By: Shayla Lee
Whether you love pop punk or are looking for something a bit different, WASI’s quirky blend of underground hip hop, bubblegum pop, electronic, and rock should be on your radar. In June the LA-based band released their album “Riot Pop”, an album that is a liberating work of art filled with punchy lyrics, driving beats, and heavy synths. We chatted with WASI about “Riot Pop,” how they take care of their mental health, and what else they have in store for 2019.
Femme Riot: To people unfamiliar with your music, how would you describe WASI to them?
WASI: We’d call it DGAF pop music. We love hooks and weird beats and singalong melodies, but bring a punk mentality to it.
Where do you draw inspiration for your music? Who are some of your musical influences?
Inherently, a big influence to our music are our idols The Clash, MIA, K.Flay, etc. We draw inspiration from life. We try to live it to fullest, which includes all the highs and lows, and let that drive the writing. We draw inspiration from the moments of living that charge us.
How do you approach creating music? Is it the same process each time or does it vary depending on the situation?
Our approach is pretty similar every time. It always starts with an inspiration – a feeling or a melody that hits. It’s stream of consciousness writing from there. We try not to overthink it because overthinking kills our vibe. We aim to just let it all flow.
Our best songs come when we don’t have to think about it. It’s honest, authentic and shows a part of ourselves that we only know how to communicate through music.
Congratulations on the release of “Riot Pop”! Can you tell us more about this album and the process behind it?
Thank you! This album is incredibly important to us. It shows our most truest selves. Alot of the songs were recorded in our bedroom (vocals literally in the closet) so thee are alot of honest and real moments of ourselves in these songs.
This album is about fighting the war in our heads while trying to win the war in real life. It all feels so chaotic at times, but optimism and hope through it all keeps us alive.
Favorite lyric from “Riot Pop”?
Merilou – “quiet is getting loud, noises keep me sane in the crowd. I’m trying to find a way out”
Jessie – the whole second verse of Whatchacallit:
“I’m fragile its beaten me
The suicidal fantasies
I’m ok for today
But everything is out of place
Its how i learn to survive but if you look in my eyes you see that i day every night, every night
And i question why with my head in the sky”
Mental health is something that is really important to us at Femme Riot and we love hearing about how others maintain balance in their lives. As busy musicians, what practices do you implement to ensure your health and well-being are taken care of?
It’s important for us as well! When we tour, we try to laugh as much as possible. Smile and be present in the moment. It keeps the gratitude up while we hustle and keeps you open to the possibilities of life. We also make time to exercise, be it just doing some stretches on our own or trying to make it to a local gym.
When we’re not touring, self-care is a priority. Exercise, yoga and being around a supportive community are vital for us. And great coffee!
Sadly, women in the music industry often do not receive the recognition they deserve whether it be festival bookings, radio plays, or even just getting the same opportunities as their male counterparts do. What challenges have you experienced as women in the music industry? Do you have any tips for other women going through similar issues? As a community how do we work towards a more inclusive industry for everyone?
It is unfortunate this is an issue even today, while we do understand things have come a long way since the folks before us fought to be a little closer to equality. The main thing we see is a lack of respect of our knowledge and experience that we have in the business. We get questioned about our capabilities in a way that we don’t see men be questioned. One of the most important aspects of learning and growth for all of us is education. When I (Jessie) am in a position to have a conversation with someone about these inequalities, I am happy to do so. As a community we have to keep standing up for those who are disenfranchised and speak up when we see something happening. We all should work toward a safer space for everyone.
What else do you have in store for 2019?
Our goal is to hit the US again before the end of the year! We’re also working on some new electronic songs and remixes. 🙂
What songs are currently listening to?
While we’ve been on tour, 90s bop has been a theme and we’ve been loving it! Really love songs that are timeless and still resonate no matter the decade.
Anything we haven’t asked that you want to add?
Be yourself! Love yourself and follow your instinct. Live life and keep moving forward!