We talked to Toronto's The WAYO about their recent EP Wanderings, how they got together, their dream venue to play at, and their future plans. This self-described smooth-ass R&B band has a sound that's all their own, and we're proud to share it.
G: How was The WAYO formed?
W: We met at school in Halifax. Each one of us had different musical projects going on so when we started playing together each member brought something different. We did mostly hip-hop/r&b covers at our first few shows then began crafting our own songs from those influences.
G: What artists and/or genres have influenced The WAYO’s sound?
W: Right now we're listening to Rhye's LP Woman. Lately we've been into Hiatus Kaiyote, Little Dragon, Shawty Pimp, Stereolab, Andras Fox, The Moody Blues, Spooky Black & The Stand4rd, the new Flying Lotus album, D'angelo, Johnny Marr, and Drake.
G: How would you describe your creative process for writing music?
W: When we’re writing we usually go between listening to records and jamming. We like to record it then work out ideas from what we played.
G: Let talk about your recent EP Wanderings. What was it like to write and record?
W: We drove from Halifax to Toronto for a weekend and recorded most of it over two 10-hour sessions, so the sound was definitely more raw and natural. Skat we recorded and produced ourselves in our old basement in Halifax. We’d been playing those songs live for a while so we had a pretty clear idea of how we wanted them to sound. With our new songs we’re using a lot more keyboards and synths and paying much more attention to detail and production.
G: If you could play a live show at any venue in the world, which would it be and why?
W: The Apollo would be crazy. So many legends have played there. Dimension Festival in Croatia is in a 2000 year old Roman amphitheater. Caribou did a live video from there. Doing something like that would be crazy.
G: Are there any artists or bands you would absolutely love to perform with?
W: We love playing with BADBADNOTGOOD. They also live in Toronto so doing more shows with them would be cool. We like bringing guests on stage with us so having someone like Questlove or Snoop come out would be crazy.
G: Where do you see The WAYO in one year?
W: With our LP out. Touring outside of Canada. Collaborating with more rappers and producers. We’ve already worked with so many talented artists through remixes and guest appearances. We love it so its definitely something we want to continue doing.
G: Are there any challenges that you face as a band?
W: Being a band comes with certain challenges that a producer or solo artist wouldn’t face. We all have very different influences and ideas. There are times when that causes tension, but working through these ideas is what makes us try new things as a band.
G: What was the most enjoyable live show you've played?
W: Opening for The Robert Glasper Experiment at the Halifax Jazz festival was probably the best show we’ve played. They were all the nicest guys and we’re grateful we got to share the stage with such talented musicians.
G: What is seeing The WAYO live like?
W: Our songs translate better live so the show is really important to us. We always try to surprise the audience, switching between instruments, genres, playing different covers depending on the show.
G: When you perform, what is something you love to see in an audience?
W: We like to be on the same level as everybody else. Whether people are going up or if it’s more of low key show as long as the crowd is into it we’re happy.
G: Last, what are five things The WAYO can't live without?
W: Records, mangoes, Trapp, Chester Fried Chicken, and love.
G: Awesome chatting with you, looking forward to the LP!