A producer and artist, you’ve probably never heard of WaveIQ, but his production, on the other hand, is preeminent. The Virginia-native emerged on the music scene as the producer of Jaden Smith’s “Fallen” from his 2017 debut album, SYRE. Not only has WaveIQ worked with the likes of GoldLink, Peewee Longway, and ¿Teo? but he’s released music under an umbrella of his own. Last year, WaveIQ released his three-track offering Myself with much more content in store for this year. Check out our interview with the rising star below.
You served as the producer for Jaden Smith’s “Fallen” off his debut album, SYRE. The track currently sits at 33 million Youtube views, how did that collaboration come about?
My brother Leon befriended him after running into him at a party and ended up showing him some of my beats. So when I met him on Halloween night in 2016 we automatically hit it off because he loved the stuff he heard from me already. “Fallen” was actually a record I was working on for myself that would have featured ¿Teo? but Jaden loved the beat so much he wanted to do something with it and “Fallen” came from it, changed my life.
Do you think you and Jaden will collaborate again in the future?
For sure! He hits me up every now and then asking for new beats and he has a folder of stuff from me so we will definitely see. It’s all up to him, we have a few things finished that aren’t released including a song we have together so there’s stuff in his catalog from me for sure.
Fast forward to 2019, you contributed to a number of GoldLink’s releases. How would you describe your relationship with the DMV rapper?
GoldLink is a cool cat man, I actually got introduced to him because I was hanging out with Thundercats little brother Kintaro at the time and one day ‘Link had hit him up to come to a studio session and I tagged along. The first couple of hours I’m just vibing and cracking jokes and I don’t play any beats or anything, and then Links manager Henny walks in the room with a laptop about to go through a few beats that he got sent.
So I use that as my opportunity to be like, “Hey, I don’t mean to be that guy, but I would love to play you guys some stuff”. And he was like “Yeah man! Let’s hear what you got”, so I played a few beats. One that would eventually be “Justine’s Interlude” and he loved everything I was playing
Then around the end of the night, I told him I also rapped and I had an artist project and wondered if he wanted to hear any of the songs and I played him a few things, the first was a fully completed version of “Got Muscle” and as soon as I played the record he started freaking out and was all about it. He was like “Yeah man, I have an idea for this” so I let him have the record. Originally they wanted Shy Glizzy to do my hook section but decided to keep me on it
Then from that, he asked me if I wanted to pull up to a few more sessions and then they flew me to NYC to work on the entire album for a month at the ace hotel. Assisting with miscellaneous production and helping him write and come up with concepts and hooks for some of the songs
Speaking of the DMV, you’re from Virginia. Do you notice a lot of recurring trends or sounds in the three areas?
I’m from Woodbridge, Virginia. There’s a lot of artists who’ve passed through “the bridge” like DRAM, Chaz French, and so forth but no one truly claims it mainly because it’s such a strange area. Like in order to really make it out of it you have to move away to make noise. But as far as my story goes me, my brother Leon, and our friend Noo$e had started a rap group called 5enses and started making noise in the area. Shaboozey was apart of it as well as a few other cats around the area we discovered. We pretty much produced and created an entire production facility out of my mom’s basement and ended up opening for Flatbush Zombies and a few other rap acts that would come into town by selling tickets. What’s crazy, is me and Link played our first shows together, but we didn’t know we would eventually be working together at the time. It’s wild how the universe works
In 2018, you debuted your Myself EP, what made you want to release music under your own umbrella?
I always looked at myself as an overall artist, not really just a producer or a songwriter. Myself EP spiraled from me wanting to release a few feel-good songs that would kinda show that side of me to the world because I would always get asked when I’m going to release my own stuff. Then when the opportunity came for me to join and open up for Jaden on his vision tour I knew the time was right to really step out there and show my music to the word. So I thought a short three-song EP would work best to be able to accomplish that.
Not only that, but you’re song “That’s Tight” was featured on L.A.’s Finest. Describe how it feels to see your work reach television?
What’s crazy is it kinda fell into my lap. I had met this guy named Aaron Bray one night going to Dirty Laundry which is a bar in Hollywood. Over time he and I ended up working to pitch a few of my unreleased songs to TV. So that ended up being one that got picked up. It’s crazy because they actually used a lot of it which is dope. Kinda works as a music video for the actual record haha
What can we expect from you in 2019?
I have a lot of really cool records in the works. What’s amazing is so many artists that I have respect for have started to really reaching out to me to work and I’ve been in some of the craziest sessions of my life over the past couple of months. I’m also finalizing my debut project that’s nearing completion that I’ve been working on for two years, so I’m putting a lot of time into my artistry at the moment. So I guess the real answer is I have a few surprises ready to launch very soon. Stay posted.
Also, I think the thing that kinda separates me from other people is because I do so much, rather it be producing or engineering. Notable people and artist know about me and want to work with me, and I have solid relationships with the bigger names in rap before the world really knows my name, which is interesting. I just know a lot of people aren’t willing to do what I do because I’m kind of fearless when it comes to music. I’m not afraid to walk into someone’s studio session and press play.
I’m really about getting it by any means necessary because where I’m from you don’t get the kind of opportunities that you can gain by just being around in LA or NYC. Like we had so many dope people come and check out the process of us working on the project, I ended up making a beat with Skrillex just because he’s really good friends with Link and was hearing what we were working on and sent me some melodies to fuck with.
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