Courtesy Photo – The.WAV, “WAAR”
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 and art collective The.WAV.
“In a climate where hostility and negativity is prevalent, we feel our vibe is special,” The.WAV says in a joint emailed statement. “We encourage people to be themselves and spread love. It’s a wave that I think people are gravitating to more these days, and our goal is to keep that same energy going.”
The.WAV is well-known for its LA event series AfroHaus, and now, it introduces its 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.
“We were watching a documentary about the Syrian conflict, and we were devastated seeing the attacks on children,” The.WAV says. “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.”
Dez Jetson, Didas and A. Walker gave birth to the track’s hard-edged groove. It’s a head-nodder, to be sure, but it’s laced with the bite of conflict, like 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 talks accepting and “settling” into the situation illustrates the setting, Tarik comes off with that first reaction of aggression, and Kelly brings it all back to self-empowerment. Utimately, 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 get people of color and all walks of life thinking about our shared African rootsas 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 attention and 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.”
“WAAR” was a group effort for The.WAV and beyond. A lot of thoughtful people put great care into the video, which you can check in full below. “WAAR” is out now on Dudley Road Records.