The internet is a dominant force in almost every person's life nowadays. If you really think about it, people are spending more time online than ever before for both personal and professional reasons. Just yesterday I was researching online ballet classes; ballet classes, who'd have thought it? So, why should I be fascinated by musicians producing material without ever being in the same place at the same time? I don't know, but I am.
Now the boring introduction is over, let me get to the meat of this review - MaWayy. A dance-pop duo who have never met in the flesh. All their production is done online and, get this; they aren't even in the same time zones! Brain Wayy lives in Los Angeles and Masoud Fouladi Moghaddam is in Bandar-e Anzali (that's in Iran). Intrigued? I was...am...whatever.
Each a music industry professional with an impressive history, Masoud and Wayy eventually found themselves connecting in 2015. Their initial release as MaWayy was 'Wrong' in 2017 which held the number 42 position on the Billboard Dance Club Songs Chart for three weeks, but I'm here to chat about the latest single 'Blame'.
'Blame' is one of the traditional dance-style tracks, which could account for its popularity on the Billboard charts. It is well-produced with the synths carefully placed to not only emphasise the vocals but take the listener on a rollercoaster of a ride. The vocals, on the other hand, are quite calming with a smooth and delicate pitch. Despite the sombre lyrics, I have to say I find 'Blame' a breath of fresh air. Maybe it's because I don't hear much dance-pop or perhaps it's because a man is saying we can blame bad relationships on him. Watch yourselves, boys, we're holding you to it!
'Blame' was released in October 2018 and my only disappointment is that it took so long to reach my ears. The MaWayy duo has captivated me, and I will be keeping my eyes open for more of their work. 'Blame' can be streamed via Soundcloud or you can view the official video on their YouTube channel.
For more MaWayy, check out their socials and official website.
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Interview with MaWay
Good day, gentlemen. I hope you are well. Thanks for chatting with me, I appreciate it. Shall we begin?
Now, we can see that MaWayy is a combination of your names Masoud and Wayy, but did you throw about any other names for your group before settling on MaWayy?
Not really. We’ve been thinking about it for a while, but Brian’s 13-year-old daughter said: 'Hey Dad, what’s your partner’s name?' He said Masoud, and she immediately replied: 'how about MaWayy.' We both loved it!
Something I find particularly fascinating about MaWayy is that you produce music without having met each other and living in separate countries. What are the challenges of this?
It can make it a little difficult because we cannot sit together and play some chords or have fun with it 'til we find the magical chord progression. Since there is a big latency in communication, between two sides of the world, we can’t play live behind our computers and even FaceTime gets boring after a while. So, it has to be sent by email to get the stems.
It isn’t a bad thing because when we get up in the morning, we’re always expecting an exciting email or text from each other since the other party was working while one’s sleeping. Sometimes it is a solid instrumental, and sometimes it’s a new playlist placement!
While there may be challenges, are there any benefits to having a long-distance music relationship, if we could call it that?
It gives us time to really think about what we both want to create. The best part is that we get surprised every time by one another- new inspirations require patience. Distance has really taught us both that.
Living on other sides of the world, how did you 'meet' each other?
Brian Wayy released a CD called XCultures, and Masoud Fuladi got a hold of the CD in Iran then emailed Brian saying he was a huge fan of his music. Brian asked Masoud what he did and asked him to make music, which then grabbed his attention due to the quality of performance. Masoud started composing music for television with Brian. A year later, Brian asked him if he wanted to start a project together. They went out and found lyrics writers and singers that fit their brand, which then created MaWayy.
Each of you has a strong background in the music industry, can you tell us about your history?
Brian was a live musician and toured with major ska and pop bands, also remixing pop artists into the dance club mixes. When he met Masoud, he found that creating dance music truly was something that sparked passion back into his soul.
After Masoud's underground music career, producing trance and progressive, supported by stars like Armin van Buuren, he wanted to expand his musical vision and knew that collaborating long-term with Brian would be the best opportunity. This became the foundation which began their journey with MaWayy.
You released a single called 'Blame' in 2018, what can you tell me about the track? What inspired the track?
We started an instrumental like a progressive. A big room kind of sound, and collaborated with LaVoyce - a singer/songwriter from Dallas. The song happened to be so good that we wanted to match a better style with it. So we tried to change the production a little bit, but it didn't go well; then we changed it completely to bass music.
LaVoyce told us: 'when I wrote the song I was just thinking about love and how complicated it can be, and that’s what came out. I have an organic way of writing where I don’t write anything. I only record right in the moment, so everything that comes out is authentic and true.'
Living in two countries - I know I come back to this, but how do you feel the separate cultures influence your music, if at all?
We’re making international music which does not have much influence from any country. It sounds like pop-dance genre or this day’s EDM, so we don’t think there’s cultural influences in our music. Yeah, maybe in some chords somewhere in our songs, but not in general.
Do you have any specific artists that influence your sound?
Definitely, today's Top 40 chart music helps our career as a group, but individually we stick to the old tunes that give us goosebumps! Brian is influenced by any great music. Masoud is influenced by Vangelis, Pink Floyd, and Late Night Alumni.
Can you describe your recording process for 'Blame'? How does it all work from a digital perspective?
In general, we compose tracks and send them to top-liners, and usually, they come up with lyrics. Once we approve the lyrics, they record their vocals and email them to us. We then fix any vocal flaws and modify the music a little, and then mix and master them for the final release. We record many songs before we release our favourite.
MaWayy also released a lyrical music video for 'Blame'. Who created the video and how did you come up with the idea?
Well, lyrics videos are popular these days, and we decided to try it on 'Blame'. We found this amazing company called Red Cat Motion in Vietnam, and we connected with them. We knew it should be more than only lyrics, so we asked Leo DINH (the director) to make a 2D-3D animated lyrics video for us, and he was so passionate about this project. As you see, there is a car chasing scene, and even our vectored pictures are in the video. We had many brainstorming sessions, and the relationship between us made this video stand out compared to other videos.
Your first single 'Wrong' was released in 2017, then 'Blame' in 2018. Can we expect another single this year?
We have recorded at least ten tracks and have a completed video that has not been released to the public. Currently, we have ten songs in the pipeline. Since we are now signed to Kobalt Distribution, we are going to be releasing more new songs in the near future quicker than our previously.
'Wrong' reached #42 on the Billboard Dance Charts, and now 'Blame' is steadily rising (#18 at the time of this interview). What was your reaction when you saw you were on Billboard again?
Yeah, we peaked #18 on the Billboard Dance Charts! That has been really exciting for us! One of the best feelings in the entire world is knowing that we are making an impact on our listeners and people dancing in clubs to our songs. We hope to continue to accomplish that.
So, what are your plans for 2019? Do you think there will ever be a meeting of Ma and Wayy?
We truly hope so! You never know what may be in store for us next - we may be touring. ;)
And that's it! Thanks so much, once again. Wishing you all the best with your endeavours, and I'm certainly going to keep my ears open for more from MaWayy.
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Written by Nicole Mendes / Germany - Norden
My name is Nicole and I am a South African-born music writer currently based in Norden, Germany. For several years I have worked with award-winning indie music blogs conducting reviews, reported on breaking festival news, but my specialism is interviewing. I currently work as editor-in-chief for an indie music blog I founded where I specialise in interviews with independent artists.
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