Belgian singer/songwriter WAYI revealed her debut EP “Love in Progress” on March 27th.
Produced by James Lowland, the project portrays self-reflection, love and WAYI’s personal life experiences. “Love in Progress is about accepting feelings, letting go of some and loving myself more,” says WAYI.
The soul/r&b EP is introducing WAYI as a heartfelt artist who fully embraces her emotions through soulful records.
Love in Progress is now available on major streaming platforms.
Introduce yourself - where are you from?
My name is WAYI. I spent my entire life living in Antwerp, Belgium. My roots lay in DR Congo.
What's your story?
My story… I’m a simple girl that sings and happens to love it as well! I write songs to understand my feelings, to share with other people what I think, how I feel, how others feel. I like to let people know that if they ever feel confused or insecure, it’s okay. They are not the only ones feeling this way.
Could you describe us your childhood a little bit? Any favorite childhood memories?
I grew up as middle child of 5: 3 brothers, and one sister. I think my favorite childhood memories are those long-distance family trips. You can already imagine 4 kids in the car (my youngest brother was not yet born). We played games in the car, sang songs together, told each other stories and everyone had to guess if it’s a true story or not,…
What did you grow up listening to?
Lots of Gospel, RnB, Soul and HipHop music with artists such as Whitney Houston, Nina Simone, Alicia Keys, Hillsong, J. Dilla.. but I also grew up with lots of French artists/rappers like Diam’s, Sinik, Sheryfa Luna. Gospel because my parents loved listening to it in the car, and the love for Hiphop, RnB, Soul came from my brothers.
Growing up, what were your favorite records to sing along to?
Alicia Keys – “No One”, “If I Ain’t Got You”, “A Woman’s Worth”… and literally her entire Songs In A Minor album she released 18 years ago.
When did you realize you could sing?
Every year at school, we had a Christmas event where every class had to sing a different song. While rehearsing with the teacher, I started singing (a little modest, in the back) along with my classmates. Suddenly there were kids looking at me saying “You have a nice voice?!”. That’s when I realized “Okay, my voice isn’t like everybody else’s voice”.
When did you decide to pursue music as a career?
For years I spent my days behind the school desks daydreaming about my music until 2 years ago. So after graduating from university, I dived into it and started making singing videos on my social media and writing my own songs.
You recently released your debut EP Love in Progress. What's the story behind this EP?
In the period I wrote my songs, I was in a phase where I started self-reflection. I thought about my life experiences I’ve had in the past and what things I could do to be a better me. And to understand my feelings, I started writing things down (because my thoughts can get messy sometimes). Love in Progress is about accepting feelings, letting go of some and loving myself more.
When did you start working on this project?
The first song I wrote for my EP Love in Progress was “Temporary”. I wrote it about a year ago. I let my team hear the song and they loved it. We immediately started working on other songs.
You worked with James Lowland on this project. How was it like to work with him?
Really cool. James is a talented producer who really knows who he is and what he wants. Unlike me, he doesn’t get tired after hoouurs and days of working in the studio. He’s a real working machine!
What was your favorite part about making this EP?
Finishing the EP lol! Really actually… Listening to the finishing touches, vibing to every song in the studio, my sofa, my car, room.
What made you to name your EP Love in Progress?
My EP is a rollercoaster of emotions: some are guilt, some are jealousy, and others are feeling butterflies. As I was reflecting on my life experiences, I learnt to accept every emotion I had. And that’s why I named it Love in Progress because I’m loving the progress in getting to know myself and also the progress in my music career.
How does it feel like to release your first EP?
Amazing! I always dreamed of releasing my own music and now I have my own EP.
What would be your definition of Love?
Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not change you into a person you aren’t, love upgrades you.
What do you love the most about songwriting?
I can express what I feel.
What does singing make you feel?
I can express what I have expressed in my lyrics. It feels free.
As an artist, what do you want to accomplish?
I want to have sold out shows all over the world! I’d like to write songs for other great artists as well as perform with many artists; a dream would be performing with Alicia Keys and writing songs with Sia. I would definitely want people to remember me as a great artist who always stayed true to her own identity.
In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?
If everyone would start embracing their ‘imperfections’ instead of comparing themselves to others.
What biggest lessons have you learnt as a human being and as an artist?
To always stay humble, no matter what happens. And to enjoy every moment in your life ‘cause you only live once !
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