Interviews

WizTheMc: “I just want to make music that’ll live forever”

WizTheMc makes music anyone can love, regardless of their background, age, or hometown. And that’s the way he likes it.

Born in South Africa, raised in Germany, and now based in Toronto, the music of WizTheMc isn’t defined by any place, era, or style. According to the artist himself, he doesn’t “know much about music history or know about genres I might be blending or combining”, instead relying on a precise musical instinct to make his tunes.

Initially rapping in German “for a short while” then making the transition to English, WizTheMC has spent five years taking his project to the place it is now: a cool area between rap, disco, and sunny indie rock. Yet what defines it is less a genre and more a feeling – his music is infectious and bright-eyed, made to be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of their own tastes.

“Going by what I like”, he tells us, has taken him this far. Now hooked into the 10 Projects (Internet Money, Trippie Redd, Aitch) mainframe and with surefire hit For a Minute in the back pocket, WizTheMc’s train ain’t stopping anytime soon.

We recently sat down with WizTheMc over video chat, where he was every bit as positive and electrifying as the songs on his new EP, What About Now

Image: ‘What About Now’ EP cover

Speaking about his musical beginnings, WizTheMc shared:

“I think my musical path started through rap and very technical stuff, freestyling a lot so my flow would get good and I’d lose my accent, and so a lot was writing bars and writing sick songs. Then over the past year I’ve been more in just the musical aspect.”

“It’s not that rap has become boring for me, but chasing cooler and cooler rhymes or rhyme schemes or punchlines does get old in my eyes. I want to expand my musical horizons day by day.”

The latest version of the WizTheMc process – an unconventional, instinct-focused (“it’s from everywhere and nowhere, I literally go by ear when I make music”) approach to songwriting – has culminated in the What About Now EP, which dropped last Friday. End-to-end it’s packed with bars that twist into unexpected shapes, delivered with an energy in the same zone as Chance the Rapper’s early releases.

Produced in part by WizTheMc himself and partly by his two regular producers, Hugo Palka and Jeff Hazin, What About Now is hard to dislike. The guitar lines are polished and beaming, the beats keep things moving, and every moment is catchier than the next.

Sounds are picked without apprehension for their context; guitars for instance will snap between Nile Rodgers, Ezra Koenig, and a plucked salsa melody, each complimenting the greater picture as handily as the next.

“How I’ve been painting the picture for myself,” WizTheMc began to explain, when asked if this broad appeal was an outright goal of his, or rather part of that greater instinct driving his choices.

“… I would point to me being lucky about what times I’m in, that what my music taste and what is easy or acceptable to listen to for the world at the moment, those two things align. I think that’s pure luck!”

“What’s not luck is my five years of preparation to come to the point that, when the world is ready and I am ready, is that it will be accepted. So it’s a mix of me just wanting to explore and make the best music I can, and it’s the world where it’s at that rap listeners can listen to sing-y hooks. I don’t remember living through it, but when rappers started to sing people would be like ‘stop that’, or stop even having people on the song who sing a hook. We want pure rap, you know?”

“So I feel the listeners are beyond that idea and are ready for – music! I feel like people just want to get back to real band music, and that’s what I’m aiming towards. I just want to make music that’ll live forever, it doesn’t matter what I say or how I say it, I just want it to slice through times and history. That’s it.”

 

What About Now is out now via 10K Projects/Homemade Projects/Caroline Australia. Stream the EP here.