wAFF music is energy in more ways than one.
wAFF is one of the biggest DJ producers to come out of the UK in the last decade and guess what? He’s gonna be spinning here in Bali this Friday night at a not to be missed show in Bali’s premium, cavern of the underground, Red Ruby.
The Beat had the chance to chat with wAFF earlier this week. It’s a great story, and here we go.
Influential and globally renowned, from the dancefloors of Leeds and Hull, where he started, to the biggest stages around the world, the 34 year old wAFF is a master of the house and tech genre. The producing wAFF has become a frequent fixture on the biggest and best imprints in the business. Unrelenting in his pursuit of providing the masses with timeless records and unforgettable performances, the Nature label boss is perhaps best-known for his links to Jamie Jones’ Hot Creations label and subsequent Paradise brand – where he has played a role since its maiden season at Ibiza’s revered DC-10 in 2012. wAFF is one of the masters.
A couple of months ago, he released a hefty three-track EP titled ‘Slapfunk’ on Hot Creations, which has some definite syncopated funk going on. That was the first release on that label in 7 years showing quite a progression from then. We asked what the release meant to him.
“Slapfunk was just a track I made a year ago after I went to Bret Club in Amsterdam for ADE to an event called Slapfunk which is a party from 2 friends of mine Julian Alexander and Samuel Deep. It’s one of my favourite parties in the world, the music is super cool, underground and housey so I always leave there with so much inspiration to make music. So I made Slapfunk after that party, which originally sounded very different, I was trying to make a track that I felt would go down really well at a Slapfunk party, but as usual I start with one idea and then it will just transform into something totally different, which is exactly what happened with my track Slapfunk. I still really enjoyed the final product so I just kept the name, but it’s not something that I could see going down at Slapfunk anymore ha. But it does go down big time in the bigger clubs so yeah that’s the story of Slapfunk.”
wAFF has also been introducing the world to his new environmentally-focused music label, NATURE over the past year. We asked him what the label meant to him. “There’s so much that’s happened over the past few years (during the pandemic time) that I really wanted to create a platform of expression and creativity that would be meaningful not just for me but for everyone. I hope the label will be something that brings us back down to earth, to ground us. Nature is so important to me so I wanted something that felt like an extension of myself and what I care about so much. Nature provides all life with what we need, nature heals us and that’s something I like to think of with this label. By providing the best quality of music for everyone, it can help with healing.” With a focus not only on music but all things that influence the art form he’s built his world around, it’s clear to see that wAFF’s commitment to the cause is a genuinely refreshing beacon of positivity and externally serving goodness – earning him pride of place at the forefront of the industry.
TB: Nowadays you are quite famous for being the spiritual DJ. Where do you think all your spiritual stuff will take you?
“I’ve been spiritual most my adult life. It’s a huge part of me and I live my life through spirituality. Energy is everything to me so I always try to live my life in balance. I’m very sensitive to my own energy so I’m very aware of when I’m doing something that isn’t right for me or effecting me in the wrong way. I make the majority of my decisions in life based on my energy. It’s a very complicated thing to explain and would take a very long interview to explain exactly how I do this but let’s just say I’m so conscious of myself and energy that I always know what’s the best and right thing to do for myself. I’ve been doing reiki healing since 13 years although I don’t really do it anymore unless it’s someone who I really know needs help then I’ll make some time to do it, but I don’t focus on that side of it all too much. I’ve had very intense experiences with spirits / ghosts / entities whatever you wish to call them, to me it’s spirits so that’s also been a huge part of my life and again, we could talk for hours and hours about all of that if we had more time. But yeah my life’s been fully involved in spirituality and it’s been intense to say the least but I also love it and it’s a part of me. I love people, I love the world, I love all life and I just live my life with as much love for everything as I can, which I think is the best that I can do.”
TB: Where are you touring now?
I’m currently in Bali again. Then Jakarta on the 2nd. I’ve never been to Jakarta so I’m looking forward to seeing how that will be, but I’m really excited for Red Ruby this Friday too. I heard it’s a really cool spot and more intimate so should be a good night! I just did 2 weeks in Thailand where I played for Babaloop at Baba Beach Club with all my friends who run the event there, which was sick. 3 days non-stop music. After Bali I go to LA then Mexico then back home for Christmas before I go away again for New Year in South America!”
TB: What were the highlights this past summer?
There’s been too many highlights to pick from but I would say doing my Comuna 13 party in the Colombian favelas in Medellin has to be one of the best things I have done this year. It’s so special to be there doing my own event that we had 3000 people show up and party all through the day to night. It’s really something special in a place like that! Of course, Ibiza had its own non-stop moments playing Paradise at Amnesia and other places. But I just played to 16,000 people at a new venue in London called Drumsheds. We had Paradise there and it was unreal how huge and amazing that was. So there’s 3 great memories that stand out.
TB: So it’s not your first time to Bali?
“No, this is my second time here in Bali. I came a few years ago, well, maybe it’s like 4 years ago now, it was before covid as I remember, but I’ve lost all sense of time from having 2 years off during covid life ha, so I can’t actually remember when I was last here! I played at a really sick club called the Vault as I remember, which was so sick. Really cool underground venue which I didn’t expect in Bali.
TB: Red Ruby is an intimate club, but always rammed with the finest underground music lovers. What can they expect from you this Friday?
“Well, they can expect wAFF playing wAFF music ha, no, but I will most likely be keeping things groovy, some rolling house, some minimal here and there. If it’s a small venue, I won’t be playing a big festival set, but I’ll be keeping things grooving and rolling. which I guess is always my vibe anyways. It will be great.”
TB: Just as an aside, tell me about your name. What does it mean?
“My last name is Wafer, which is a bizarre last name to have as a wafer is a thin biscuit, ha. So no idea why I have that as a last name. But I’ve just been called wAFF since I was at school and it just stuck with me. Everyone calls me wAFF so that’s just what I kept for my DJ name.”
wAFF will be in town spinning the first time at Red Ruby this Friday night, December 1. Needless to say, you gotta be there!