Artist Spotlight: Lagoon Wavey
With his forthcoming EP on the way, musician Lagoon Wavey is no stranger when it comes to weaving his Bajan heritage within his music. With his 2021 project The Shore displaying his impressive vocal range as well as effortlessly blending sounds ranging from electronic to R&B to Reggaeton, Lagoon Wavey - or Sir Wavey as he’s more known back home - is not your average studio artist. Steadily on the rise and solidifying his musical journey in Barbados as well as in the UK, Lagoon Wavey’s next body of work is his most cherished yet.
From getting a co-sign from DJ and radio host Jamz Supernova to exploring Drum and Bass with his latest single, I sat down with Lagoon Wavey to discuss his artistry, as well as how he first started out, his favourite artists and how he’s paving his way within the music industry.
When did you first decide music was for you?
When I didn't want to do anything else. It was literally a process of elimination; I was in school, and I was doing a lot of different subjects, mainly the sciences because I'm quite good at math as well, so I was looking to do something in terms of like, computer technology or maybe even some pharmaceutical courses or maybe even going to medicine… And then I realised I would absolutely hate that. So, I just did music. I've been doing music over everything, and I would have phases where I would be like “Oh you know I could be engineer, oh you know I could do this” but I'd always be doing music. Once I put trust in myself that even though from Barbados, it doesn't mean that I can’t be an artist. There’s a stigma around here because of the fact that only Rihanna has really done anything massive in the music scene in Barbados outside of Calypso and Soca so I was obviously doubting myself like “I'm not really sure if I can do that” but overtime I was like you know, what if? If I don't try it, I will never be satisfied with my life so yeah so that's what this is. And it's been going pretty well.
So, would you say someone like Rihanna is a big inspiration for you rather than just a musician to come out of Barbados?
Yes! She's is one of my biggest inspirations. She’s one of the only people I look up to as a singer and you know she's not even like a medium artist or a niche singer, she’s Rihanna. No-one doesn't know who that is. So yeah, she definitely gives me confidence, she’s definitely an inspiration for me.
As a Native from Barbados, how do you try to incorporate your heritage into your music? If so, how?
I guess the best way that I can express it is in RnB or soul, and you know my style of how I use instrumentals or maybe my delivery is a little bit different, maybe the way that I sing is a bit different. I don't hide my accent, so I guess that’s a part of it. I'd say with my instrumentation, I try to represent with a little bit of steel pan and island sounds within it to give it more of a bounce in certain songs. Some other songs I just feel like being in my feelings, so that's just what I'll do. I'd say yeah, I do.
With your 2021 project The Shore, it got a co-sign from Jamz Supernova who is a big radio DJ and personality in the UK! How was it to be recognised by her for your music?
I was just like “oh okay, cool!” I didn't really know what to say and I still don't know what to say when people are like “Oh, you know this person likes your music?” I'm like “Oh, okay!” I was super happy because she spun my songs… that was really good. It's a good feeling! This year I'm hoping that everyone that was following me or has been keeping their eye on me is still looking because it's about to get crazy.
Would you say that you have a lot of listeners in the US?
I’m not sure, when I check the numbers, the majority are in the UK. The islands as well but I do have some listeners in the US when I check stats and numbers, I have a couple thousand people in the US.
I would have thought that you would have had lots of listeners in the US and getting noticed by Jamz Supernova was almost like your break into the UK. I would say it’s the opposite for me. I've been more involved in the UK scene than the US scene.
Do you come to the UK often then?
I wouldn’t say often, but it's probably the most travelled to place I've been to. I’ve been to the UK five times now, a lot of times when I was a kid. My most recent time when I travelled there was maybe September last year for a month or two, and it was good! I got work a lot of work done. I finished the project that I'm working on that’s going to release this year, so, I'd say it was a successful trip. That was last time I was in the UK, but I haven't travelled to the US in like 10 years.
Your music has many different blends such as R&B and Reggaeton but your most recent single ‘Universe’ features Drum and Bass, is this something you want to explore further?
I'm being honest with you; I love Drum and Bass. My label came to me and was like “Hey do you want do a Drum and Bass song?” and I was like “You know what… Yeah! Sure!” Redeyes sent a couple beats and that was the one that I really liked so I just did some lines over it. It’s a great vibe and I just thought it would be cool to do it. Some people were asking me if I was transferring to Drum and Bass and I was like “No, guys it’s just one song.”
It’s good to have some versatility though, isn’t it? Considering how big Drum and Bass is becoming right now because of artists like Pinkpantheress, it’s very in tune with what’s popular right now as well. But yours is more liquid Drum and Bass so it’s not too intense either.
I enjoyed that song, it’s pretty good! I don’t know how much Drum and Bass I’ll be doing in my career, but for a first song it’s pretty good.
Leaning into the beginnings of when you first started to make music, who would you say you’re most influenced by?
Why The Weeknd?
Because he’s my favourite artist of all time, he’s the best artist and he’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened.
