I have been silently stalking fast-rising duo WESLEE since they came onto my radar last year with their single, “Bathwater“. Their combination of clean productions, signature vocals, cool aesthetics and catchy af tunes quickly made them one of my favorite artists to watch – and they have been delivering ever since.Comprised of Josh & Emma, WESLEE was formed somewhat accidentally after both parties met during a writing session for another wannabe Pop star. Hailing from Kansas, Josh was in New York for the session when he met UK raised Emma after her relocation to the city that never sleeps. Starting as a writing duo (for other artists), being artists themselves was not really a part of the plan, but after deciding to release some original music, the instant support was all the motivation they needed to keep on keeping on.
While they only launched the project a year ago, they have already found support from tastemakers like Complex, The 405, DIY and The Line of Best Fit. Beyond the blog support, Annie Mac hopped on as an early supporter on radio and they have also been championed by Radio1, Beats1, Capital XTRA and stormed up the Spotify viral charts with the release of their new EP, “9F“.
The 7 track project is everything I was hoping for and more and personally, I have been knocking it since its release. Instead of going all in and breaking down the project track by track, I think it is best to let the music itself talk this time. Check it out in its entirety below and then keep scrolling for a quick interview with the dynamic duo.
RDFO: I’ve been a huge fan since you guys first hit me with “Bathwater”. How did you two first come together?
WESLEE: We first met in New York to work with and write for other artists.
RDFO: I know this is always hard for an artist to answer, but which release thus far is your most personal or just your personal favorite?
Josh: It changes from day to day, at the moment I’m into tongue tied, but also excited about the new music we are working on
RDFO: What is the meaning behind the title of your new project 9F?
WESLEE: Emma has spent the majority of the last couple of years on an airplane, 9F represents an airplane seat, she’s a fan of the window. We both live in different places but a tale of two cities had already been taken.
RDFO: What is the meaning behind the name WESLEE?
WESLEE: It was the name of Emma’s pet turtle when she was a kid. When we wrote gassed we joked around about what we would call the band or whatever if we were to put it out and Emma was likeWESLEE and that stuck.
RDFO: Can you give us a glimpse into your writing process?
WESLEE: It changes from day to day, a lot of the time we sort of just vibe mess around with stuff until something clicks, it’s really all about capturing the mood we are in in that particular moment in time. Lyrically Emma tends to write from personal experiences and it’s important that the music backs those lyrics up.
RDFO: I love the art direction for your branding. Is that done in house or do you have someone who helps?
WESLEE: Emma’s friend Alice Skinner is the illustrator for ‘Sweat Dreams’ and the ‘9F’ artwork and Koby Martin helped come up with the original lips logo.
RDFO: What is your background as individuals? Did you have solo projects before?
WESLEE: Writing + producing music, neither one of us had any intention of being artists, this was all sort of an accident…a very happy accident.
RDFO: What has been the most exciting bit of support you have gotten so far and has the response you have gotten lived up to or exceed what you were hoping for?
WESLEE: We really didn’t expect anything to happen so all of the support is super exciting and humbling. We love Annie Mac for championing us from the start, and was cool to have Shonda Rhimes give us a shout as well.
RDFO: What is up next for Weslee?
WESLEE: We are in the process of working on our next EP, and releasing our next two videos, which Emma directed, then hoping to play more shows. We try not to think ahead and just live in the day to day.