Waiks is a reggae and R&B singer-songwriter who happens to also play classical piano. He is currently a freshman at Western Washington University but comes back to Seattle regularly to play keys and sing background vocals for Daniel Pak and Kore Ionz.
Tell us a little about how you discovered your love for music. What are some of your greatest influences?
I discovered my passion of music shortly after breaking my ankle in my Sophomore soccer season. I had a piece of piano music I was learning and it was taking a very long time to learn, and luckily since I was always home with a broken ankle I found the time to practice a lot. That's when I realized how important music was to me. I started focusing on every note and how it each note had to be played correctly in order for the correct feel of the song. I started focusing on songwriting, and I rediscovered Bob Marley. I'd say Bob Marley, Jack Johnson, Chronixx, Amy Winehouse and Tame Impala are huge influences. Soon after I met Pak, Reggae truly became my genre of music. Reggae started becoming more of a part of my life, and the rest is history to be made.
Tell us about your song. What inspired you? How do you hope listeners will receive your message?
My first single "Come Through Girl" came with a lot of work from the producing side and the writing side. I wrote the song over a course of two months, and it constantly got better every time I hit the studio with Pak and Matt. I wrote the song based on the feeling of fighting for something. We all want something, and in this case of course, the song talks about a girl. But to me the song is much more than that. It's about sharing feelings with the world that can only be explained through lyrics. I hope people listening to the song will get to the bridge, because that is the most masterful thing in music I have ever done. I want people listening to this song to remember to feel the music and to understand the meaning. It's not a song to solely "chill" to on a beach. It's not just a reggae song. It's a feeling and a story that I want people to capture. Of course the story may be different to the individual.
What have you learned from your experience with Totem Star? What are some of the biggest takeaways?
I have learned a lot from Totem Star. I'm beyond thankful that Totem Star popped into my life out of nowhere. Without this incredible non-profit organization, I would have never met the incredible friends I have now, and I would have never been able to realize my love for music. Totem Star made me realize the power of a voice. I would've never created "Come Through Girl" which now has over 2300 plays on Soundcloud (There also has been 90 people so far that have saved the song to their libraries). Thank you Totem Star for letting me realize life is so much more than gold. I would like to give a special thanks to Daniel Pak, Thaddeus Turner, Paul Laughlin and Matt Sablan.
What advice would you give to other young artists?
The best advice I can give to a young artist like myself is that even when you doubt yourself and your talents, you can still get your own opportunities. You don't need to ask someone to help you get into the music world or the art world. All you have to do is talk to people that love what you do, and you'll naturally learn and get opportunities that way. Trust me, it has been working out for me phenomenally.