7 Questions with Waza
Waza has made a name for himself with his audio-visual flavour of sample-driven hip-hop since the release of his 2014 debut, Love is a Battlefield. His uncanny ability to distill sepia-toned nostalgia with the cinematic and filter it through his sharp ear for samples has earned him a rep across radio and national blogs. His legacy grounded in the likes of J Dilla and DJ Shadow, Waza’s carved out a niche between the throwback and the now, a wistful yet urban film noir-soaked sound.
Firstly, in a few words, how would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it before?
"Beats that make you nod your head and vibe out."
I heard you say once that you were first exposed to music through movies at a young age. What were some of those first movies you remember hearing the music from and do you think that has played a big part in why your music is cinematic and storytelling in nature?
"It was defiantly Rocky 1-5, Back to the Future 1-3, Ghostbusters 1-2, The Goonies and Better off Dead. Hearing dialogue over music really makes you feel the emotion a lot more. It just lets you know instantly what you should be feeling."
You have been involved in performing music for the last twenty years. When was it that you were first exposed to Hip Hop? And what drew you towards making that style of music?
"I first got into Hip Hop when I was sixteen. 36 Chambers by Wu Tang Clan was one of the first Hip Hop / Rap albums I really enjoyed listening to. One of the main reasons I started making Hip Hop was the fact that I could produced music by myself without the help of a band. It was around 21 years of age that I started to notice my fate playing in bands was limited to what I could achieve on my own."
Since your music is so heavily sample based, do you find that you feel like you are always “working”- listening out for sounds and samples to use? Is there a certain type of music that you can put on that makes you switch off and relax?
"Haha my mind never sleeps! For awhile it got pretty bad, every suburb I was in I would be on the hunt for shops selling old cds, DVDs and records to sample. I find that I can switch off when I’m listening to Rock, Punk or Metal. But if I was listening to a Jazz, Latin or Funk piece my ears would be on high alert!"
Your debut album 'Crooked Jaw' is due to be released soon and the first single “Lost In Space” has a bit of different feel to it than your previous releases. Will this album mark an experimentation with a new style?
"Yes, I feel that it is time for me to switch things up a bit. I have been releasing sample based music for over two years now and I’ve achieved what I’ve set out to do with this style of music. I want to explore other sounds and get back to writing my own melodies."
You are a graphic designer as well as a musician. How connected sonic and visual aspects of the creative process for you? Would you say that your music has shape and colour to it?
"I’ve always been able to visualise sounds in my head. It’s like I can see and hear the soundsimultaneously. Having this ability helps me shape and build the song, very similar to how I would design a flyer using layers."
Who are your top 5 Hip Hop artists?
House of Pain
Wu Tang Clan