Some people just seem to be destined to be involved with music from the start. Our recent find Wembi may be one of those souls. We had a chance to catch up with the singer to get a little deeper into who he is and how his music comes to be. Enjoy the interview here:
First off, what is the story behind the name Wembi?
Wembi is a name that has its origin in Africa. It means, believe it or not, “The Singer”. I didn’t choose it for myself. I was named after my grandfather whose name was Wembi. He was a good and hardworking man who as a minister in the church, led and inspired many people. I guess my parents wanted me to follow in his footsteps in some ways.
How would you describe your sound?
Fans of John Legend, Aloe Blacc, Coldplay, Michael McDonald, Shannon Curtis, Billy Joel or even Dave Matthews Band will enjoy my sound. I write in a variety of genres but predominantly in pop rock, neo soul, r&b, jazz fusion, indie alternative and edm.
Which artists have had the biggest influence on you?
I have been a fan of many great songwriters from different eras but perhaps stylistically speaking Prince and Sting have been two of my biggest influences.
What drives you to make your own music?
What drives me to create? A passion for the sound of a piano mixed with a desire to process thoughts and emotions. I discovered over time too through feedbacks from fans, that some of my songs have helped some people overcome challenging situations in their own lives. As an artist, there is nothing more rewarding than to hear that. Where does the passion for pianos come from? I taught myself to play the piano in my teens. I always enjoyed listening to music growing up and always found the piano fascinating. 88 keys and endless combinations of melodies possible, so I thought. But I didn’t have access to a piano at a young age.
Then when I was going into 7th grade where music learning was an option then at the school I attended, the music program was closed due to school budget cuts. It was disappointing for sure since I had been looking forward to learning how to play an instrument. The following year my family moved to a different state and I lost interest in music learning. Then one year while spending some time at my godparents’s place, I noticed they had an upright piano in their living room. My curiosity was awakened again and I spent hours teaching myself how to play the instrument. After high school, I was fortunate to go to a college that had one of the best music programs in the country.
Didn’t take any music classes or even major in music there. I was much more interested in a different field (majored in Polisci). But sometimes after classes, I’d go into my college’s music building and practice in the many soundproof piano rooms the building had. I had access to more than 40 pianos in that one building alone. I remember trying them all out. That is where my passion for music was lit. Since then I have created a lot of music pieces, songs, have collaborated with some really talented musicians over the years and had lots of fun performing on stage at music festivals and concerts. I have since self-produced and released 3 EPs and two singles all available on all major music platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. I still enjoy creating music. I think the best is yet to come.
How does a song come together to you? What is your songwriting process?
I have a lot of respect for songwriters who can sit down and write a good song on command. To me, songwriting is both exciting and slightly frustrating but in the end, I love going through process especially when you get to see the end product. When it comes to my songwriting process itself, first I have to be in a quiet place probably a habit I developed practicing in soundproof piano rooms in college lol My instrument of choice is either a piano or one my keyboards. I usually start by just trying out a combination of melodies until one sticks out as a potential song. Then I do the same with lyrics. A form of lyrical brainstorming until a theme emerges. The actual creation of a new song or theme can take just minutes but then I spend time refining it until I feel the song is complete. What I ‘ve come to understand is that my songs are often reflections of what I have been thinking about which makes the songs honest and authentic.
Give us a look into the future of Wembi
A lot of exciting things are in the works. More music coming up soon. Some great collaborations too. Currently promoting my singles “ Heartbeat of my Life” and “ A child like my own” playing on airwaves in several markets and countries.
Best way to stay tuned is to sign up to my website ( https://wembimusic.bandzoogle.com ) or follow me on Twitter (@Realwembi) or Instagram (@wembimusic). Love to engage with followers because many are great fans of music in general.