WizTheMc Looks For Comfort in Silence on 'Where Silence Feels Good'
South African-born, Germany-raised, and Toronto-based singer, songwriter, and producer WizTheMc has released his highly anticipated sophomore EP Where Silence Feels Good. The record serves as a follow-up to his What About Now? EP, released at the end of 2019, which featured the breakout single “For A Minute.”
Where Silence Feels Good leads listeners through a tale of love, including all its triumphs, trials, and tribulations. The EP features previous singles “Stoned Nights,” “Do It Over,” “Break,” and “Everything,” which have gone on to rack up millions of streams. Alongside the EP, the official video for lead track “Premature Love,” directed by Adam Munnings, drops today.
Ones To Watch had the opportunity to talk with the artist about the record, relationships, and making music that makes you feel free.
Ones to Watch: You’ve described yourself as a borderless artist, having been born in South Africa, raised in Germany, and now finding yourself based in Canada. How did this upbringing influence you as an artist, and how does that translate into your craft?
WizTheMc: I think the influences that I got to have around me as I traveled around, like, in Germany, I started pretty trappy and with a lot of rap records wrapped over YouTube beats, and that was my grind for a couple of years. And then, after high school, I went to Canada, where I started producing myself. And through my own production and inspiration, I slowly accidentally came across my own sound. Especially with all the music in Toronto, I was very much in the music scene through open mics and different local artist hubs. So that way, I was really in the mix, which was really cool. The best way to put it is that all these places helped me find my own sound. While ironically, if I’m transparent, I was just trying to sound like rappers I admired like J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and then came across my own sound like that.
Toronto, I would say, shaped me as an artist and as a person the most because that’s where my hustle really started. I spent two years posting the city with promotions for my little shows and upcoming music. So people downtown knew my face because I was there every morning at 6am taping the city with my name, and then I’d go back home and produce my own records and put them up on SoundCloud and Spotify.
Was there a specific "aha moment" where you felt like you solidified your sound?
I feel like it’s a process, but there have definitely been points along the way. One vivid point I remember was my song, “Do What I Want.” I remember putting a teaser on Instagram and saying, “I don’t even know what genre I’m doing,” and I set that caption as a joke. But as time passed, I looked back on that post, and that was really a starting point of me being me, and I stopped copying and pretending I was someone else. That song was just so free, I couldn’t even put my finger on it, and it made me so excited to share that. And then, coincidentally, that was the first song that was picked up by Spotify organically as an independent artist. So I feel like since then, that just encouraged me to recognize songs where I have no idea what genre it is and I feel most myself, if that’s the one that resonates the most with people, but also with industry people, then fuck it. I’m gonna just keep doing myself.
How did you conceptualize this record and turn it into the body of work we have now?
How projects come together for me, I experiment with music, and over time, it’s almost obvious once it comes time to put a project together. I’m like, “Okay, I need these songs on a project. I might need one more song that fits this vibe, that vibe.” So, the first song of the whole project is “Everything.” That really started that ride for me creatively where… I have a, well, I don’t know if it’s a funny story, but it’s a meaningful story to me. When I got that bounce back the same night, Jeff, the producer, usually only sends out bounces like a week later. So, he already liked it, and I remember listening to the song on the sofa, and I started crying because it gave me a feeling that I always wanted to express but never knew how to let it out. And so that kind of opened the door to like, whoa, if I can make this, let’s see what comes next. And then songs like “Break” and “Stoned Nights” came after that, and “Do It Over” just opened that world to me. They were just really heartfelt and emotional songs. I got feedback that they were poppy, which I didn’t mind; I wasn’t looking at genres either way, but that kind of opened the door. “Premature Love” for me is a nice, upbeat intro into the EP, because it’s really emotional the whole ride, and I feel there has to be like that kind of upbeat, light-hearted feel because, for the rest of the ride, you probably want to cry.
What does the EP’s title, Where Silence Feels Good, mean to you?
I have two meanings that make sense to me, but there are also probably a billion other ways other people could interpret it, which I love. On the one hand, that place that you have in a relationship with someone that you love, where it’s like, well, you can hang out, you’re both on your phone, or reading a book, or meditating, or just taking a walk without talking, where silence feels good. On the other hand, when you’re, let’s say, in a queue at Walmart, the silence might not feel as good as it does next to your favorite person. But then, in a more spiritual way, the silence you get to have with yourself when you’re like, at peace, sometimes at night before you go to bed or in the morning. The irony was that over the making of this project over the past year and a half, is it was a pretty hectic time. Especially last year, coming out of quarantine, coming to LA for the first time, traveling around playing my first shows where all I was thinking about is, I want to find a place where silence feels good. And now, after a good year or so, I’ve been back home in Berlin, and I’m slowly coming back to that center. And so it’s really weird, because when I came up with that title, I was like, Oh, this is a cool title, but then I’m like, oh, no, this was like, actually, whatever you want to call it God or the universe being like, “Yo, I think you got to find the place where silence feels good.” I want people through the music to get to a place where silence feels good for them or remind them where silence already feels good.
Which song on the record resonates with where you are now?
“Premature Love,” and weirdly, that’s a recurring theme in my life. That’s why I resonate with it the most, and that’s why I’m actually having a lot of fun promoting the song. I wrote it right after I started seeing a girl in LA that I liked. I never showed it to her because it was too personal, too obvious. If I had shown it to her, she would have known that I had feelings for her, and I knew that I was going to leave, and all these fears of mine came up. So that’s nothing I’m in at the moment, but something I just resonate the most with, just because that has always been a theme of my life. I don’t know if you can measure it, but everyone around me has been telling me I fall in love too quickly. And so, prematurely loving someone is definitely something for better or worse is my characteristic. So, let’s see how long I’ll be able to stay single and happy. Where silence feels good alone.
Which song that hasn’t been released yet, are you most excited for people to hear?
Also, “Premature Love.” I’m excited to see if other people can relate to that, especially in a time where everyone is so cool and distant about dating. Everyone is so casual, and I’m not that way in my heart. So I understand that, and I definitely catch myself playing that game, but I wonder how many people in their 20s feel the same way about falling in love too quick and wishing they could have the courage to admit to the person they’re dating for a couple of weeks that they actually want to be with them instead of just playing it cool and breaking both their hearts.
What do you hope to manifest in 2022 in both your creative and personal life?
Of what I can share, the most significant focus is to get closer to my expression and my creative expression. I’ve been aware of how I lost that over the last year-and-a-half. I don’t want to blame it too much on external circumstances, but that’s definitely important. Making music and making music on my own and then having fun with it. Working with new people, going to new places, and being curious and musically explore. I don’t want to be held back by external perceptions or where I’m at, what I’m not doing, or what I don’t have. I want to, and I am dreaming big. I look back at my 18-year-old self sitting in a super small room in Toronto, working on music, having these big dreams of making music full time. That was ridiculous. If I look back at that kid, I had cat litter in my room. I was living in a house with six other people and five cats. That’s like eleven people, technically. That version of me inspires me to dream from where I am, where I want to be at the end of the year, and to the future because my past version already showed me what’s possible. It’s funny for me to have a past version of me inspire me to get to new heights, but that’s what’s been going on for me and helping me keep my head up and not draw myself in. Whatever I’ve been dealing with last year, I don’t want to jinx anything on my vision board right in front of me, but you’ll definitely see. You won’t want to miss it.
WizTheMc's Where Silence Feels Good is available everywhere you can stream it.