Friday, April 19 2024

Today, we have the pleasure of diving into the world of Wayne Wei, a New York-based Chinese independent singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer. Hailing from the vibrant borough of Brooklyn, Wayne draws inspiration from musical legends like Stevie Wonder, Prince, and the Beatles, infusing his work with retro R&B, soul, and psychedelic funk. Recently, he unveiled his debut EP, ‘Cloud Chaser,’ a dreamy collection of four self-produced tracks that explore the chaotic yet beautiful aspects of human connections. We chatted to Wayne to find out more.

Hey Wayne, thanks for joining us. Can you delve into the inspiration behind the ‘Cloud Chaser’ EP and how it influenced the songwriting and production process?

The inspiration behind this EP all started with the writing of the song ‘Out of Control.’ Ironically I actually wrote this song about quiting smoking cigarettes originally. It is essentially a toxic relationship between me and smoking. It sort of perfectly described my toxic relationships in the past and I just rolled with the same feeling to create this EP.

As a multi-instrumentalist and producer, you fully self-produced the ‘Cloud Chaser’ EP. How did your diverse musical background and the influence of artists like Stevie Wonder, Prince, and the Beatles contribute to the unique sound and arrangements found in the album?

I think I have a different sound/style when I am playing a different instrument. My writing and piano/keys playing have a ton of influences from Stevie Wonder. And when I am on guitars or drums, I would have more of Prince or the Beatles come out in my playing. So, in the end, it becomes a hot mix of everything I loved growing up as a musician. 

The melodies in the EP are described as having a cyclical pattern, mimicking the feeling of falling in and out of intoxication. What Led you to make this musical decision?

I think repetition is another major sign in a toxic relationship. It is when one knows that the this thing (substance or person) is not good for them, yet one keeps coming back to the same scenario over and over again. 

Wayne Wei 1

‘Cloud Chaser’ is your debut EP, and it was released in early 2024. Can you share any memorable moments or challenges you encountered during the creation and release of the EP?

The most memorable moments are the drum recordings in this EP. There are 3 different drummers on this 4-song EP. My good friend Alex Fansel from Nashville contributed to track 1 and 3 on the EP. An elite drummer from Chile recorded the last song on the EP. Lastly, I played on the second track on the EP. It was surely a journey getting all the drum recordings done for all four songs. Each person brought different things to the table and it perfected the songs in the best way possible.

Looking ahead, what can we anticipate from Wayne Wei in terms of musical exploration, collaborations, or any upcoming projects? Are there specific themes or genres you’re eager to delve into in your future releases?

There is another song that was supposed to be included on the EP and it will be coming out on January 26th. It is a cover song called ‘Sky’ by the famous Faye Wong from China. I had trouble getting the licence for the song before, which is the reason why I could not include it on the EP. However, it is all clear to release now and I am super excited for everyone to listen to my interpretation of the song.

Wayne Wei 2

And, finally, a question for Fun If ‘Cloud Chaser’ could serve as the soundtrack for a movie, what genre or type of film do you envision it accompanying, and are there any specific directors or actors you’d love to see paired with your music on the big screen?

I would love it to be on ‘Chungking Express’ by Wong Kar-Wai. The music video was heavily inspired by the stlye of Wong Kar-Wai. I am a massive fan of him and I think it would pair well with any romantic drama movies from him.

Thanks so much!

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us Wayne.

As we wrap up this insightful conversation with Wayne, we can look forward to the upcoming release of his cover song on January 26th, a rendition of Faye Wong’s ‘Sky.’

Thanks for joining us and stay connected with Wayne on his socials to catch all the latest updates.

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About Author

Matt Warren

Matt Warren is a Cheshire based musician who studied contemporary music and composition. When not writing for The Indie Grid he enjoys watching 'Breaking Bad' on continuous loop and going to gigs. Since a youngster his fave band have been 'The Beatles' (with 'Cardiacs' in at a close second)... and this still applies to this day.

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