The artist behind the hit album Quarantine, Isaiah Wafer is reaching new levels of success with his unique talents. He has garnered worldwide recognition for his strong skills to convey sultry fine tunes. We took this opportunity to chat with the talented artist about his new projects and releases.
Congratulations on your new album Quarantine, Can you tell us more about why you decided to create this powerful album?
Well there were a couple of things that led to it. In 2019 I got a chance to be in attendance at the Creamfields Music festival. I watched Swedish House Mafia on stage and I knew beyond a doubt that I wanted to do that. I wanted to be on stage. I wanted people to hear my music. So I went home and created a list of ways I could get closer to that goal. At the very top of the list was *MAKE MORE MUSIC* We flew home from the U.K. and I immediately got to work.
The second part of the story picks up in January of 2020 the album was nearing completion; or so I thought. I played a set with all of my new music and the response to it was pretty good so in my head, I thought it was great. Then COVID hit, and then in March of that year my son was born and it just didn’t feel like the right environment to put out an album in. I was sitting at home most of the time with a newborn. I wasn’t working so I was able to focus on my son and my music and so much creativity came from that. It was a bleak time for most of the world and I felt music was one of those things that could help people come together.
How are your tracks related to one another?
So my songs are unique in the fact that I don’t think I ever start songs with the song in mind. My songs are always created with the stage in mind. In my songs you will hear some of those big builds and big bass sounds and things to that nature. That is all made for the stage. I haven’t reached those big stages ,YET, but the idea was to create each song for a place in an overwhelming set. My intro to the album would be a big set intro. As I release more music the sets will change but the idea is that after each song is completed I’m ready to play it on a big festival level stage. The experience you get from listening to my song on a stage is maybe even more important to me than the experience you have listening on your phone. I hope that isn’t a bad thing to say. Both are important in their own way. But to answer your question in full. I built each of the songs on my album in a way that they could compliment each other in a live set.
What is your ultimate aim as an artist?
So I have this running joke with everyone who asks this question. I won’t feel like I’ve made it until I get sponsored by Nike. Until I see those big Times Square billboards with my face all over them I won’t be satisfied. It’s a joke but there’s a lot of truth to it. Swedish House Mafia are my idols. I watch everything they do whether that be individually or together. It’s what I saw them do. Therefore my goal as an artist is trying to replicate that, but in my own way. I can never be Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso, or Steve Angello, but I feel like I can be the best me I can be for sure. I feel like given enough time I can do the things they did. It’s a long shot of course, but I believe it’s attainable. I think my main goal regardless of the rest is to really touch people with my music. I want to make someone feel the same way I do when I hear an amazing song. That is what I strive for.
Who are your biggest music influences to this day?
Well if I haven’t said it already I really like Swedish House Mafia. Hahaha. So those guys of course but I’m a big fan of the sound Magnificence has created specifically Robin. That guy is INSANE. I’ve been lucky enough to pick his brain about a few things. I also follow Third Party really closely. They have this amazing sound that I haven’t been able to figure out yet. I also can’t forget to mention Julian Calor and Corey James. Julian Calor’s sound is so unique and Corey James has these intense rhythms and drum patterns that I’ve really only ever heard from him. These are definitely my biggest influences.
What pushed you to create this album and name it Quarantine?
Well I named it Quarantine because it was the only thing that made sense. Most of this album was created during Quarantine. I know I started it beforehand but the version of the album that I released was exponentially better than it would have been had I released it back in 2020. I was really able to sit and hammer out ideas in a way that I wouldn’t have been able to. I also named it Quarantine because it was something that we were ALL going through. For me there was some peace in that. We all have this kinda traumatic thing that we all went through together. It was scary and grim for a bit there, but I told myself that when it ended I wanted to feel like I did something to help myself level up. That’s what this album was for. I really feel like putting this out there has helped me level up.
What is an “unusual” thing that you do that gets your creative juices flowing?
So I have a few places where I find inspiration. I love to watch musicals. Hairspray, Hamilton, Annie, you name it. I have them all on DVD and I watch them when I’m in a production mood. Hearing nonstop music and harmonies gets the juices going. I also love to rewatch ‘Leave the World Behind’ . It was a documentary about Swedish House Mafia’s tour after they had made the decision to break up. Even now that they’re back together that documentary still does it for me. I also watch live DJ sets. I don’t know if any of that is unusual, but it gets my creativity going.
Have you always wanted to be a music creator?
I think the short answer is yes. I just don’t know if I always realized that I wanted to be a music creator. When I was 3 or 4 I would make full drum sets out of pots and pans. When I was about 5 or 6 I used to watch my dad’s church tapes and I would pretend I was directing the choir. When I got to about 10 I used to think I was gonna be in a boy band or be a rapper. When the movie ‘Drumline’ came out I got really into band for pretty much all of middle school and then somewhere around the time I got into high school I got really into sports for a while and I guess I lost it. I thought I would go into being a lawyer. Then I got to college and started Djing and it all came rushing back and there was no denying what I wanted to do at that point.
What would you say was the most significant challenge in creating the album Quarantine?
That’s easy. The hardest thing to do with creating this album was creating a signature sound. I still don’t know that I was completely successful in doing that to be honest. You know I really want to set myself apart from other artists. I don’t want someone to hear my music and think of it as cookie cutter. I want to try new things and push the envelope and create a sound that is all my own. I tried so many things in the process of making this album. I feel like I definitely came really close in a few of my songs, ‘Ultrasound’ and the title track for example, but I’m still constructing that and I’m sure it will become more defined with time. That was definitely the most difficult part for me. Then the second hardest part is I felt like I created some good music, but there weren’t a whole lot of people around. So I tried to make music that I liked and I hoped that other people would feel the same. Covid kinda created this environment where artists were able to make music, but we weren’t really able to perform. Now that it’s all coming back I’m hoping to get it in front of a crowd and kinda move from there.