The artist born Adam McIlwee, otherwise known as Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, is the founder of the Gothboiclique collective, which also included his friend and collaborator, Lil Peep. In 2013, Adam McIlwee left the beloved emo-punk band Tigers Jaw and immersed himself in an online world of eerie hip-hop production, occultist Tumblr communities, and mystical alternate personas. His friendship remained with Peep, till the sad day of Gustav Elijah Åhr, aka Lil Peep's passing away.
Springs Eternal formed Gothboiclique, an online collective of like-minded vocalists and producers including Brooklyn rapper Lil Tracy and frequent Wicca Phase beatmaker Døves. In September 2016, they closed off membership after adding their tenth and final comrade: 19-year old Gustav Elijah Åhr, better known as Lil Peep. That same year, McIlwee released his first Wicca Phase album, the ominous, promising Secret Boy.
In the year that followed, Lil Peep became a cultural phenomenon and greatly boosted the profile of Gothboiclique in the process.
McIlwee toured with him and the pair went from online buddies to real-life friends. They collaborated on two songs, including the last Lil Peep released while he was alive, titled Avoid. You can listen to the track below.
On November 15, 2017, one of music's most exciting young voices, Lil Peep, died of an accidental drug overdose.
Gothboiclique grieved, yet remained a vital presence.
The last track Wicca Phase Springs Eternal made with Lil Peep....
Wicca has a different take on the music industry. He sees no need to move to a "music-industry-related" city like Los Angeles or Philadelphia. He stands his ground and chooses to remain in his hometown, Scranton.
"I don't know... I feel no need to move to L.A. or New York. I'll go for a week and every time I think it's too much, like it seems too easy to get wrapped up in some sort of social scene. You're going out every night, you're around so many other personalities that your own gets lost. I've lived here my whole life and it's helped me figure out who I am. It's an anchor. Through art, music, or whatever I can explore and venture into more weird aspects of life. It just seems a little overwhelming to be in a bigger city. I'm easily influenced, too. If I'm around a person for a certain amount of time, I start to talk like them. I don't need any more of that in my life."
In an interview with Billboard, McIlwee mentions, when Peep was alive, "I thought his personality was too big to stay underground."
When Peep was around him, he got the impression he was going to be a major pop star at any moment. And he knew he wouldn't have to change because he just wrote catchy songs very naturally. When we turn on the radio nowadays, we hear Peep and Gothboiclique's influence. Singers like Juice WRLD, Post Malone, Dominic Fike,.... all of these artists have been influenced by Peep.
"Not that they're a direct result of Peep, but in the way he put that honesty and emotion at the forefront of his music, with a backdrop of catchiness...."
"People are gonna look at him and think they need to build some sort of persona in order to be popular, which is already happening. I get messages every day from SoundCloud kids who say, like, "Hey, I’m so influenced by Gothboiclique and Peep, here’s my music..." It’ll have the same sort of mix he used, same sort of themes of heartbreak and emotion.
The thing I can say about Peep is that it was genuine. I think he was naturally charismatic and naturally larger than life. Before I met him I thought it might have been an act; the first time I saw him, I realized it was not a put on. That was who he was. I think it would be a good thing for music, especially mainstream music, if that sort of honesty continues to be pushed to the forefront and rewarded. That might be a pipe-dream of mine but I’m hoping that's his legacy."
Wicca believes strongly in showing emotion, not only in music and artists' songs, but in person and life in general. It's apparent that nowadays people often cover up their feelings and tuck away into their phones and social media. Millenials see it and experience it every day. All he wants is for people to be honest.
Author: Kyle Sobieski
Kyle Sobieski is a digital content producer and founder of First State Studios. With a background in music and songwriting under the pseudonym Pierce Frolic, Kyle personally knows the amount of work and determination that goes into becoming an artist of any medium. Towards the end of high school, Kyle realized the lack of support in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware for the arts and underground talents. So he began digging deeper into the lives of local artists, and thus, First State Studios was born. Sobieski has a diverse musical palette and loves nothing more in life than seeing people who are passionate and courageous with what they do. "It's these people who make the world a more colorful, intimate place for everybody."