Take artists and creatives from Tanzanian, Indonesian, Native American, Trinidadian, Afro-Cuban, and Italian backgrounds. Throw them into the wild, sleepless streets of New York City. Bring them to the tropical wasteland of Los Angeles and infuse the nation with a soulful spirit and unquenchable thirst for newness. What do you get? Something like music & art collective, The.WAV.
“In a climate where hostility and negativity are prevalent, we feel our vibe is special,” The.WAV declares. “We encourage people to be themselves and spread love. It’s a wave that we think people are gravitating to more these days, and our goal is to keep that same energy going.”
The.WAV is well-known for their LA event series, AfroHaus. Now they introduce their special brand of multi-genre conscious funk to the world with “WAAR,” a song striking enough with its neo-R&B smoothness, made even more so with a futuristic music video directed by Mike Wallz and produced by Sofia Monroe of Daymaker Productions.
“We were watching a documentary about the Syrian conflict, and we were devastated seeing the attacks on children,” The.WAV recalls. “This record was inspired by the idea that sometimes conflict is brought to you, and in some instances, you’re forced to respond. The reality is that your neighborhood, city, or country could be in conflict, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you asked to be in that position. When we approached this song, each of us took on a slightly different perspective in order to give color to the complex dynamics surrounding war.”
Producer, THE MOST ART, consisting of Dez Jetson, Didas, and A. Walker, gave birth to the track’s hard-edged groove. It’s a head-nodder to be sure, and it’s laced with the bite of conflict reflecting the song’s message. Gregory sets that tone with his hook, addressing this idea that conflict and struggle can be brought to your door whether or not you asked for the delivery. Badi’s verse discusses “settling” into the situation, Tarik comes off with that first reaction of aggression, and Kelly brings it all back to self-empowerment. Ultimately, the message is one of love triumphing over evil.
There’s a definite Afrocentric beauty to the whole video, and that, too, is conscious and understood. The collective’s AfroHaus parties are designed to invite people of all colors and walks of life to think about our shared African roots through different art forms as well as what it means to be a part of that diaspora at all levels today. Of course, it’s also about good music, company, culture, and having fun.
“To be a part of the new surge of Afro-music is humbling,” The.WAV says. “It’s been influencing the global sound for generations, so it’s only right that it’s been receiving more recognition. Afrobeats is more than just dance music — it’s a powerful conduit for storytelling and an influential sound that deserves attention on the mainstream stage.”
Dudley Road Records, an indie label opened by Daniel Sturridge out of the UK, believes in the same vision. “They have great taste for eclectic music and ears to the future with producers and artists like Screama, Capstone Heights, and Anderson 100. We connected at a show through mutual friends and it’s been a great partnership ever since with tons of love and support. Our shared goal is to continue developing our global sound so that we can positively impact as many people as possible. We have a lot of music ready to release and are always in the studio crafting more. We’re just excited for everyone to hear it!”
Record Label: Dudley Road Records
Cover Art: Jobie
Photography: iironic (Renae Wootson), Nihana Porbanderwala, Sam Desalu
Executive Producers: THE MOST ART, Sofia Monroe
Production Company: Daymaker Productions
Producer: Sofia Monroe
Director: Mike Wallz
Director of Photography: Pedro P. Bringas
1st AD: JJ House
Steadicam Op: Alvin Octoman
1st AC: Terra Gutmann Gonzales, Sam Hecker
Gaffer: Graham Wade
Key Grip: Jacob Pereira, Zachary Trout
Key PA: Naomi Rodri
Stylist/Fashion Designer: Tarontino Wade
Wardrobe Assistant: Brianna N. Martin
Key Makeup Artist: Tiffany Rouge
Hair/Wig Artist: S. Clusive by Sharita
Editor: Mike Wallz
Assistant Editor: Zach Trout, CaliiVision, DVNCI, I AM JOEY
Colorist: Zach Trout
Visual FX Artist: Chad Joseph Fox
Motion Graphic Titles: DVNCI
Cast: The.WAV, Natali Micciche, Kiara Thomas, Sahmia Ase Parks, Monnie Aleahmad, Dez Jetson, Lakan, Ujah, Jayson Aaron, Tice
Special Thanks to: Cross Colours, 1500 Sound Academy, The Free Life Ent, Jon Mattox of Panton, Toussaint L’Overture, Tice, Garden of Secretz