If that nice face with a deep look reminds you of something, well, you have surely seen him at Montreal Jazz Festival, during a performance he gave at Télé-Quebec’s program Belle et Bum, or even watched one of his clips on TV5. One who knows well Québec’s Hip-Hop is already aware that artist Waahli AKA Wyzah has dropped his latest album, called Soap Box, last September. This album is a tribute to his precious Haitian roots, passed down by his parents coming from Haiti to settle in Montreal. If January overshadows your mental health, I offer you this powerful prescription stained with Creole and Latin notes, a groovy that makes you want to dance and the soul that will allow you to break free. His lyrics will intrigue you, as it is one of Hip-Hop’s goals to use musical rhythm to convey its messages.
His songs’ lyrics were born during the pandemic. A time where professional and personal questionings were moved. An introspection and observations stained with sensitivity that lead him to hosting what comes to him and learn to live for himself; for a man from a gang, it is a big deal, but he accepted the challenge. The release of his album becomes his motivation and his goal. From afar, he engages in collaborations with other artists with whom he would like to raise his voice. The one who still is a member of Montreal’s mythical hip-hop group, Nomadic Massive, humbly confesses that his solo album required a lot more work than a group album. Nonetheless, he states that he has learnt a lot and it adds to the richness of his work. This opportunity allowed him to create his album at his own pace and to discover several aspects from music styles that touch and inspire him. Solo creation is more intuitive, and he loves this pace. He nevertheless doesn’t hesitate to share that his work among the group is a richness amplified by what each member has to offer. Working with numerous artists also allows one to develop his own personality, it is necessary to negotiate and get along, communication is at heart of creation. No way of abandoning the gang!
Even if he used to feel some difficulty to lay himself bare and let his vulnerability come up, he is now ready to share more, he finds that there is a beauty that comes from fragility and that it is inspiring. As a matter of fact, he wants to take part in conversations and reunions that tackle arts accessibility as an artist. Today more than ever, it would be noble to grant art with the attention it deserves so its future on the long term can be bright. So that artists can live from their art. So that Quebecers can continue savoring the local artistic richness.
Credit photo: Bruno Destombes
Waahli is a curious and observing human. His musical angle of expression is artistically stained with social issues that he doesn’t fear digging up to bring them to the light. His path is rich in various experiences, he doesn’t hesitate to share it with youngsters, by offering them writing workshops at school. These workshops are offered to give them the tools they need to fly on their own. In 2019, him who well knows youngsters offers his song entitled Fly life to drama comedy Jeune Juliette, that tackles the take of a stance facing intimidation. After this collaboration, he receives a call from Quebec director Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette so he can collaborate and to the creation of the motion picture Chien Blanc’s original music. The theme of racism taking a central place in the movie, he feels tickled and gratefully accepts this new project. Through his music, the road always leads to give a meaning to his own values and his artistic implications.
To conclude, what can we wish to this artist driven by humanity and sincerity? Spontaneously, he confesses that he wants to move more, take time with his daughter, he wants to be there for the ones that surround him through highs and low, continue to create and collaborate with others. Waahli, may this new year be up to your personal and professional aspirations. On our side, we wish ourselves to hear your new album Soap Box loudly and that its rhythm sends us shivers down to the spine. And why not get tickets for his performance to be held on January 19 at Le Studio TD located at 305 Sainte-Catherine Street West in Montreal?
Coproduced by Boogát
Photo by @elcotola
Photo by @16pads
P.S. Waahli is also an entrepreneur and an experienced creator, if you want to offer 100% natural gifts made in Montreal, meet us on his soap shop Wyzah Musk.
Credit cover: Bruno Destombes