Wednesday Q&A: The Wah Wah Collective
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You know I’ve got a soft spot for soul & funk. So when I was grooving to The Wah Wah Collective’s ‘You Are Somebody‘ (Free Download!) for the first time, I was sold!

The thing is, The Wah Wah Collective brings a well arranged fusion of Nu-Soul, HipHop, Nu-Jazz and a little pinch of latin. Or as they like to call it, Eclectic Soul. And it’s that fusion of styles that will never give a dull moment on their debut album ‘Cry Baby Soul‘. And when I say never, I mean NE-VER!

They recently dropped their single & music video ‘Narita For Tokyo‘, one of my favorite tracks of the album. That slow breakbeat, those soothing vocals? Perfection!

Curious as I ever am, I wanted to know what the song and music video was about. And what was supposed to be one simple question, turned out into a full virtual pow-wow.

But then again, a little Wah Wah ain’t gonna hurt nobody anyway:

The Dutch Guy (TDG): Can I borrow 20 bucks?

Sanya Lerin: When will I get it back?

The Elusive: Hi Dutch Guy, I think you could get a few copies of our album ‘Cry Baby Soul’ for 20 bucks. So yeah, I will borrow you it. PS: This is not a bribe!..

TDG: When you looked into the mirror this morning, what was your first thought?

Sanya Lerin: Thank God for another day!

The Elusive: I look young for my age.. Right.. Mirror on the wall, please say ‘yes… you’re da man’…

TDG: Can you describe yourself in one sentence?

Sanya Lerin: Free spirited.

The Elusive: Behind the scenes pulling the strings.. very elusive!..

TDG: How long have you been working on ‘Cry Baby Soul‘?

The Elusive: The ‘Cry Baby Soul‘ album has been an on-and-off project for several years and within that time we all took time off to purse things outside music. Some of the vocals found on the new album were originally recorded like 7-8 years ago, but the majority of the album was wrapped up in 2013. Most of 2013 was spent touching up, recording and arranging things…

TDG: How would you describe your sound?

The Elusive: Two words, ’Eclectic Soul’ and that’s a good thing. To be just a little more specific, musically we try to tap in to sounds and themes within different music genres, based on what myself, Mathieu Karsenti and George Eyo are in to at that time. Within the Wah Wah music sessions, Mathieu provides the acoustic soul vibes, while George rides the fender Rhodes with
minimalistic but catchy melodies. I’ll add the
hop-hop vibe and project feel…

TDG: What’s involved in your songwriting process?

Sanya Lerin: Drawing upon life experience, past and present.

The Elusive: With songs I’m involved in, I try to make sure every line has a message sometimes more than one message in a line. Like the line on ‘Return Of The Renegade‘, track 4 on the album: ‘Reading between the lines and the rhymes’. It comes from my golden age hip-hop upbringing…

TDG: Which aspect did you enjoy the most while working on your album?

The Elusive: Me personally, I enjoyed putting the whole thing together. We still have many songs unreleased but it was good to finally complete the album creation journey…

TDG: What made you decide to release tracks on vinyl as well?

The Elusive:Cry Baby Soul‘ is not on vinyl in it’s entire. Our label I-innovate (UK) re-issued vinyl EPs to support the album release. So you’ll find songs like ‘Tell Me Why’, ‘Gordo’, ‘Along The Ganges’, ‘Everytime’ and ‘Prying Eyes’ on 12” vinyls as support for the new album…

TDG: What was the idea behind the ‘Narita For Tokyo’ Video?

The Elusive: I had an idea of creating a video for that song and at the same time I knew some talented film directors. So I set up a meeting and got George Eyo and Natasha Stark working with the film crew. Narita is actually about Georgeyo’s experiences living in Japan and in the video the colour red represents the ‘red sun’ of the Japan national flag…

TDG: Who or what inspires you the most?

Sanya Lerin: My mother.

The Elusive: People who can make something out of nothing…

TDG: How important is connecting with fans for you? What kind of connection do you have or do you like to have with them?

