blackwave. – Vom Musik-Duo, das auch mal zockt

von am 20.07.2021

Über ihren Musikvideo-Dreh an einem menschenleeren Flughafen, ihre Erfahrungen mit deutschen Fans und ihre ganz persönlichen Musiktipps haben uns blackwave. im Interview erzählt. Das belgische Hip-Hop-Duo, bestehend aus Sänger und Produzent Willem Ardui und Rapper Jay Atohoun, haben Laura und Leonie für euch ausgequetscht.


Campus Crew: Recently, you released “recluse”. The funky sound reminded us of Curtis Mayfield. Was that on purpose?

Willem Ardui: I think it was not necessarily on purpose. We were kind of exploring more of that soulful sound mixed in with hip hop as we did in the past.

Jay Atohoun: It is the high-pitched falsetto that Curtis Mayfield uses a lot. It came as an influence from what we have been listening to recently.

“Recluse” means someone who likes being lonely or distant from others. Does this apply to someone of you?

Willem: Definitely. I think it has several meanings but in the period before covid, we were both in a place where we were shutting ourselves away from the world. It started from a very individual feeling and it went universal as we were working on the song which gave it a different layer.

Jay: It was like falling into a void of not knowing what to do and trying to figure out what we are supposed to do. It is certainly fitting to the feeling we had and the persons we were at the time after the album.

To the music video. Who came up with the idea of shooting at the airport?

Willem: The two directors came up with the idea. It was way easier to do it because it was empty. We just had to call them and be like “Yo, we want to do a video”. Normally, it would have been a problem with all the people in the airport but it was empty all day, so we could shoot there as long as we wanted to.

Jay: I think the feeling of being distanced and having no one around was just perfectly captured.

Is the song about someone’s childhood memories?

Jay: Indirectly. It felt very reminiscent of feelings and things that I went through with my dad. But it was not intended to be that way necessarily. It just ended up being like that which was kind of beautiful.

You were on tour through some cities in the Netherlands and Belgium. Do you know if you will play in Germany as well?

Jay: We are definitely looking onto it! I am not entirely sure if it would be planning to set up a show of ourselves there right now but we really want to do it.

Willem: Yeah, we feel the love coming from Germany. Especially regarding the streams: Germany is the third biggest listener next to Belgium, our home country, and the Netherlands. I can remember one time we played in Berlin where people did not know us but went crazy to our music. I feel like it is going to be a really good energy once we come.

Jay: Remember my voice being completely gone during the concert? But people enjoyed it so much regardless of me not being able to sing. That was cool!

Talking of Corona. Before the pandemic you had a good live reputation. How excited are you to go back on stage?

Willem: Super excited! We have been rehearsing a lot the past weeks. There is a lot of new music that we are going to play. We did not have a lot of time to prepare, and we have our first gig in a month. I think it is going to be amazing once we hit the stage again.

Jay: I do feel like the first few concerts are going to be a bit stressful to get back into it or get used to performing again, but we give the best of ourselves.

Was it difficult to produce new music during the lockdowns?

Jay: There has been peaks and valleys. In the beginning, we still had a lot of inspiration because we just came back from Los Angeles and made so much music there. Then it got kind of halted because we were not able to jump into studios together. We continued at home for a little bit but that faded away, so we sat still for a few months.

Your latest album “ARE WE STILL DREAMING?” includes 17 tracks. That is a lot. Is there a reason why this album is relatively large?

Willem: This album is almost a compilation of a few years of making music. There are tracks that are quite old and tracks that were super new when we released it. For the next projects we are looking to keep it more stripped-down.

How do you know WESLEYFRANKLIN, Winston Surfshirt or Konteks?

Willem: Most of the collaborations are made through the Internet. We have not met these three artists in real life, so it is just like sending messages. It can go really fast! I remember sending the beat and the concept on an evening to WESLEYFRANKLIN and the next day we had everything from him, so it was on one day he wrote and recorded everything.

The car on the cover is a Cadillac and in the video of “BIG Dreams” you drive a Cadillac as well. Is it like an easter egg or are you only passionate about Cadillacs?

Willem: Jay does not have his driver’s licence, I do not have a car, so we are not passionate about cars. The Cadillac is kind of a reference to one of our favourite artists, OutKast, and to the hip hop culture in general, but also a metaphor for our influences and our biggest dreams.

Which one of you two got the idea of creating “blackwave. – The Game”?

Jay: I think it came from our manager. He once showed us a music video that was based on this 8-bit artwork from the games back in the days and then our inspiration started. And it would just be cool to have our own game.

Who is better?

Jay: I got the high score!

Willem: We had a pop-up store where we played a little concert, and the fans could come and play the game. People were playing the arcade nonstop, and I think Jay got the highest score ever like almost unbeatable that day and I do not think anyone ever beat it since then.

Willem, in the music video of “Elusive”, you played the violin. Do you play other instruments as well?

Willem: I play most of the instruments on the tracks we make like the guitar, bass, a little bit of drums and a little bit of keys. I am not the best at all of them but I am good enough to make music with it. In a life context I like to keep it with the singing and let the band do their thing.

Talking of your music repertoire: Which song is your personal favourite and why?

Jay: I would not know for myself. Recently, I liked “Bittersweet Baby” a lot but I feel like “recluse” is in some way overtaking that. They are sharing the top spot right now.

Willem: It is always the songs that are coming up that are our favourites. Once we have released a new song it’s like “OK I’m over this, onto the next one”.

Just out of curiosity. Do you have any song recommendations for us?

Jay: I really like “telepatía” from Kali Uchis. And “Could Heaven Ever Be Like This” by Idris Muhammad is actually more of a favourite than the other one.

What can we expect from you in the next months? Will there be an EP?

Willem: We are working on a lot of stuff! The next thing that is coming up is probably another single. We also have some really cool collaborations and we are working on an album but it’s not finished yet.

Jay: There is a lot of music lined up for sure.

Thanks for the interview.



Vorschaubild: © Virgin Music



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