool book for middle school me to read.
Favorite TV show?
Des: The Office or Californication. I’m watching The Office for the third time right now, and I’m also on a third go around for Californication too. I think Hank Moody is one of the best TV characters of all time.
What’s a gig you have coming up you’re super stoked about?
Des: In September I’m opening for Young Bombs at the University of Pennsylvania, it’s going to be sick. I’m super excited about it.
That’s awesome! What’s your favorite form of exercise?
Des: Playing soccer. Which is funny, because I hate running- like on a track or on the street, but love soccer. Our coach make us do this fitness test, which is 2 miles in 12 minutes. It’s the worst thing ever, like I get that we need to be in good shape, but that test is brutal.
Sounds awful. Did you watch Game of Thrones this weekend?
Des: I actually don’t watch Game of Thrones! I keep saying I’m going to get into it, but I don’t really have time to set aside like an entire week for watching TV. I know once I start it I won’t want to do anything else.
That’s probably true. What’s your morning routine like?
Des: I’m not a big sleeper, so sometimes I wake up at 3 or 4am. If that’s the case, then I usually start making music for a couple hours. I find that I’m most creative when it’s early in the morning. I’ve actually made most of my songs in that time slot from 3am to 6am. But on normal mornings I shower, eat breakfast, then head to school. Outside of school its music and soccer, and that’s about it!
Des: Probably the smirk emoji, I use that a lot. It’s great for my sly comments, especially with girls- I think it works very well.
Haha that’s amazing, I have to agree with you. What was the last song you listened to on your phone?
Des: Hmmm let’s see. Ah this is weird, because I’ve never listened to this song before. But it was Lorde Pretty Flacko Jodye 2 by A$ap Rocky.
So hood! What’s your spirit animal?
Des: A donkey. You know who Eeyore is? He’s my favorite thing. So yeah, a donkey.
Haha that is awesome. Ok, this section is called this or that. We’re going to ask you which of two things you like more:
Des: Lets do it.
Great. East coast or west coast?
Des: For now east coast. I’ve still got to check out the west coast!
iPhone or Android?
Bar or Club?
Des: Well I feel like the jury is still out on this one since I’m in high school, but let’s go with club.
True, plus you are a DJ. Ski boat or sports car?
Des: Sports car.
Snickers or Milky Way?
Des: Milky Way.
Fall or Spring?
Des: Fall! My birthday is in the fall.
Suit or swimsuit?
NFL or NBA?
Christmas or the 4th of July?
Starbucks or Dunkin?
Des: Dunkin! There’s literally one on every corner in Philly.
Right on. Alright, back to normal questions. If you could do a collab with anyone right now, who would it be?
Des: I think it would be super sick to do a collab with Whethan. His music gets me. But also Tchami, I’ve been super into his style recently. His track World to Me has been a song I just keep coming back to. And if was going to go really high-key, it would have to be Porter Robinson. I think he produces the most awesome emotional tracks, and to get an inside look into what voodoo he does to produce them would be amazing.
We agree. What’s the best thing about the internet?
Des: The access to music- which I think can be a good thing and a bad thing. We have access to music like a faucet, which I think our generation takes for granted. Can you imagine only being able to find new music by listening to the radio?
Not at all. What’s the worst thing about the internet?
Des: I’m going to go with the ease at which negativity is spread. There’s so many platforms for people to post negativity which sucks.
Where do you find new music typically?
Des: Soundcloud or Spotify, but also word of mouth from friends.
What one item of clothing do you wear the most?
Des: My ripped jeans.
What time period in history would you like to visit?
Des: This is tough. Probably the 50s or 60s, when Jimmy Hendrix was big and electric guitars were first coming out. That would be a cool time to jam with people.
If you could switch lives with anyone for a day, who would it be?
Des: Can I say Jesus, does that count? I think that would be cool, you could low-key do whatever you want for a day.
Counts in our book! What’s the best thing your parents have given you?
Des: Easy, my guitar.
What do your parents cook that you are you going to miss the most?
Des: Chicken bundles! They’re pieces of chicken wrapped in bacon, and they’re like the most amazing thing I’ve ever eaten in my life. My Mom actually made them for dinner tonight- definitely going to miss those.
What are you most excited for about going to college?
Des: A lot of things, but I really enjoy meeting new people- so probably that and the opportunities it will bring.
Ok two more. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Des: Whew, that’s a hard one. Do you always leave the hardest for last? I’ve always wondered how electronic music will progress over the years- like if people will even respect DJs in the future with how the music industry is going. You’re already seeing artists move towards live shows, but I’m hoping DJs and producers will still be respected as the industry evolves. For me personally, I hope I’m living in either LA or NYC, putting on big live shows- the reason why I got into producing originally was because I really enjoy being onstage, so I definitely want big stage time to be in my future. But I would also like to stay a producer too, so hopefully in 10 years I’ll be succeeding at both.
Last one! What would bring with you on a one-way trip to mars?
Des: Is there already food and living stuff? I’m going to go with my laptop, I think I would really need it as an outlet to produce and listen to my music. My life is on that thing.
This interview has been edited and condensed.