Woody Pond is the West Virginia native that’s so rare, you can’t ignore anything he touches. Read what he had to say in this UVC exclusive detailing his journey as a multi talented artist.

First off, where are you from and how old are you?

I was born in Kentucky, but I grew up in Wheeling, West Virginia. I am 24 years old, born at the end of arguably the greatest year in film history: 1994 baby.

94’ was such a good year for so many things I definitely agree with you. That’s not a bad amount of traveling growing up though, what were your experiences growing up in West Virginia? Tell me a little about it.

West Virginia is a beautiful state, rolling hills and great forests. It’s possibly unmatched in beauty during the fall season, I did a musical touring the state a couple years ago, and that’s when I really got to take in the beauty. I’m from a decent sized town for WV, but it’s still small. Everybody’s in your business, you know what I mean? Surprisingly, it has its own little art scene. I did a ton of theater growing up and eventually got into hip-hop in 2010. Before SoundCloud rappers were around hahaha—I was slinging mixtapes in the parking lot after school and selling t-shirts. I actually used to go by “Woody is the Business.” Not a lot of people know that.

That’s really dope! I had no Idea WV was so beautiful, I feel you on the small town thing though. That’s some real throwback knowledge right there too, shoutout Woody Is The Business. So, what were some of your early musical experiences? You had mentioned theater in your early years?

Yeah, so my dad actually plays guitar and writes music himself! Folk, blues, jam band kinda stuff. But he was raised on rock n’ roll—Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd. So from an early age I was into music. My dad tried teaching me guitar at one point but I just didn’t have the commitment or the patience to stick it out. That doesn’t mean I didn’t try to start a couple bands when I was in middle school hahaha. I was always an entertainer and loved the spotlight. And I loved to sing. So my parents enrolled me in theater and I fell in love. I think my theatrical background plays a huge part in how I perform music now as a solo artist. I actually graduated from college in 2017 with a degree in acting and did a bunch of shows, including a couple operas. When I got out I did some regional theater and touring for work until I decided to move home and save money to move to LA.

That’s truly amazing, especially considering that’s not a typical artist’s background. You can tell you have a special energy about you. So after all your rounds with different forms of music, when did you decide that a solo career was going to be your route?

I got into rapping as a joke, but realized I was actually good at writing bars. Back then all I did was spit, no auto tune or even singing at all for a couple years. And people liked it, or at least they said they liked it, so I started to really get into it in high school. Like I said, I LOVE the spotlight. But once I got to college and started focusing more on acting again, I put it on the back burner and treated it like a hobby. During my last year I really found my sound and decided to start putting music out on Spotify, and now here we are! For people who know him: Neek was actually the first engineer I ever worked with back when we were in high school. He and I lived like 5 minutes away from each other. And then we lived together in college when he started to really build his empire, so I literally had the studio right over my head. It was a lot of fun. I made a lot of weirder, more abstract stuff back then, concept albums and the like. Most of it has been taken down now, but you can find certain random songs on YouTube.

That’s so rare! And such an interesting start. Honestly, you’ve come so far. So at this point, what is your musical process like? How long does it take you to make a song these days? Also, do you consider yourself a rapper, or more of an artist? Something else entirely?

I don’t limit myself to one way of writing a song. Sometimes I’ll write the lyrics first because they’ll just come to me, and then I’ll find a beat that matches. Or sometimes I’ll start with melodies and try to fill it in. I find I have more success when I know what I want to write about off rip. I take my time making songs though, usually a couple hours to really write out the lyrics. And I prefer to track myself because I do tons of takes. I’d say I’m definitely an artist—I sing, direct, write, act. I never want to be limited to one avenue of creativity. I actually want to start trying to direct music videos for other artists. One thing I’ll say about my songwriting that might surprise a lot of people is that although I write very specific lyrics and memories in my songs, examples being “American Denim” and “Postcards”, they aren’t always true stories. The feelings are always real, and they are inspired by someone or something, but I treat songs like scripts. I write stories, sometimes they’re very true and sometimes they’re just based on a true story.

A true jack of all trades! That’s awesome, I don’t think anyone should limit themselves. That’s very inspiring. Your lyrics and music are on another level, and I think everyone should keep in mind that you treat songs like scripts when listening to your music, because you can get all types of vibes from your sound. At this point in time, what are some of your overall goals musically and artistically? What do you want to accomplish in your career?

I really want to tour. I love performing, and that’s something that can only come with success and a fan base. I’m also super into music videos and I want to start doing bigger budget ideas, more cinematic stuff. I’ve also written a couple movies and web series—one is on YouTube called Lil Uber about a dorky SoundCloud rapper—and would love to put out more content like that. Later in my career I definitely want to write, direct, and star in movies and television shows. I think film is the highest art form, maybe controversial to say, but I think it is the best way to tell a story that we have found yet. I’d love to win an Oscar at some point and I want to make people feel something with my music. I want to inspire nostalgia, I want to bring back memories you didn’t know you had.