The Elusive: I really try to make sure people know that The Wah Wah are one of the good guys out there. We always try to help, not just fans but peers in the music scene too. I think a lot of DJ’s, radio stations and people in general know we spread love, we rock the wah wah! Because of the bands availability social media is where we communicate with our fans. We don’t really call them fans, but rather people who just like good music…

TDG: And social media is a big help in your opinion?

Sanya Lerin: Yes it’s made it much easier to network with like-minded creatives.

The Elusive: Yeah Dutch very much, The Wah Wah use Twitter to help build awareness. For us it’s a great way of reaching out to people in our scene. One of our twitter accounts @TheWahMama received a nomination for The 2013 Shorty Awards (Twitters version of The Oscars). For indie bands social media is just a great way to catch people’s attention worldwide…

TDG: What do you do to stand out from all the rest on social media?


Sanya Lerin: Be myself, I’m unique after all.

The Elusive: We run catchy hooks on Twitter and a lot of people involved in the indie soul scene support us…

TDG: What is the biggest misconception people have about you?

Sanya Lerin: My cultural heritage.

The Elusive: Well, what I would say is that some people have a misconception about our music, what we call ‘eclectic soul’. We rock different genres of music on our album. ‘Cause of this formula, many people judge our band type on the first song they ever hear by us. So listeners who managed to first hear our song ‘Tell Me Why’ think we are a nu-jazz band, while others who first hear us from ‘Narita For Tokyo’ or ‘Kyoto’ will think we are an electronica dance outfit. We are an ‘eclectic soul’ group and convey many different styles on the ‘Cry Baby Soul’ album like ‘Gordo’ (Latin) to ’Along The Ganges’ (Chill-Out/Dance). We say to people don’t get too tied down to one genre there is so much good music out there…

TDG: Who is currently on repeat on your iPod or Spotify playlist?

Sanya Lerin: Afrobeat artists.

The Elusive: I’m a crate-digger addict, so I’m always looking for remote artists usually from the rare groove scene…

TDG: What’s the best piece of advice you ever got when you started out and you think it would help other aspiring artists/bands?

Sanya Lerin: Be myself, be thick skinned and don’t give up…

TDG: We are 5 months into 2014, you just dropped the brand spanking new music video for ‘Narita For Tokyo‘, but what else do you have in store for us this year?

The Elusive: This year is just about spreading The Wah Wah vibes and spreading the awareness of ‘Cry Baby Soul’ to as many new listeners as possible…

TDG: Got any last words of wisdom you wanna lay down on us before we wrap this up?

Sanya Lerin: Given every opportunity, every learner is a potential achiever.

The Elusive: Always look at the big picture. And for indie artists to realize there is a global market for new music that can be reached through social media.

Also a special shout to you Dutch Guy, for supporting bands like The Wah Wah. You guys help keep the indie scene moving!

Check in with The Wah Wah Collective on:
Twitter: @TheWahMama
Facebook: /TheWahMama
Vinyl: soulbrother.com
iTunes: The Wah Wah Collective’s album ‘Cry Baby Soul’

G. Love & Special Sauce – Nothing Quite Like Home
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Are you ready for a killer groove? ‘Cause G. Love & Special Sauce dropped some schweet sugar for your earhole with this funky blues jam!

Nothing Quite Like Home‘ is the first musical love sauce coming off their brand spanking new album ‘Sugar‘ and if this doesn’t makes you wanna cop the album on that groovy blue vinyl, I don’t know what will! Now excuse me, while I’m getting myself a harmonica!..

Check in with G. Love & Special Sauce on:
Twitter: @Glove
Facebook: /GloveSpecialSauce
Website: philadelphonic.com
iTunes: G. Love & Special Sauce’s single ‘Nothing Quite Like Home’

Wednesday Q&A: Hellena
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The first time I featured singer/songwriter Héllena back in December, I was deeply impressed with the powerful lyrics she dropped on us with her single ‘Don’t Change‘. And now she’s back with the equally powerful follow up ‘Dream Big‘!

