Wasia Project is the joining of forces of siblings Will Gao and Olivia Hardy. Drawing inspiration from their mixed British-Asian background, they wield a sophisticated range of artistic references to dream up their sound. Defying genre, their oeuvre meanders between lo-fi bedroom pop, unfurling jazz, and classic-tinged tracks.
After unleashing their debut EP, “how can i pretend?”, Wasia Project has amassed a hefty following. Drawn in by the duo’s unparalleled sound, their fans have been ready and waiting for their latest offering “Petals on the Moon”. The track kicks off with driving guitars, as Hardy’s feathery lilt comes into play. Hair-raising harmonies build into a vibrant chorus – which begs to be played on repeat. While “Petals on the Moon” is sonically celestial, its searingly intimate lyrics bring the track back down to earth. Centred on the struggle that is life, Wasia Project explain that it deals with: “Constantly wanting more and getting through life as if you were a petal on the moon.”
Embodying the current yet nostalgic sound of revered indie artists like Mitski and Weyes Blood, everybody wants a piece of the Wasia Project. Having sold out London’s Omeara in only five minutes, the proof is in the pudding. Before the duo embark on a whirlwind 2023, we had the utmost pleasure of chatting to them. Talking their mixed heritage, the perils (and joys) of working with your sibling, and how their music journey started – we covered it all.
Head below to listen to Wasia Project’s latest single “Petals on the Moon”…
Head below for our interview…
Hi Wasia Project! How are you?
What did you eat for breakfast this morning?
Avocado on toast and a coffee that was way too sweet. Olivia probably had coffee (from pret).
How do you feel like your heritage has influenced your sound?
Growing up, we were exposed to so many different forms and genres of music across both sides of our heritage, mainly from our parents. This has definitely influenced the stuff we make. Whenever we are creating, there are so many moments where we are like ‘Oh that sounds very Debussy’ or ‘Dang, I remember that tune from a Chinese soap commercial’ etc…
Did you grow up always knowing that you wanted to make music?
Kind of. I guess it’s been such a constant in our lives that we never actively thought about it.
What’s it like working as siblings? Is there a boundary between making music and hanging out, or are the two conflated?
It’s fun and chaotic. Yeah the balance is key and it’s like two different zones of our lives. It’s nice though because when we are Wasia Project, we still have that ease of being siblings.
Your last single “My Vine” is beautiful, consisting of nature imagery. Could you talk us through your artistic process behind it?
Originally I wrote it in response to a friend of ours getting married. I’m a big fan of “Sonnet 29” by Elizibeth Barret Browning, and loved the idea of romantic love being compared to a vine round a tree. We then performed it at their wedding reception before deciding to record and release it. It was done at home over the summer and Olivia produced, adding some really nice violin which I feel made the track.
How about your new single “Petals On The Moon”?
“Petals on the moon” was the result of us wanting a number people could dance to in the live shows. It’s all about uplifting yourself when you’re down and just getting through it, as if you were a petal on the moon. We played it at our Omeara show the other month.
You’ve been getting into playing live shows lately. What’s your favourite thing about performing?
We love playing with our band. We’ve known them for ages from school and playing with them is just the best.
Is there a particular city or venue that’d be a dream for you guys to play in?
Brixton academy would be nuts. We recently went to Radio City Hall in New York City! That would be cool. Fonda theatre in LA too.
Do you have any advice for young artists, who are just starting out?
Be authentic to yourself and write as much as you can!
Lastly, what’s next for the Wasia Project? What will 2023 hold?
More music, more shows, more parties, more of it all really!