Such a great point of view – and I know everyone can get something from your insight on that. You mentioned your song “American Denim” earlier and that’s definitely one of the songs that comes to mind when talking about bringing back memories you didn’t know you had. What are you plans for the rest of the spring and 2019?

I have a couple singles I’m excited about, played one of them live at The Peppermint Club a couple weeks ago ,and it went over well so I think that one will catch fire hopefully. And I want to start collaborating with more artists, whether it be making songs together or just songwriting for people. I’d also love to get my YouTube more popping, start posting more cool artistic content on there to draw more traffic to my Spotify and Instagram pages. Oh and enjoy my first summer living in California!

That’s going to be extremely exciting! I know everyone is gonna be on the lookout for new Woody. I was actually going to mention your live performances, tell me about performing music live. What’s your favorite thing about performing?

The energy of the crowd. I love going wild and getting them going. One of my dreams is to hear a crowd sing my words back to me. I leave it all out there every time I take the stage. And I actually love the little banter between songs, I usually go for self-deprecating humor or one liners hahaha. Thank you again improv class!

A Woody Pond show must be a truly special experience. You mentioned you wanted to keep working with more artists this year, who are some artists you’d like to work with in the future?

Everyone has to say Frank Ocean right? Hahaha. he’s probably my favorite solo artist. Realistically I’d love to work with Trevor Daniel. I’m a fan of his sound for sure, and I think we could make some fire records together. Oh, and Aries. That man is crazy, production game in a whole different world.

You and Frank could make something insane. All of them could be so dope, honestly. Your recent visual for “Little Boy Blue” with Coop was so interesting – How did you guys end up creating together? And do you have plans to work with him more?

Hell yeah, I love Coop. We found each on Instagram probably almost a year ago, and basically just kept showing each other love on stuff. Right when I moved to LA last August he came into town and we got in the studio and made “Let Go”. We were anxious to link again so when he came to the city in February we made LBB. We shot the video last month when he and more of Deadlock were in town. But yeah, Coop was how I got in with all those guys—Nic Violets, Tanj who shot the visual, Brevin Kim who I’m hoping to work with next month when they’re in town. Coop and I have talked about making an EP together actually.

That’s so dope! I think you two stand out when you work with each other, and could most definitely put together such a good project. Shoutout the Deadlock team as well – I hope you guys keep it pushing heavy, you know we got eyes on you. Music aside for a moment, you have all kinds of artistic pursuits, but when you aren’t focusing on creating what do you do in your spare time? What keeps you sane when you wanna take a break? What’s a day in the life of Woody Pond like?

I go through phases, man. Sometimes I’m really into watching TV shows or going to the movies, getting my entertainment fix. I also like to play video games sometimes. And of course romance, I’m a huge romantic hahaha. Usually gets me into trouble. I love to go out to cool bars with my friends, even though they’re mad expensive in LA. I love good conversations with friends, socializing. I try to do as much creative work as I can, or do things that could potentially inspire me.

I like that insight a lot actually, it makes you organic as you are because you are always looking to be inspired. One of the last questions I have for you is: who are your top 5 artists of all time?

The Story So Far, Frank Ocean, Brand New, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra… If I think about it too hard I’ll probably start changing my mind, but these are my favorites that I think I really appreciate for their entire body of work.

All such legends that paved a whole new path, I like that list a lot. Since you’re an entertainment enthusiast we gotta know your top 5 movies of all time as well. You mentioned at the start 1994 is the best year in regards of films.

It is, it is. I only have one film from ‘94 in my list though. La La Land, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, Pulp Fiction, and Moulin Rouge!. Honorable mention goes to The Departed and School of Rock.

Damn, ok, you got some gems on there! Of course Pulp Fiction, a man of culture I see. I knew you would have a dope list for that. Before we sign off, do you have any last words of motivation or shoutouts?

Art is never finished. Good or bad, an idea is still an idea. Every single one should be given the same amount of thought and care before deciding which side of the spectrum it lands on. Sometimes you throw out a bad lyric in a writing session, and that’s what leads someone else to coming up with the perfect hook. Never discredit anyone’s thoughts or feelings, and don’t be afraid to, as The 1975 puts it, give yourself a try. Thank you for talking with me Z!

Wow, now those were legendary last words. Thank you for taking the time out my friend, we’ll be sure to keep our eyes peeled for new Woody Pond.

Listen to Woody on his Soundcloud below, or click here to check out his Youtube Channel and watch his incredible visuals.

Featured image shot by @donyasmind.