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Video Premiere & Interview: Wantigga – Slowly feat. Merryn Jeann

Today at LAMP we’re pleased to bring you something new and different from our regularly scheduled programming. In addition to our usual track of the day feature, we’re also excited to bring you a music video premiere and interview straight from the artist. The track is called “Slowly” feat. Merryn Jeann and it comes to us by way of the prolific producer, DJ, and multi-instrumentalist Wantigga. A staple of The Netherlands’ vibrant music scene, Wantigga has garnered international notoriety with co-signs from the likes of Soulection, Red Bull, Studio Koto, and Roche Musique where he has delivered his latest project “Suddenly Everything.” The E.P. is a stirring and eclectic sampling of Wantigga’s innovative sound, and draws on elements from the beat scene, house, hip hop, soul, and funk.

“Slowly” comes in as the E.P.’s final track and serves as a soulful and moving closer to the project. Merryn Jeann’s layered vocals create an emotive choir of texture that serves as a powerful juxtaposition to Wantigga’s bombastic drum programing and composition. In the music video, the simulated choir of layered vocals is replaced with a real one, as Merryn Jeann delivers a soulful and cathartic acoustic performance of “Slowly” alongside the Cape Byron Steiner School Choir.

In addition to the video, we were lucky enough to be able to interview Wantigga about his creative process, Amsterdam’s colorful music scene, signing to Roche Musique, and more. So check out Wantigga’s brand new video for “Slowly” and keep reading for his interview with our very own Damon Steele. “Slowly” and the entire “Suddenly Everything” E.P. is available now on all digital platforms courtesy of Roche Musique.

Damon Steele: Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with us. First off congratulations on the new EP “Suddenly Everything,” the whole project has been on repeat on my Spotify since it came out. The EP has such a unique and eclectic sound to it, what was your inspiration for creating this EP and what were you trying to communicate through the sound of the project?

Wantigga: Thank you so much! When I was working on this EP, I was touring a lot and listened to a lot of music to get inspiration from. I was playing mostly club music and felt the need to create some deeper tunes in my downtime. I wanted to let go of what people might expect and what dominated the club scene and just started creating what I love. “Suddenly Everything” is about moments where things like this finally make sense.

DS: You have some amazing vocal features on the EP. Can you tell me a little about how those collaborations came to fruition and what that process looked liked?

Wantigga: Every collaboration had another story. The song “Slowly” with Merryn Jeann came to be in Berlin where we met each other. I had the idea to create a beat using only her vocals as the melody and she layed down a harmony. From there I started composing the beat and Merryn started writing. We recorded the whole track that afternoon.

DS: Another artist that is featured on your EP who we also follow closely is Jengi. Can you tell us a little bit about working with him and how you two got to know each other?

Wantigga: Man, I love Jengi. I met him a couple of years ago playing the same parties and ended up at the same artist agency. He’s a super talented, young guy and he’s a good drinking buddy. We’ve been working on other tracks in the past (Les demoiselles d’Avignon EP, Friday) and I heard his midas touch on this song. So we’ve hooked up and worked on the production together at my studio.

DS: This EP is your second official release on Roche Musique. Can you tell us what it’s like to work with them and how it feels to be in the company of such amazing artists on your label?

Wantigga: I’m super honored to be part of that family. Roche is the home of some amazing artists and their creative vision has been inspiring to me for years. I feel like I’m a bit apart from the other artists there musically but I think we all respect each others vision and support our ideas. There’s a lot of love in Paris.

DS: Another prolific group that you are a part of is Studio Koto (formerly KLEAR Amsterdam). Can you tell us a little bit more about Studio Koto, and your involvement with them?

Wantigga: Studio Koto is a group of innovative and creative people and throws the best parties in Amsterdam. They were the first to bring Kaytranada to the Netherlands alongside many others and give a stage to upcoming Future Beat producers. I joined Studio Koto about three years ago and I never felt more at home. I could finally play the music I loved for likeminded people. They turn the f*ck up. They’re family.

DS: In your music you have such a unique and intricate sense of rhythm and syncopation in your beats. What kind of influences did you have that helped you get to this place?

Wantigga: That’s a dope compliment haha, thanks! Genius beatsmith’s like J Dilla, Flying Lotus, Hudson Mohawke, Pharrell, Pomo, Kaytranada and more taught me how the beat should hit. I also taught myself how to play the drums a little.

DS: The Netherlands as a whole seems to be consistently producing great artists like yourself, Jarreau Vandal, Moods, Jaël, Jengi, The Flexican, Kraak & Smaak, and others who have taken a distinctively soulful, and funky approach to creating electronic music. What has it been like for you coming up as a producer in this scene and what do you think it is about the scene in the Netherlands that has contributed to the sound?

Wantigga: The Netherlands has always been a melting pot of many different cultures. In the party scene you can go to every kind of party as you like. Every genre, every night. I never thought that was so special until I started travelling in Asia and saw cities with over 10 millions people and just a handful of clubs that played modern music. We’re blessed and open to new styles of music. Dutch DJ’s are considered some of the best in the world and those guys inspire me to get better every time.

DS: You recently recorded a live performance at Red Bull Studios Amsterdam with Jaël for an amazing track called “Take You There.” Can you tell me a little bit about what that experience was like and what went in to creating that live performance?

Wantigga: Jaël is also a good friend of mine. We’ve been jamming together and both got the invitation from Red Bull to do a session separately. It just made sense to do this together, so we got together in Amsterdam and started writing a song to perform at Red Bull Studios. Doing the actual session was a lot of hassle with all the technological stuff, but the studio had learned from previous sessions with masterminds like FKJ so we figured it out, using Ableton as our main looping station. The performance had to be flawless, so we did the session until we had it right. There’s good news if you liked this one: another live session is coming soon.

DS: Lastly, do you have any plans to bring a live performance like that to the stage here in the U.S. anytime soon?

Wantigga: I would very much love to. There are no plans but me and Jaël had been talking about it.

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