Next up for our NYE Day Parties Artist Showcase, we bring you an exclusive interview with Wax Future from Philadelphia, PA.
Wax Future is made up of Connor Hansell, Keith Wadsworth, and Jamal Rab. Connor and Keith come together to create a live hip-hop electro-soul sound that is fully capable of transporting the mind and soothing the soul. Jamal Rab adds the spontaneous element of VJing and live-editing to their sets. This creates an opportunity for the group to be immersive by fusing together electronic music, live music, and live video projection, which truly sets them apart from other rising live electro-soul groups in the community.
To properly welcome Wax Future to our NYE Day Parties extravaganza for December 30 and 31, we got to talk with Connor and Keith about all things Wax Future, new music, food, and of course expectations for the future.
With so many different musical elements found in your sound today, who/what would you say were some musical influences that you had while growing up that could’ve helped you get to where you are now?
[Keith] “I grew up on metal and progressive rock; while learning guitar I looked up to cats like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, John Petrucci, and Paul Gilbert. I would say Paul Gilbert would be my biggest influence playing wise. And as far as to get to where I am now… had I not gone to Bonnaroo 2011 and witnessed Pretty Lights’ sunrise throw down my life would not have been drastically course corrected to where it is now, so I’m thankful for my friends dragging me to Tennessee for that amazing weekend!”
[Connor] “Both of my parents and my older brother have really good taste in music, so I grew up listening to anything from classics like Dylan and the band through more recent influences like G Love. So I think my family really helped me develop my foundation as a songwriter and musician. I’ve also always been a hip hop head, and artists like The Roots (Philly represent!), Talib, Mos Def, J Dilla, Common and a whole slew of NYC emcees and producers have been huge influences on me as a producer. I would say that my production techniques in electronic music have very strong roots in Hip hop, which is why a lot of our music is sample based. When I first heard Pretty Lights it really showed me the significance of sample based music in the electronic music world and I heard something new, but also recognized the preservation of the sample based art form and was instantly drawn to it. All of these very eclectic influences have seemed to culminate into the artist and producer that I am today.”
Take us back to beginnings of Wax Future, how did you come together and create the group Wax Future?
“We all worked together and all started going to shows. After showing Keith some of the Hip hop production work that I had done on a ride to BassLights Miami, things just seemed to come together. We were pretty much like “why aren’t we attempting to make make music together?” and the rest is history.”
What three artists would you say inspire the sound of Wax Future?
“We love anyone that’s pushing tasteful soul drenched hip-hop and funk of the forward thinking variety. If I were to say it’d be Pretty Lights, Griz, and Gramatik, I really love the old outer space jazzy ish that Big Gigantic threw down on, those wild laser pentatonic scale runs and what have you. Sorry that wasn’t three, haha.”
You classify Wax Future’s sound as hip-hop electro soul; which of these singular genres would each of you relate back the most to?
“We always fall back on hip hop. It just seems to be at the core of what Wax Future is.”
You recently just released your newest EP, ‘Make Me Feel Again’ in early October. What were some key inspirations for the coming together of the EP?
“‘Make Me Feel Again’ is themed around the idea that music can make people feel again. So often we get wrapped up in our professions and our day to day hustle and we slowly start to be in autopilot mode, simply going through the daily routine. But music, and art in general, whether listening or creating, has the ability to break that cycle and help us rediscover our true selves over and over again. Each song on this record was meant to embody this idea in some way shape or form.”
You all were welcomed onto the bill for the Pretty Lights Live Episodic Tour in New Hampshire, how was your experience there with the new mini-festival series?
[Connor] “It was nothing short of a dream come true! The PL team was incredible to work with and they are so good at what they do, so for us, it was both a memorable moment and a learning experience. We even got to talk music with Derek for a bit and he was just a straight up nice dude. I think all 3 of us put a big check on our bucket list that day. It was awesome to say the least!”
2017 is right around the corner, what can we expect to see from Wax Future in the year to come?
“Cooking up another EP for 2017, we wanna crash into some new cities and hopefully have a nice expansive festival run! Also keep meeting all these amazing people like we did in 2016.”
We saw you all recently released a compilation of songs for donations and supplies for the happenings in Dakota with the DAPL; It truly is incredible seeing artists use their talents to give back like this. Is there anything you guys would like to share with our community regarding your donation campaign?
“We are deeply saddened by the destruction of our country’s natural resources and the complete and the utter disrespect for its indigenous people taking place in Dakota right now. We just wanted to help in anyway possible. We both strongly believe in the power that music has to promote positive change, so it just made sense for us to use our music as a way to help Standing Rock. If you are interested in donating, we will continue our donation campaign for the next 2 or 3 weeks and all proceeds will be donated to Standing Rock. A huge THANK YOU to all who have donated so far!”
[DONATE HERE: https://waxfuture.bandcamp.com/album/for-standing-rock]
So, I’ve never been to Philadelphia but for when I do go, where’s the best place to get a classic Philly Cheesesteak?
“The best Cheesesteak Philly has to offer is in Manayunk at Dalesandros!! Hands down!!”
Now that we’ve gotten to know the people behind this extremely talented group we are ecstatic to see their live debut in New Orleans for the NYE Day Parties Feat. Daily Bread, Mikey Thunder, Wax Future, Ageless, Mister b2b Antihero, Robbie Dude, and Dino Brawl at Hi Ho Lounge. Tickets are on sale here!
Photo Credit: Magdalena Photography
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