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An interview with Australian singer-songwriter Wafia

Aug. 24, 2018
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I met Wafia at my house before our shoot. We gathered our things before heading out on a very sunny LA day. Wafia, who had been visiting from Australia to shoot a music video, was prepping for her first headlining world tour, titled I’M GOOD.

Adolescent Content: You just released a new dance video for “Better Not” ft. Louis the Child. How did this collaboration come to be? You also performed with them on stage this year at Coachella, how was that experience? 

Wafia: I met Robby from LTC because he happens to be housemates with my executive producer. I was using the studio in their house a lot while working on my project, and so it seemed like a no-brainer to get into the studio with them. Coachella was really incredible, it was one of those fulfilling moments where I felt like I was exactly where I needed to be.

Adolescent: You’re also supporting them in your first world headline tour! What are some things you are doing to prep for the Tour?

Wafia: It’s going to be a lot of fun putting together the outfits and a new set with a lot of the new songs that I’ve been working on! 

Adolescent: I love your new track, “I’M GOOD.” What inspired the title?

Wafia: “I’m Good” is how I was hoping the song would make me feel when the time comes for me to need it the most.

Adolescent: On this trip to LA you were just shooting a brand new music video—how was that?

Wafia: It was a lot of fun! There was a little choreo involved, and I’d never really done that before because honestly I never felt confident enough. I feel a shift though, and it’s exciting to give in to it. I grew up dancing a lot—my younger years were probably filled with more dancing to music than actually making it, so it’s nice to kind of come back to it. 

Adolescent: The new track includes several collaborators, including Rogét, John Hill, and Wrabel. What was it like working with them?

Wafia: Incredible! Rogét has been executively producing my entire project with me so it’s always great to have the ear and skills of someone I trust. He’s king of chords and that’s been so great for the writing process because it puts an emphasis on the songwriting above anything else. John has quickly become one of my favorite collaborators too. He’s such a legend in his field and to go into the studio with him is a dream come true. He’s great at making you feel comfortable [and] heard, and he’s always ready to push the song to a place neither of us have gone before. As for Wrabel, he’s my favorite to write with right now! Everything is fun and also uncharted. “I’m Good” is the third song we’ve written since “Better Not,” and it’s just a relationship that works so well but above all is super fun. 

Adolescent: What are your dream collaborations?

Wafia: I’d love to do something with Kacey Musgraves. I feel like that’d be so dope. Also Rex Orange County or SZA.

Adolescent: You’ve mentioned that you don’t listen to a lot of music when you’re recording—what are some of the ways you prep before embarking on recording an album?

Wafia: I write down my stream of consciousness a lot. Every thought and feeling is valid, so I make sure to commit all of those to paper when I’m in the moment. I go into the studio with all of that after and try to clearly convey those feelings after some time away from them. Whether [it’s] good or bad, I want to make sure every song I write personally takes me back to the feeling. 

Adolescent: During our shoot you mentioned that you still live at home with your parents. Can you talk a bit about your family? How do they feel about your music and your decision to drop out of studying biomedicine in order to pursue that?

Wafia: I’m away from home most of the year and even if it’s not for touring, it’s for writing in LA so it’s important to keep in contact with them while I’m gone so as not to lose our closeness. When I told them I didn’t see myself going on to medicine, they were supportive and understood that music is something I have to do now in my life. My family [is] really all I have. There’s no way I could be doing this if I didn’t have their full support. It just wouldn’t feel right. 

Adolescent: I know you also mentioned how special it was to have Zoey Lawrence, a young woman of color, shoot the cover for “I’m Good.” Can you talk more about why you felt this way and why it’s so important in today’s music industry?

Wafia: Well, first of all, she’s incredible. Her work speaks for itself. But I think it is important to make the conscious decision [to include] women of color because their point of view is [so valid and significant]. Other young girls need to see women of color killing it so they can see themselves in the future kill it too.

Adolescent: We talked a little bit about age during our shoot and you mentioned that now, at age 25, you have found a lot more confidence within yourself. That really stuck with me! Where are you at now?

Wafia: I think just now at 25 I’m finding my stride. I don’t know if it’s a generational thing, because [there] are some girls that are 15 and I wish I had that confidence at their age, haha. But I kinda love that I’m just finding [myself] now. I can’t imagine things being any different. Above all, I think I’ve always been a fan of a good slow burn, and it makes sense to see it in my self-esteem like this. Every day I wake up and try to make all the best decisions to move me forward, from eating right, to working out, to being productive and creative, to just going to therapy. [I’m] trying to make sure that every piece of the wellness puzzle is moving forward, and now for the first time in my life, I’m seeing the change in the way I carry myself.

Hair and Makeup by Gladys Diaz and Pants by Secret Heart