Wafia Interview

Wafia tours Australia with Cub Sport in April, and plays Groovin the Moo in late April and May.

Is that therapeutic for you in a way do you think, writing something with its potential effect on others in mind? Does that feed back onto yourself?

It’s only when I’m out of it that I actually think about it like that, when I’m writing I’m more processing my own thoughts, “how do I feel about this issue that I’m writing about? Have I had the healthiest outlook on it?” And it’s more therapeutic in that sense, in that I have to assess myself.

I think that’s evident in your music, it’s reflective, the listener doesn’t feel the immediate intensity of what you’re singing about, which gives them a certain interpretative distance.

Yeah, I also think I try to have, I think there are so many songs that, maybe sometimes don’t have great messages, because maybe they were written immediately, or it isn’t the healthiest point of view. I just try to approach everything in my personal growth, you know, I go to therapy and that really helps. I’m trying to have a healthier point of view in the songs that I’m writing, so it’s not… I mean, god knows what’ll come out of me and maybe it’s the song I need to write that day and I don’t know, I can’t answer to that, but I think so far I’ve just tried to have healthy points of view. Because I realise that these are songs that other people are singing.

Do you write impulsively? Do you get a creative impulse and think “okay I should write now?” Or do you put your thoughts down as they come, and then later go into the studio and write?

It’s more the latter for me. I don’t put pressure on myself to write, especially when I’m in Brisbane, because I know that there is always allocated time in the year for me to be writing. So I just try to live life during those times. Because otherwise what am I going to have to write about? So downtime is downtime and writing time is writing time, and I just approach it like that. Although there are moments in the day where they bleed into each other; I’m always collecting ideas and I’m always writing stuff down, even just this morning, I called to my sister, I was in the shower, I shouted: “come and bring my phone and hit record.” Just because I needed to capture it in that moment. I don’t know when I feel like I’ll need to revisit that, I’m just trying to collect as much as I can, during the day, and then when I go into sessions with allocated time to write, that’s when I kind of just… all the pieces just come together. I also find that I don’t really write when I’m going through something, in the height of it as much. I sit with it, process it, collect, and then write.

What do you find inspires you to write on a day-to-day basis?

It depends on the day. I keep a note folder in my phone, that has every thought that has ever crossed my mind in it, and I refer to that when I’m stuck. But I don’t really need to. Or if something comes to mind and I need to, I’m like “I had this thought before, how did I feel about it then?” But I think yeah, I think I just let the day speak for itself, especially when I’m making music.

“I also find that I don’t really write when I’m going through something, in the height of it as much. I sit with it, process it, collect, and then write.”

Reading some of your past interviews it’s easy to get the impression that one minute you were in your bedroom recording bedroom pop tunes and then the next Future Classic signed you out of nowhere. But in reality, as you just said, you were hustling, working these jobs to self-fund your projects, and it was a much more self-directed and gradual progression. How did you find going from a singer-songwriter style, where you were writing predominantly by yourself, to your current co-writing relationship with Ben Abraham?

Now I love it. I just love collaborating, and I feel like for me music has always been a shared experience. And so I love that it’s come back to that, and that I’m writing with people that I really like. My collaborators have changed a lot in the last little while, but I just love that, I love bouncing ideas off someone. I like that it’s not as selfish, I think I used to really idealise the idea of a Bon Iver type situation: going into the woods and just writing everything myself. Maybe that would be fun for a period in my life, but for the moment I think for the most part the best music is shared. The most fun I’ve had making music is with someone else because then you can really celebrate all of those million little victories that make up a song.

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