rBeatz Exclusive Interview with Wallace
Wallace recently reached the #1 spot on the music discovery site, HumanHuman, and we promoted the New Zealand neo-soul/jazz singer’s new single Diaspora a couple of weeks ago. What we loved about Wallace’s vibe is her cross-cultural genre mixing of African, Scottish, and Australian music influences. Her last single is a combination of genre’s including jazz, folk, blues, hip-hop and soul.
We had the pleasure of interviewing the young artist below. You know the drill – press “play” below and read the full interview to immerse yourself in the Wallace experience.
Where are you from and how has that shaped the musician you are today?
I’m from Wellington, NZ originally. It’s shaped me in a huge way. The calibre of musicians in NZ is crazy when you think about how small it is and because of the size of the scene you get the opportunity to play with heavy weights while you’re still learning the ropes.
Where did you record Diaspora?
I recorded Diaspora in Sydney near the beach at a great little studio that I’ve done all my tunes at so far.
What instruments did you play when you were younger?
I dabbled in piano a little bit, but I wish I’d taken it more seriously at the time.
Are there an instruments that you currently wish you COULD play?
I’d love to be able to play the drums. I’d want to be able to play really wonky ass beats like my drummer Tully Ryan. He’s such a boss!
What singing warmups do you do?
Haha I usually have a glass of whiskey… It’s only been in the last year that I’ve been starting to play bigger venues that have green rooms, and I haven’t quite got a good routine going yet. I always have a steady stream of tea flowing when I’m in the studio though and do a few cheeky lip trills before I record.
Do you produce as well or do you focus on singing and collab with producers?
I’d love to produce in the future but for the time being I’m loving collaborating with other artists.
Your story mentions “Her [Wallace’s] lyrics are often influenced by literature, and this can be seen as she weaves intricate wordplay to create poignant stories.” What is your favorite genre of story to tell?
I’m inspired by so many different genres. I’m writing a tune at the moment that’s about a character from a Dicken’s novel which I can’t wait to start performing. I love authors who are really descriptive and there’s no one that has created better characters than Dickens in my eyes.
Who has been one of your favorite producers to work with and why?
I always get really excited about whatever tune is freshest, so I’m gonna say Crooked Letter. He’s a absolute boss check out his solo project for sure! I love working with Godriguez too he’s incredible, pretty sure he’s got a cheeky release in the pipeline as well so keep an eye out for both of them.
Do you have a favorite brand or type of mic?
I’ve owned a Shure since the age of about 15 and use them at most gigs.
Do you have a genre of music that you haven’t sung yet that you’d like to dive into?
I think Indian classical singing is incredible I’d love to learn more about that.
What do you like to do when you’re simply hanging out – aside from music?
I LOVE playing boardgames I think it’s largely cause I’m an only child. I get a little too into it though… haha I’m such a chill person until I get into a competitive situation then I’m no body’s mate. I love a good dance too. Oooo and roller blading!
Who are your musical influences?
Ahhhh so many! Carmen McRae, Sarah Vaughn, Little Dragon, Erykah Badu, Anderson Paak, Prince, Flying Lotus, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Electric Wire Hustle are some of the main ones.
What is your biggest accomplishment to date?
That’s a tricky one… It was pretty damn surreal when Gilles Peterson played Negroni Eyes on his show!
What has been your top favorite venue to play and why?
I recently played at Northcote Social in Melb which had incredible sound! I still always love having a sing at The Dock in Redfern though. It’s a place where I played my songs for the first time and is owned by a good friend of mine. They’re created such a beautiful space there that has an amazing vibe.
What is your favorite color?
Duck egg blue (which actually gets a shout out in one of my new tunes)
What food do you eat the most?
Grapes lots of grapes!
What is your favorite social media platform and why?
I’m a huge Instagram fan. I’m a very visual person and I feel you get much more of an insight into whoever you’re following. I’m obsessed with watching dance videos, people sketching and Beyoncé.
What is next for Wallace?
So excited to be releasing my debut EP this year! I definitely want to book in some dates overseas too.
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