With a sound that’s just as multifaceted as the hidden alleyways and bright lights of his native hip-hop scene, Sydney’s savviest beatmaker Waza is coming off a stratospheric 2015. He’s expertly fused genres and decades, the sonic and the visual, from the dreamy throwback vibe of the Art and Technique Sessions to the 90s-infused rap stylings of his collaboration with Caustic Yoda and State Advanced, Vibin’. After realising his most ambitious project yet with the Art and Technique Sessions, and earning some serious accolades and space across the airwaves, Waza is poised to strike hard in 2016 with new material grounded in a highly evolved sound.
The Art and Technique Sessions made up the centrepiece of Waza’s year, cementing his unique creative vision and depth as a beatmaker. An infectious, sincere and sonically rich project, Waza set out to marry his finely honed sampling skills with raw emotion. The Sessions took its cue from a spectrum of influences that would be unlikely in less skilled hands, the likes of J Dilla, DJ Shadow and Daft Punk synthesised together with the nostalgic sampling of film noir and other bygone sonic-cinematic eras Waza’s known for using.
A tale of love and loss told in three acts, the Sessions were an experiment in storytelling just as much as they were an experiment in sound, proving Waza’s undeniable versaility and pedigree as a master of the art of sampling. Part I -Spread a Little Love was a feel-good vignette, the beginning of a love story that melted down the throwback appeal of the 70s with a slick Flume-esque vibe. Part II - Be With You was a moodier offering, showing a darker but still beguiling dimenson of Waza’s musicianship. Part III – Tell Me How brought it all home in a shot of pure sonic sunshine, an upbeat capstone that only further demonstrated Waza’s keen versaility.
Such an ambitious, complex project naturally attracted an extensive and impressive musical rap sheet – triple j’s Dom Alessio deemed it ‘a whole lot of fun’, with Unearthed’s Lachie Macara calling it ‘a real bright kaleidescope of sounds’. The Sessions drew love all across the nation’s airwaves, with adds and appearances across the likes of triple j’s Matt and Alex’s Breakfast Show and Hip Hop Show, FBi, 2SER, 3RRR and Unearthed – not to mention a triple feature for the Tell Me How video on ABC’s rage. With Tell Me How most recently making it into the official voting poll for triple j’s Hottest 100, it’s been nothing short of a titanic year for the Sessions and for Waza.
Transcending the studio, Waza has also been busily demonstrating his formidable live chops in 2015, racking up a slew of gigs around Sydney and beyond, gracing such stages as Australian Music Week and the AU Review Awards. He’s also shared the stage with the likes of Slumberhaze and B Wise, years of live experience culminating in an epic set in a coveted support slot for US producer Apollo Brown.
Waza has most recently dropped a glimpse of the fruits of a busy year of experimentation and evolution: Lost in Space featuring Sasha of Sluberhaze, the first cut from his next project (Crooked Jaw), slated for release in 2016. The track marks a departure from the throwback sample-driven sound that defined the Sessions, with a heavier emphasis on synth and Waza-created melodies, getting back to something a little more straight up sonic, but no less sensory. The track has already earned praise from the likes of 2SER, 3RRR and 4ZZZ. After carving out a definite niche in the scene in 2015, Waza’s sights and sounds are set on a new soundscape that just might be a shock to the system.
dynamic, fresh, oldschool