by Mahroo Keshavarz
Seattle music has emerged with a new sound that is coming from within the walls of Waylon ”WD4D”’Duncon’s apartment and Moni Tep’s soulful, beyond her years voice. The two of them combined their artistist abilibites and came up with the album “Queen Feel”. An incredible album with WD4D’s heart-dropping and can’t-help-but-move-a little-bit-beats and of course Moni’s sultry voice, immediately makes you feel like your ears are on vacation. The two of them performed at Barboza on Friday November 10, opening up for Oddisee and the performance sounded exactly like the album does and everyone was moving to the music. You can’t help it once you hear it, trust me. You can download the album for free at Carepackage’s bandcamp and I highly suggest that you start following them on twitter at @wd4d and @jusmoni so you can see where you can see them for yourself. You can also check out WD4D spin his beats at Stop Biting Tuesdays at LoFI and Moni’s upcoming shows and info here. These two can definitely get the crowd moving and they can definitely answer these questions.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
W: I’d like to believe I’ll be a little more financially stable. Free to travel a bit. Still doing as much production & performance as possible, but setting myself up with more teaching/workshop income, as well as more licensing. Landing a track in a VW commercial or something… Not a bad way to pay some bills, you know?
M: I see myself living comfortably with my 8 year old son, being happy with him and being an amazing mother. I see myself creating my art and being able to sustain myself through it. And of course, still changing lives, one poem, one song at a time.
Who do you want to meet that’s dead and why?
W: I thought this was gonna be a tough question for me at first, but then the obvious answer struck: DILLA. Not too many other artists in our time have made music (especially beats for rappers) as touching as J-Dilla. He also made some super slapping club tracks too, but what really got me was the bossa nova samples, the bass lines, melodies, etc. The heartfelt stuff. And you can tell that man put so much of his heart into his music. In reality though, I’d probably be awkward as hell if we met. Dilla would clown me. Hahahaha. I could live with that!
M: I’d like to meet Nina Simone. I want to hear her stories, straight from her. I’d love to hold her hands and feel her spirit.
As a musician, there must be an “artist goal” in your mind. Is there anyone in particular that would be a dream to collaborate with?
W: I attribute a major shift in how I looked at, listened to, and made music to Daedelus. His music really opened my mind to a whole bunch of ideas that I had never really explored, or even imagined with hip hop music. Definitely gave me the map to the rabbit’s hole, then kindly gave me a nudge to enter. We’ll see if perhaps we can collaborate or remix one another’s work someday. Would certainly be the dream collaboration for me!
M: Tribe Called Quest.
Tell us about the project “Care package?”
W: Care Package is just a collective of artists that wanted a platform to share what we do, while also shining light on other select talent from around the world. We’re not really trying to get pigeon-holed into one style of music that we put out. Just want to share music that we feel is good for a number of reasons. Also, from the standpoint of an artist trying to gain exposure in this day and age, it makes sense to be with a collective/label like this, as opposed to flying solo. The more artists we have with their own Soundcloud, Bandcamp, etc, saying “listen to ME” over here, “check ME out” or “come to MY page”, the harder it’s going to be to find good music, or have your good music be found, for that matter. So long story short, somebody comes to the Care Package site to check out a song they heard by Suttikeeree, they see other releases by JusMoni x WD4D, Side Pony, and Zeta Barber too. All free downloads. So they check them all out and everybody wins!
M: Care Package is a collective of artists who love creating. It’s a group of movers and shakers.
What inspiration has Queen Feel created for your future projects?
W: It’s given me as a producer, the confidence to step up & envision a sound with somebody, go forward & create that sound, and see the project through to completion on a relatively short deadline. Wanna take this newfound confidence and workflow to try making a few tracks for some other local favorites (Mario & Malice Sweet amongst others). As far as working with Moni for this EP, she showed me how her work ethic in the studio trumps all. Even when life is throwing you curveballs & nothing’s making sense, she would come and let it out in the music. Making sense of things in the studio, really. She puts her heart & soul out there for you guys! Definitely want to continue working with Moni and put out more music ASAP!!!
M: Queen Feel allowed me to challenge myself as a writer. I hope to continue to work with production that is complex and not “easy”. It pushed me out of my comfort zone in a lot of ways. Queen Feel made me feel like it was ok to make music that is fun.
There is clearly a transition in music nowadays. What was called techno is now called so many other things, including something called “trap” music. How do you feel your music fits in with the transitions to the direction music is going in?
W: It’s kind of funny to me how quickly everything “transitions” in music. It’s mostly people just following trends, but it’s not all bad. I’m just glad to see electronic music have a lot more influence on almost ALL other kinds of music. We have the (techno)logy, why not use it? Trap has been around since the 90’s & people finally just started to embrace it on this whole other level. I’m not mad at that either. Sometimes too much of good thing though… You know the rest. I’ve just been making the music I want to hear, and doing what I do. If any of that does fit into the current direction of music, again, I’m not mad at that.
M: My music is just that, my music. I’m not to concerned about what people want to call it. I don’t know about trap music, and I don’t know about techno.. I barely know what’s “popular” right now. I just like good art, and I feel like I create some ok art, so as long as it’s going that direction, I’m good with it.
What was your intention behind Queen Feel?
W: With Queen Feel, intention was the key word. We wanted to be as intentional as possible with every step of the process. It started with some long hours in front of my computer. Going through EVERY single synth sound, drum machines, etc. No samples. Asking myself with each sound I browsed through, “does this have the Queen Feel sound?”. Well it wasn’t called Queen Feel yet, but you know what I mean. Moni & I had discussed different styles & sounds, artists, and even particular songs that were influential to us. All of this went into the decision making process(es). We just wanted more than anything I think, to make something really fresh. Really new. Something that might be hard to fit into just one genre maybe?
M: My intention behind Queen Feel, was to make something that would make me feel “queeny” again. I wanted to create something that can really make you feel good. I think Queen Feel is especially for all the gay boys and girls, so we can all dance our hearts out, even when the shit is heavy.