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Q & A: WCB

In similar ilk to Idiio, WCB creates hyper stylised and intimate music—soaked in electronics with a focus on soulful vocals, this young artist is on the precipice of something ingenious. Having premiered his track and video last month, WCB is now gearing to launch the track next month at Sydney’s infamous Oxford Art Factory. AAA Backstage chatted to WCB over email about Control‘s video clip, its rather raunchy themes and how WCB translates this to the live stage.

Your music seems to pair well with visual and filmed components. Do you enjoy exploring all avenues of people hearing your music—be it visual or audio?

Absolutely! I’m obsessed with creating the world in which my music can live. I think very visually as I’m writing; often messaging my manager with concepts late at night, probably bugs her but she doesn’t let on. For me it is important to tick all the boxes when I am making music; How are you listening to it? What is your emotive or physical response and what does it look like? I would put videos out all the time if I had the resources!

With music this delicate and fragile, what’s the most important element in conveying emotion?

I think honesty is the most important element, people can tell when you are lying or forced. Because I use my voice a lot, I quickly learnt how telling it is if you are pushing an emotion that isn’t coming naturally, especially when you are recording. Live tends to be easier because you do it once so you are in the moment but often I am recording 10-20 harmonies of the same part so you have to get yourself there without much provocation. Secondly, space; I think giving music space is important to let people breathe and feel what they’re are feeling as they are hearing it.

How much of yourself do you convey through your music?

Haha that’s a loaded question. I would say all of myself, often I speak more openly through music that I am writing.

Control’s film clip is a masterful piece of art. Tell us how it came to be and your involvement with it?

Thank you! Well after the initial concept was fully realised I pretty much styled and sourced everything along with my manager and the help of the awesome women at BabyLikestoPony. The clip was shot in my shed in my backyard with minimal lighting and make up by the supremely talented Helen Tuck. I am very lucky to know some incredibly talented people like actress Gen Aitken and Leda Petit who helped make the concept come to life.

I wanted the video to feel empowering for women and, in quite a removed way, I wanted me to essentially be a physical representation of the patriarchy, without leaning into the idea that it is getting beaten down, I want it to get beaten down. It also has sexual undertones of course because taking the song at face value that is what it is about, the toxic nature of desire and often your lack of control surrounding those feelings.

Was this film clip pre-envisioned when you wrote Control?

I had the idea for the clip toward the end of writing it, which kind of inspired the last verse into the end which is dope because it feels as though they are naturally linked.

How do you go performing these claustrophobic and all-encompassing tracks in a live setting?

To be honest, I love performing, I think it is such a gift to be able to give people your songs in a completely different way to how they have heard them before. Also I can play with how I am delivering them, which is always fun.

Would you say you’re a different artist in studio than on stage?

I think the environment automatically lends to the experience being really different. In the studio, I have my dog at my feet and coffee (or whiskey) and am often struck with bouts of writer’s block or feeling inadequate when trying to get what I hear in my head out and doing it justice, and because I am a sucker for punishment I kinda like that.   Onstage, honestly, it’s pretty freeing—I can take people somewhere and I can go with them. I’m very lucky.

How organically is your songwriting process—being an electronic music influenced artist?

Well it feels pretty organic to me as I haven’t known any other way. I play most things in to Ableton so I feel like I have a hand in everything. Also I use my voice often as a synth on top of other instruments so it kinda all feels like.

WCB Live Dates

Oxford Art Factory, Sydney

Written by Jake Wilton