Wax Motif Talks About First Album and First (Upcoming) Ultra Music Festival at First-Ever Body Language
Following a powerful sunset set filled with his unique style of G-house on the first day of the first-ever Body Language Festival on Friday, 3/4, Wax Motif gave us some of his time to reflect on the brand new festival experience and the anticipation he has for another upcoming first – Ultra Music Festival. During the interview, we also discussed his recently released debut album, House of Wax, which includes 17 songs that traverse all different genres, and how he manages to juggle his life as a producer, touring DJ, label boss, and fashion icon.
With musical influences like R&B, disco, and U.K. bass, Wax is a highly sought-after producer and has released tracks on a variety of labels including Diplo‘s Mad Decent, Tchami‘s Confession label, A-Trak‘s Fool’s Gold, Tiesto‘s Musical Freedom, and Zed Dead‘s Deadbeats, to name a few. He has further expanded his arsenal with production cuts on songs with G-Eazy, Gashi, Blackbear, and more.
In late 2019, Wax founded his very own imprint, Divided Souls Records, with the lead single for the imprint of the same name, “Divided Souls” ft. Diddy. The label’s name represents the tale behind Wax Motif’s brand and artistic craft. The “division” is around his personalized production skill-set, from house music and electronica, to crafting beats for pop and hip-hop. The “soul” represents Wax’s passion for his productions and his creativity as an artist.
Give House of Wax a listen while you read the full interview below.
Hi everyone, this is Elena with Glasse Factory, and we are here today in Phoenix, AZ, with Wax Motif, who just played an awesome set at the first-ever Body Language. He’s a producer, DJ, fashion guru, and label boss – what can’t the man do? Thanks for joining us today.
I saw you actually just played here recently, on Feb. 18, which was also the release date for your debut album. What was that show like?
It was actually a pretty last-minute gig. My manager wanted me to play here, and it just happened to coincide with the release, so we decided to make it an album release of sorts. It was a lot of fun, even if I wasn’t fully prepared for it.
How does it feel to have the album out?
It was nerve-wracking when I was working on it. There were a lot of songs that I felt didn’t necessarily fit with people’s understanding of me as an artist, so I was worried about putting songs out there that wouldn’t resonate with fans. But I had a lot of friends along the way who pushed me to put out some of those songs I was on the fence about because they knew those were the songs that were me. They would tell me, “Yeah, that song sounds like Wax, leave it on there!” So even if my fans don’t necessarily like everything that’s on the album, I know the album is representative of me as a person, and I’m really just doing it for me at the end of the day.
It’s great to have friends who push you to be your best artistic self because we can definitely be our own worst critics.
Yeah, absolutely. Having that support system and community is really critical.
On top of being a producer and DJ, you also have your own clothing brand. How do you come up with ideas so that they’re aligned with your brand?
I’m really into streetwear, so it’s easier to make designs that people will like. But mostly I think about things that I think are cool or would wear. Of course, there are a lot of designs that are reviewed and never make it onto a final product, but the ones that do and are sold, it’s nice to know that those designs resonate with people.
I also know that you handle a lot of the fulfillment by yourself. How do you manage that on top of being a touring artist?
I actually just recently just added a manager to my team that manages a lot of that fulfillment, so that helps. My schedule used to just be filled with work – and it still is a lot of work, but it feels good to be able to achieve all of these things.
What did you think about the first-ever Body Language Festival?
I love the street set-up. There’s a festival in California that’s set up a lot like this, so I’ve really been enjoying the atmosphere and seeing people having fun out here. I’m happy to be here and in this community.
So you recently released a first album, today played the first Body Language, and speaking of firsts…you’re also playing your first Ultra Music Festival in a few weeks. How does that feel?
I used to go to Ultra back when I was handing out USBs to try and make it big. It was always a dream festival of mine to play ever since I really started, so it’s a major milestone to have come this far. My friends have told me that playing at Ultra is unlike any other festival in the states because there’s such a huge international presence there, so I’m really excited about it.
There’s been a lot of work to get here, so it’s great that it’s the culmination of a long-time dream. Let’s get to some more fun questions to wind down the interview. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Chicken cutlets. I was in NYC for a week and there was a bodega at the bottom of the hotel that we were staying at, and they had the best chicken cutlet sandwiches, so I had one each of the five days I was there.
Did they remember your order by the end of it?
Oh yeah, we spent like $130 on an order one night, so the owners definitely were super happy with us after that.
You’ve toured all over the world. What’s been one of the favorite cities you’ve played?
It’s hard to have a favorite because each one is so unique. If I had to choose one, I’d say Barcelona. The show scene there is just really different, and house music is really prevalent there.
If for some reason you couldn’t DJ anymore, what career would you switch to?
Probably something in coding. I like knowing how things work and staying educated on different topics, so I read a lot about coding on the side. I’m not a programmer by any means, but it’s just cool to know how things work. Something with cars would also be cool. I was almost a mechanic, actually. I had an offer to join an apprenticeship before I went to college, and I love cars.
You’ve had the privilege of collaborating with a lot of different people, even just on your album. Who has been one of your favorite collaborators?
Probably someone like Chris Lorenzo. We don’t always go into sessions with the primary focus of getting something done, since we have a little bit more time to just enjoy ourselves. If we end up putting a song together, then great, but if not, then no big deal. We just feed off of each other’s energy and have fun while we’re at it, so it never feels like just work.
Well, thank you so much for your time today, and we wish you all the best at Ultra! Your set here was amazing, so there’s no doubt that will be even better.
And be sure to check out the Divided Souls label takeover during Miami Music Week later this month!