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Popular Play: Whethan


Jul 24, 2020

Chicago-native producer Whethan calls to indie-pop-rock star and fellow Illinoisan, K.Flay, to combine their musical forces on the latest single “Hurting on Purpose.” This alt-electronic track marks the upcoming release of Whethan’s debut album, FANTASY, due later this year.

Glossed with Whethan’s effortlessly cool productions and K.Flay’s captivating vocals, this duo has single-handedly formulated the ultimate Summer ‘20 therapeutic anthem we all so desperately needed.  

Anticipant of the full-length record, we had to catch up with the EDM mastermind about the underlying meaning behind “Hurting on Purpose,” what fans can expect from FANTASY and the initial push that led Whethan down a pathway of unimaginable success at just 21-years-old. 


1. Your newest single ‘Hurting on Purpose’ featuring K.Flay is a certified banger. How did this collaboration come to fruition? Give us the scoop about the message behind the track. 

This song actually took a while to come together. It started when K Flay sent me a song three years ago, and I really liked the message behind it, so I spent the next couple years working on it and perfecting it. The message refers to indulging in things like “drinking, driving fast, etc.” Really just indulging in self-damaging behaviors. But ultimately realizing that you are in control of these things that are hurting you.


2. You, K.Flay, and your fellow EDM friends, Freddy and Robby of Louis the Child, all come from the Chicago-area. What was the best part about growing up in Chi-Town, and how did your surroundings shape you as an artist? 

I mean, the first thing that comes to mind is the amazing food. Chicago is, by far, my favorite food city. Not only that, but the city is full of really nice and inspiring people, and the city itself breeds creativity. The electronic scene there was nice to have because I could grow up and work with artists that had similar creative interests. I made so many amazing friends and connections that have lasted to this day.


3. In the making of your debut album ‘FANTASY’, what were your intentions for this project? 

Sonically, I wanted to mix some of my favorite alternative music styles from when I was a kid with the new modern electronic music that I love to make. The inspiration was to feel like you’re getting on a spaceship and leaving earth to go on a voyage.


4. Can you explain how a song usually comes together in the studio? Do you have a general idea for a sound, or does it flow together organically?

It really depends on the session because it’s different every time. I prefer to approach a project from scratch and start with a basic melody or rhythm and build it out from there. Sometimes there will be a preconceived idea or concept that we know we want to work on; other times, I’ll just try out random things until something sticks. The process is unpredictable, and that’s what makes it exciting.


5. You’ve crossed off performing at music festival giants such as Outside Lands, Coachella, and more. What other venues or festivals do you hope to check-off? 

I’ve always wanted to play Bonnaroo because everyone I know that has gone has said it was an amazing time. Plus, the lineup is always great, so it would be fun to see some other performers there. As far as venues go, my dream is to play my own headlining show in Chicago at the Aragon Ballroom because I think that’s one of the most unique indoor venues in the city.


6. Can you recall a pivotal moment in your life that gave you the initial push to pursue a career in electronic pop?  

The most pivotal moment for me was when Zeds Dead played my XE3 remix at the main stage of Hard Summer in LA. It was such a surreal moment that gave me the confidence to pursue creating music full time. I was 15 or 16 at the time, and I haven’t looked back since.


7. You’ve accomplished so much at just 21-years-old. What advice would you give to those at home, remixing music in Garageband, dreaming of selling live shows?

My number one piece of advice is to surround yourself with good people.  That extends even beyond music because the people around you have such an impact on your creativity and mood. That being said, there’s no shortcut to making great music or becoming a talented producer.  You have to spend the hours with the program and dedicate yourself to whatever it is that makes you special.


“Hurting on Purpose (feat. K.Flay)” is available everywhere NOW.