Taylor Chung, mononymously recognized as Wenzday, is known for delivering diverse sonic textures, including pounding and playful basslines, energetic tunes, dynamic drums, sharp percussions, warehouse-ready sounds, sexy beats, percolating synths, glitchy and driving toplines, dark tempos and minimal tech elements.
When you venture into her world, every day is Wenzday.
Chung’s bass-heavy and breakup-themed debut EP, Heartbreak House, dropped in 2019 and awakened audiophiles to her production prowess. She then continued to exemplify her sonic capabilities with the release of her sophomore extended play, Heartbreakers Club, a club-ready record that was released via Insomniac’s offshoot imprint, IN / ROTATION. The producer’s dancefloor ignitors include “Emergency,” “Like That (feat. Tyler Graves),” “Heartbreak House” and “Acting Up,” all further showcasing her strategic blend of electronic sound design and songwriting.
The Las Vegas-born and Bay Area-raised artist initially created bass house music designed to be listened to at home or while driving a car. She has since evolved to crafting a more discotheque-friendly sound that’s meant to light up the club and be played by fellow deejays. Despite the change in her sound, she continuously aims to unite people on the dancefloor through themes of relationships, love and self-love, which are all seen in her lyrical content, song titles, topline features and visual production. She believes that her fans, who use Heartbreakers as their identifier, align themselves with her message of self-empowerment and find comfort in each other.
“For me, being a Heartbreaker is about being true to yourself, being a bada** and doing what’s right for you at the moment when it comes to relationships, whether that’s with another person, yourself or your job,” Chang says. “It’s prioritizing you.”
The tastemaker—who aims to cultivate a “fun, sexy and definitely feminine vibe” through her production and live performances—is a classically trained vocalist. Since she comes from a music theory background and was a vocal performance major, the question arises: Does she believe music theory is necessary?
The sonic innovator says that there are “certain building blocks when it comes to music making and writing music” as well as proven patterns and formulas that work. However, she says it isn’t necessary to be a classically trained instrumentalist these days because of the innovations in technology, adding that there’s a “DYI sense” when learning to create music. Chang says aspiring artists can teach themselves how to use production technology, adding that she even has many friends in the music production world who didn’t start with learning a traditional instrument.
“I think with technology, it’s really cool because you’re able to still come up with things without maybe having gone to school for it,” the sound creator says. “While [music] theory is important, I think what’s cool is that the accessibility to it has changed. You don’t need to go a traditional route anymore to learn those things in order to be an incredible musician or incredible producer.”
Chang’s evolution from classically trained vocalist to dance music artist began when she started deejaying in the 2010s. She initially started in Los Angeles’ hip-hop circuit before moving into the bloghaus space—a mid-2000s cultural movement that was named after dance music blogs and is characterized by heavy basslines, distorted kick drums, samples from other genres and an “anything goes” ethos. Hearing this genre in 2010 at the last Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) hosted in Los Angeles, as well as being auditorially exposed to it on MySpace and at clubs, made her fall in love with dance music. “I was like, ‘I want to do this one day and be on this stage.’”
She certainly made this dream come true as she has graced the stages of top-tier festivals Coachella, EDC Las Vegas, Nocturnal Wonderland, Lost Lands and Beyond Wonderland. Additionally notable, she has released records on highly-regarded labels, such as hau5trap, Dim Mak, Deadbeats, Insomniac Records, Confessions and Ultra Records. Her success has led to a weekly show dubbed Everyday Is Wenzday, which is hosted on Insomniac Records and airs on Wednesdays. She also has a streetwear brand and imprint dubbed 40oz Cult, co-founded with her brother, Dack Janiels. The multi-genre label represents the opposite of bottle service culture, and it has released over 100 records from both up-and-coming and established talent. In addition, she boasts a song, “Chemical Mentalist,” made with Crystal Method, that was in the “Fast X” movie trailer.
Prior to her impressive success, she entered the dance music scene by jumping behind the decks and honing her craft by performing at nightclubs—even the Playboy Mansion—before attending and graduating from esteemed music school Icon Collective in Burbank, Calif.
Her initial exposure to the music industry began with her father, who used to throw parties in Los Angeles, allowing her to always be around events and see different performers. In turn, she became “fascinated by deejaying because it was something where the deejay had their finger on the pulse of the room, and it could dictate the vibe of the event from top to bottom,” she says. “It was a cool power in a sense.” As somebody who has been a fan of various genres, such as metal and rock ‘n’ roll, she always saw herself entering the music scene.
The Los Angeles-based sonic selector says each of her performances is different as they depend on how she is feeling, which can include her going through an emotional time or needing to hear a certain song at that moment. While her times spinning may vary, she stays true to her theme of personal growth.
“[In] a lot of my sets, [even] if they’re not my own songs that I’m playing, [they’re] songs that have to do with breakouts, empowerment, relationships or girl power, specifically,” Chang says. “If you haven’t heard my sets, I think you can expect some nostalgia and some throwback songs. For me coming from turntables, you can expect high-quality mixing, edits and things that I do on the fly. I think [you can expect] hearing my songs and [how] I try to present my songs in every set in a different way so that we stay fresh and it can be exciting and different. I never want to do the same thing twice.”
Chang has dropped a number of impressive party-ready records, and her favorite song she has released is “Emergency,” which is published on Heartbreakers Club. She says it is inspired by the Los Angeles underground club culture and warehouse parties her friends have deejayed at.
“I wanted to be able to create a song that [my friends] could play out or that I would envision myself playing out if I were in that scenario,” she says. “It’s definitely a sexier, edgier vibe. It’s dark. The lyric is ‘This is an emergency,’ and that’s been really fun for me to be able to loop and play around with it in a live setting where I can mix it into different songs and wordplay.”
While the sound designer has successfully shown to be a powerhouse within dance music, her voyage into the genre began when she faced her greatest challenge in life: Being diagnosed with vocal nodules. The condition can cause one’s voice to change and become hoarse, as well as create the sensation of having a lump in one’s throat and induce pain that shoots from ear to ear. Even after taking a two-year vocal rest, it didn’t resolve. Her dream to become a Broadway singer and actor vanished.
“To have something taken away from you,” Chang says, “is one of those things that’s not only heartbreaking, but you’re in this moment of like, ‘Oh, great. What do I do now?’”
Despite this hurdle, dance music has provided her with a new creative outlet. Given her illustrious resume to date, her electronic production talents certainly prove that she is among the most exciting names in house music currently.
“I really leaned into deejaying after that because it was a way for me to express myself without having to open my mouth,” Chang says. “You could say deejaying saved my life in a sense. It gave me purpose again, and it gave me an outlet for my artistic expression. With something that was really difficult came this beautiful life and career that I have. I’m so grateful for it.”