What did you think of Dawn FM?
It’s a classic! It’s not my favourite Weeknd album but it’s kind of weird, especially the track ‘Gasoline’ when it started, I didn’t know what was going on at all but that’s the reason why I like him so much because not a lot of artists have that drive to do things completely different because it’s not ‘safe’. If you listen to 2012 The Weeknd, like if you listen to Trilogy and then listen to Dawn FM it’s just not the same artist, none of the songs even sound slightly similar. Now it’s just 80s Synthpop, I don’t even like 80s Synthpop but I love that! He’s been a big inspiration for me all my life even since I was a little kid, which is terrible for me because I shouldn’t have been listening to his music, but it doesn’t matter, I was doing it anyway. [laughs] I was like “Wow this guy is so cool, his hair looks so cool, I want to be like this guy!” and I just never bothered because he kept evolving. I wouldn’t say that I actively take musical attributes from his new stuff because like I said, I’m not a huge fan of making Synthpop music, but I can appreciate it though because it’s really, really good. That’s why I would say I am influenced by The Weeknd.
What other artists would you say heavily influence you?
Frank Ocean is also a massive influence that I actively take inspiration from. Frank’s music is so interesting and so layered that I’m just blown away whenever he releases something. I still play Blonde and Channel Orange every day. I’m also really inspired by the new FKA Twigs album CAPRISONGS, it’s really good. I was so shocked that I was like “Wow, this is incredible!”. I would also say Moses Sumney, he’s underground and not super well known but I take inspiration from him as well and also Daniel Caesar.
What have you been listening to right now that you love?
The FKA Twigs album, that shit is insane, it’s ridiculous to me. I don’t know what was going on in that studio, but that shit is mental. It’s so, so good. And obviously Dawn FM. I’ve been listening to Earl Sweatshirt as well, but I didn’t love his last project. I love some of the songs, but I’d say right now that Twigs album HAS me. There’s a song on it called ‘meta angel’ and it’s the best thing I’ve ever heard. It’s just so good.
Do you tend to produce your own songs?
No, but I’ve been learning a lot about production, and I was planning on doing the interlude from my project, but it didn’t really work out… it didn’t really come through. But over the years I’ve been learning a lot about production and the person who started me off in music in general was the producer Leejo. He was the one who was like “Hey bro, your voice is really good!” because I was doing covers in my bathroom and posting them on Instagram and people would be like “Wow, you have such a nice voice!” But he was the only one like “Yo, I have a studio, you should come and record.” And that was it, and we still work together today. He’s the guy that I really owe a lot to for starting and he produces a lot of my stuff. I met some guys in the UK that I did some some songs with that are really, really good that are going to be on the EP. So yeah, I don’t produce my own stuff, I won’t even cap. But I definitely write everything, I write every single lyric.
So, what would you say about what you want your listeners to take away from your music?
That’s a fantastic question. I just want them to feel how I’m feeling. I’m just relating to them through music because that’s what I do myself. Life has been really good these days… well, it’s been alright. But I was struggling pretty bad in 2016 and 2018 was full of a lot of pain and suffering so I just try to relate to some of that… and little bits and pieces. I try to convey my own feelings so that’s what I want my listeners to take from my music. I would say my newest project is basically done, it just needs some mixing and touch ups, but I’d say, I just want people to feel reflective and think about their life a little bit when they listen to it. Feel good, feel warm and driven at the end of it. Inspired.
Did you have any problems when it came to the Covid in terms of your creating did it affect you in anyway?
I was so uninspired and depressed. We had some crazy curfews like we had a lockdown too and a curfew at 6PM. You could leave your house at 5AM and have to be in at 6PM so 13 hours to be outside. Literally every single day you had to be in the house and when you go outside you were just petrified that people had Covid. You couldn’t even go to the beach anymore because you’d see a couple people and not even want to go anymore. It was just so depressing.
Do you feel like it stunted your creativity in any way?
I would say so yeah for a little while. I was just writing garbage and I would write it to the beat and sing it and be like “What even is this? Did I write this? This is terrible!” and just go back to the drawing board and go again and it would be worse! So, I just stopped for a while and came back at it afterwards. And you know, when things started opening up a little more, I just thought “Stop being a baby” and I got back to writing that cream of the crop music. I’m really happy with the new project, it’s definitely not going to sound like The Shore at all, not even close. A lot of The Shore was very bright and cheery and “Wow look at all these live instruments!” but now it’s a more mature side of me because I’m getting older. It’ll be easier to listen to almost. I'm not saying The Shore is hard to listen to but, if you don't like super fresh sounds, it could be a little overwhelming, so this one is a little bit easier to listen to. A lot catchier in my opinion so I'm just happy with it, I'm really happy with it. I'm excited for you hear the new stuff.
When should we be expecting from your next project?
It should be coming in the middle of the year because something is happening in February, and we’re going to project it from that. I won’t say anything else.
Listen to Lagoon Wavey’s new single ‘Occupied’ on COLORS below!