- 17 Aug 21
Dublin rapper Wallfella tells us about his new EP, Way Too Cosy.
You’re bringing elements of old-school hip-hop to the Irish scene – what are the main influences on your approach?
I experiment as much as possible, so bringing those elements to the table has been essential to my growth as an artist. I've always been a massive rap fan, so I've gained a lot of inspiration over the years from numerous artists. Artists like Mac Miller, Vince Staples, Tyler, The Creator, Isaiah Rashad have recently inspired my music. I'm a big fan of the Golden age of hip-hop also, and I get my style from listening to a lot of classics. But I try to keep my influences as current as possible at the same time. I have grown to appreciate beautiful chords and dreamy vocals lately, and I think that will only benefit my growth musically in the long term. I tried to be as true to myself as possible throughout this latest EP – it was a vulnerable and eye opening experience creating the project!
What was the inspiration behind your new EP, Way Too Cosy?
The project actually came from some self-reflective thoughts I was having last year. I was beating myself up mentally about not doing enough, I was watching other artists do well and felt like I needed to get a move on. I kept telling myself I was 'lazy' and 'too cosy'. But then I realised that this wasn't necessarily a bad thing, and I began to ignore what others were doing – changing my whole perspective. Sometimes taking your time is okay if that's what you need at that moment. There is no real reason to rush everything. We should take our time however we want to. I think I had a bit of an awakening.
The start of 2021 was rough for me personally, so I spilled a lot of the feelings I had on some of the tracks. I began living in the present, and I believe this project was inspired by this change in my life. So the inspiration primarily came from within. The inspiration musically came from listening to a lot of Mac Miller. I could never replicate how good of an artist Mac was, but listening to his music made me write a certain way, so it was fuel for me to use.
All the tracks were recorded in a garden shed – is that DIY ethos important to you as an artist?
For sure! I'm as DIY as you can get! I truly believe we live in an age where anybody can make music, and the production be good enough to release into the open.
My best friend David Turner and his brother Adam had set their back garden shed up a space for all of us (myself and my friends) to chill out last year during the lockdown. They were good enough to let me use it as a recording space. Shoutout to them! And shoutout to 'The Shed' – it's now a place full of amazing memories! It is important to use what you have – if you have a laptop with some software, an audio interface and a mic, go get it! I am also completely open to working in a studio setting with established producers and engineers, and I hope those sessions aren't too far down the line! For now though, and since the start, it has been myself, my friends and a microphone. That's all we ever needed to create something we could be proud of.
What do you think of the state of Irish hip-hop right now?
All I see lately is positives in Irish hip-hop! The quality of music is clearly improving. There are so many talented artists out there at the moment. One of the producers on my EP is an amazing Irish producer, Charlie Beats. He is definitely one of the more talented producers I've worked with! There are amazing artists out there in all the subgenres of Irish hip-hop. Nealo, Lethal Dialect, Kojaque, Sello, Sea-High, Odd Numbers, Mango X Mathman, Rebel Phoenix, Curtisy, Graham Thompson and Strange Boy are just a few who have been in rotation in my headphones lately. I think the scene is the healthiest it has ever been. I've always been a fan of many artists who have carried the flag over the years, so it's amazing to see the growth recently. I was delighted Kojaque got a Top 5 album in the charts! Massive for the scene in this country!
What are your plans for the months ahead?
I'm already thinking of what the next project is going to be! It goes against the message of my latest EP completely! While making the EP I've made 20+ tracks, so I think the next thing to do is go through those and strategise what's next. I would absolutely love to get onto a few stages in the next few months too. There's a lot of tracks even from my last project that I haven't been able to perform due to the lockdown, so I have a lot to offer to any events or festivals! I also plan to work with a lot more artists and producers – many from the list I mentioned above I would be honoured to work with. There might already be a few bits in the works with some of them, but that's for the next Q&A! Lastly, I plan to enjoy the summer as much as possible – whether that is by spending time with loved ones or making music, once I'm happy in the moment it's all good!
• Way Too Cosy is out now.
Watch Wallfella play a live-streamed gig tonight on the Hot Press Instagram (@hotpressmagazine) at 7.30pm – supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.