I was fortunate of getting a sneaky-peek copy last month and after listening to it for a couple of times, the only thing that kept running through my mind was, she’s right! Life is too damn short, it is over before you know it! So why don’t we all dream big, work hard and make it happen?

Let me quote one of the biggest radio personalities in the US, one who I’ve been looking up to since I started as a baby DJ, Scott Shannon: ‘If you’re willing to work hard enough, you’ll accomplish whatever the hell you want to. All you really need is focus and determination; the rest is up to you.’

But it does all start with just one thing, so I figured it was about time to ask Héllena how important it is to ‘Dream Big‘:

The Dutch Guy (TDG): Can I borrow 20 bucks?

Héllena: Hmmmm, depends what you want them for! I don’t trust you, hahaha!…

TDG: When you looked into the mirror this morning, what was your first thought?

Héllena: Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?…

TDG: Can you describe yourself in one sentence?

Héllena: Crazy, sensitive, stubborn, difficult, dreamer…

TDG: What are your roots?

Héllena: Greek…

TDG: How long have you been working on ‘Dream Big‘?

Héllena: I lost count actually. I wrote it couple of years ago and then I started working on it again with the band for a few months. It took a while to come up with this result…

TDG: How would you describe your sound?

Héllena: I create a Soul/R&B style of music and then Stereo Mike brings his beats. The live band brings the rocky sound, so I describe it as unique and modern…

TDG: What’s involved in your songwriting process?

Héllena: A pen, a paper, a piano and a glass of wine sometimes…

TDG: Which aspect did you enjoy the most while working on ‘Dream Big‘?

Héllena: Well, I loved it when Stereo Mike and myself looked at each other while listening to the song and realised that it was ready to fly…

TDG: Who or what inspires you the most?

Héllena: Music…

TDG: How important is connecting with fans for you? What kind of connection do you have or do you like to have with them?

Héllena: It is the most important thing. My Héllraisers (that’s their name) are my 2nd family. They support me unconditionally and I’m always there with/for them through my music…

TDG: And social media is a big help in your opinion?

Héllena: Huge! If Facebook, Twitter and that kind of stuff weren’t here yet, I wouldn’t be able to be as much in contact with my Héllraisers as I am now!…

TDG: What do you do to stand out from all the rest on social media?

Héllena: I am not trying to stand out in no way. I’m just being myself. Whoever likes me and my music, is welcome to come on board. Whoever doesn’t, then I don’t mind. It’s better to try and find a songwriter/artist you really like…

TDG: What is the biggest misconception people have about you?

Héllena: Hmmmm, I don’t know. Probably that I’m talented and a cute girl? LoL!…

TDG: Who is currently on repeat on your iPod or Spotify list?

Héllena: I like listening to ZZ Ward lately…

TDG: What’s the best piece of advice you ever got when you started out and you think it would help other aspiring artists/bands?

Héllena: “Héllena, don’t get into this business, it’s gonna drive you mad”. And it has! But I love it! Life is too short, enjoy it! Do whatever makes you happy…

TDG: We’re 5 months into 2014, you just dropped ‘Dream Big‘, but what do you have in store for us this year?

Héllena: Well, maybe another single after ‘Dream Big‘ and the album too, who knows? Keep in touch in order to find out!

TDG: Got any last words of wisdom you wanna lay down on us before we wrap this up?

Héllena: Words of wisdom? Not really, but I have some words from the heart I wanna say.

My next single ‘Dream Big‘ is a song that helped me get on with difficult situations. I love it so very much and I hope it will help you as much as it helped me. I’m pretty sure everyone can relate. Give it a chance, have a listen and I don’t think you’ll regret it…

Check in with Héllena on:
Twitter: @HelenaMicy
Facebook: /TheArtistHeLLena
Website: hellenaofficial.com
Bandcamp: Héllena’s single ‘Dream Big’

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