There is nothing like the summer. From the music festivals to the new releases, everything about the music scene screams fun and fresh. There’s nothing better than coming across a fresh-face on the music scene. WASI, comprised of Jess (bass/vox/synth), Cosmo (guitar/vox/synth), and Carlo (drums), is one of those extraordinary new bands gracing the scene. Despite being relatively new, the band seems to have it all dialed in, working on their debut EP and already causing a lot of buzz.
When it comes time to release a debut EP, many artists are a mixed bag of emotions, ranging from ecstatic to frantic. “I can’t tell if there’s any nervousness involved… it’s all just a bundle of excitement right now,” Cosmo claims. “Of course there’s the worry of no one liking what you have to put out, but, at the same time, we know that we’re doing this for ourselves and for the ones who care about WASI (not the ones that don’t) and that’s whom we have to stay true to.”
“We’re very excited about getting out the material we’ve been working on,” Carlo adds. “I think anyone who liked our songs so far is going to like the new stuff too.”
Putting their best foot forward, WASI is off to a great start before they’ve even entered the studio. Not only do they have the right attitude, but they’ve also picked the right producer, which goes a long way on a debut. Matt Squire, known for working with acts like All Time Low, Good Charlotte, Panic! At The Disco, Taking Back Sunday, The Used, Boys Like Girls, The Cab, and many more, will be behind WASI’s debut EP. “We’re on the same page on what we want to showcase through our new songs. We love the guys we’ve been working with as We Are / She Is (Pete Mills and Donal Finn), but we figured we might as well try something new with a new producer. Sometimes not changing anything up at all can be scarier than the changes themselves! But Matt was so cool. The minute we met him, we instantly clicked,” Cosmo says, explaining the choicee of Matt Squire. “We vibe on each other’s styles and personalities. He’s incredibly approachable and passionate with what WASI is about. He dug ‘And the World’ and shared with us how it made him feel – and hearing that from such a legendary producer was so rad.”
Treating every song like single, WASI produce tunes that are unlikely to become stale. With two singles out already, “And The World” and “Adolescents,” the group’s fan base is just getting larger by the minute. “Adolescents” has already received radio play throughout the country, as well as in Sweden and New Zealand.
When asked if she knew the song would blow up the way it has, Jess is quick to say: “Absolutely not! [Cosmo and I] write together with me on synth and her on guitar, then start to hum a melody as she writes lyrics on the spot that fit the melody. This is how she and I have always written together.
“In fact, when we started a band together in high school, neither of us knew how to play our instruments. Cosmo booked a show and it was on and we learned to play our instruments after. We pretty much learned how to play our instruments together while writing songs. It’s really cool because now that we have Carlo, we have a third head and perspective and he is a big help in the arrangement of the songs.”
“Yeah, we seriously had no idea people were going to like it as much as they did! We took it to the studio to record within a month of writing it. We didn’t have any plans for what we were going to do with it, but we liked we had and it meant something to us, so we rolled with our guts, which is so much of what WASI stands for; we’re not about selling our souls or molding to what other people want to see of us. We’re about doing it our way,” Cosmo adds.
Previously named We Are/She Is, WASI pulls from unity in individuality. Even when shortened, the name is memorable and thought provoking. “We’ll let you finish the start of the sentence “We are/ She is …” for yourself. But I hope you end it with the word ‘badass’! ” Carlo laughs. It’s the unapologetic boldness of the group as a collective that make WASI one to watch.
“Since the three of us have been playing together, it feels like the chemistry has taken off,” says Jess. “I’m most excited to start playing new songs in our shows. It is always fun to think of new ideas of how to make the live show better and I feel like the new songs will showcase that.”
Even if they haven’t finished picking all of the tracks that will make the cut on the EP, WASI know exactly what direction they’re heading to with their unique sound. “Our new music comes from an dark, angsty, yet optimstic, place…which is hard to grasp because our sound is so upbeat and happy,” Cosmo admits. “This particular EP is going to be a blend of the songs on our Double Single, ‘And the World’ and ‘Adolescents.’ We write songs built around a bunch of hooks and a beat that will keep you on your feet; they tell stories of what we go through emotionally and physically, from being dead broke eating PB & J sandwiches three times a day to rioting on the streets for something you believe in.”
One listen to WASI’s double single, and it’s doubtful that they will be singing about being broke and eating PB & Js for much longer. The true ability of an artist lies in their capability to connect with their audience; to move them. You can be as talented as you want, but if you can’t connect, it doesn’t mean much.
Along with their wonderful ability to connect to listeners via music, WASI can also connect on a personal level. Recently partnering with the Keep a Breast foundation, WASI strive to work with the foundation to promote awareness of methods of both the prevention and early detection of breast cancer. “It was a huge deal for me that Keep a Breast was interested in partnering with us,” expresses Jess. “I have been a huge fan for years and both my mom and grandmother were inflicted with breast cancer. In 2010, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, which I know isn’t breast, but cancer foundations have been a big part of my life for some years now.”
“We all have been directly or indirectly affected by cancer and therefore cancer awareness (be it breast cancer or any other) is very dear to us,” Carlo explains. “We believe that everybody should commit to causes greater than themselves in general, it’s the only way we can become better as a society.”
Cosmo agrees, stating: “Keep a Breast in so inspiring to us, and we share that vision of eradicating breast cancer. The first place to start is to spread the knowledge!”
As their career rapidly moves forward, WASI seem to be on the fast-track to success. With a self-proclaimed “do-it-yourself attitude” and an unbelievable amount of sheer dedication, there is no doubt that the next few years will be a whirlwind for the trio. When asked where they see themselves in five years, Carlo, seemingly the jokester of the group, deadpans, “Retired.”
“[J]ust joking,” he says. “We’d all be terribly bored not playing out music all the time! Hopefully, we’ll be headlining our own tours and have a few albums out by then.”
“I really want to tour, tour, tour, because the live show is such a huge part of what we do,” chimes in Jess.
Some tidbits from the Q&A:
PS: What advice would you give your younger self and why?
Cosmo: Trust your guts. If it doesn’t work, change things up and keep going. Stay smart, keep up a great attitude, and have fun.
Carlo: Don’t doubt yourself. There’s a lot of energy being wasted in doubt and insecurity. If you are dedicated and focused and humble enough, everything else will eventually fall in place.
Jess: You can play music if you really want to. Make a bunch of friends and as the quote goes, “Find what you love and let it kill you.” Don’t give up. It sounds really cheesy but we have seen great things happen for friends that stick with it and we have been encouraged by many people in the industry to do just that.
PS: Any last words?
Carlo: Just a quote from Karl Marx on his deathbed: “Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.”
Cosmo: Winter is Coming
Jess: Take everything with a grain of salt. If we took what everyone has ever told us seriously we would have given up a long time ago.