AFTER asking Caz where the moniker of ‘Essa Weira’ came from…
I wanted to know about the track, Malo (Ripple). He discusses upcoming material and what it is like splitting time between London and Manchester – Essa Weira reveals a few albums that have made a big impression on his life.
Looking ahead, the songwriter talks about ambitions and gigs; whether he gets time to unwind away from a busy music life; a new act we need to show some love for – I discover why life in the city is so conducive to creativity and sustainability.
Hi, Caz. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey. I’m well, thanks. It’s been a chilled-out week.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m Essa Weira and I’m a London/Manchester-based producer. I write electronic songs using a variety of instruments, samples and voices. I collaborate with singers and rappers but it’s mostly a singular effort.
How did the moniker of ‘Essa Weira’ come to pass? What is the tale behind it?
‘Essa Weira’ originally came about after I travelled to Morocco. I stayed in a place called Essaouira, where Jimi Hendrix allegedly wrote Castles Made of Sand (one of my favourites). It was a cool place and it left a lasting impression, hence the moniker…
Malo (Ripple) is out. Can you talk about the inspiration that goes into the song? How did it come together?
Malo (Ripple) was inspired by a few factors…
The word ‘Malo’ is a mix of Manchester and London, as living in both cities has inspired my recent creative directions. Another factor was a psychedelic experience; I wanted to recreate some of the same sensations I felt that day in this tune. The song really started coming together after I sampled the sound of a Zippo lighter and used it as a percussive part of the beat. An idea like that, for me, can spark a whole tune.
Will there be more material later this year would you say?
For sure; I’m always working on new stuff. Watch this space…
You divide your time between London and Manchester. What is it about those cities that captures you?
Having grown up in London, I don’t think I could live anywhere that isn’t buzzing with a similar energy. Both Manchester and London are extremely cultural, filled with fascinating people and quite dangerous in parts. I would say experiencing all these aspects has had a huge influence on my sound; instilling metropolitan life into the way I produce.
Of course, the music scenes in both cities are a HUGE blessing: there are so many performing opportunities and I feel very lucky.
Do you like having the different paces and feel when it comes to those cities? How important are the people regarding your music?
For real. Both places are very different in pace and it’s refreshing to jump between the two vibes - so you never get overwhelmed. I also feel it allows for your ideas to remain fresh and interesting. People are the most important thing! Whether it's performance or streaming, the people decide what’s worth a listen.
Are there any musicians from modern music you follow and take guidance from?
I listen to a lot of stuff, so there are many producers (Techno/Ambient/Chillout/Glitch/Grime/Electro) from whom I take inspiration. Despite this, I would have to say James Blake is at the top of the list. His music gets me.
Can we see you tour this year? What gigs do you have coming along?
I wish. I’m skint and still at university so it will probably just be gigs for a while. Got a show coming up in London on 22nd of June (details are on my Facebook page).
Do you have any ambitions to fulfil before the end of the year?
I would love to secure collaboration with a popular artist by the end of this year. I’ve been doing a lot of Hip-Hop and Lo-Fi beat collabs recently - and it would be a good progression forward.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
Probably my first gig. It was at a tiny club in London, completely taken over by my mates.
Which three albums mean the most to you, would you say?
Burial’s Untrue, J Dilla’s Vol. 2: Vintage and Bon Iver’s 22, A Million.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Gig as much as you can and make your online presence as professional as possible. Both are a great way to network and spread your music.
IN THIS PHOTO: Octavian
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
I’d hugely recommend Octavian. He has really been doing something special recently. His tropical tunes are a perfect combination of Grime, Dancehall and House.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Not really. I study music at university so it's pretty much 24/7. I wouldn’t want it any other way though. I usually unwind by getting outside: the bedroom/studio dynamic can get intense.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Belfast – Orbital
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