For Recording Artist Wavy the Creator, Expressing Herself Is Worth the Wait
When Wavy the Creator, real name Jennifer Ejoke, describes herself as an alien, you really believe her. If an alien is a mysterious being that does their own thing, then, sure, she is an alien. Wearing many hats as a recording artist, photographer, fashion designer and filmmaker, the self-proclaimed “genre bender” has managed to create a multidisciplinary career without conforming to any norms except the ones she creates for herself.
Born in Lagos, Nigeria and raised in the US, Wavy has always been surrounded by music but never actually planned to become an artist. In 2016, she got her start in the music industry as the the personal photographer to Nigerian hip-hop artist Olamide. When she decided to give music a try in 2017, the result was her debut hit song “H.I.G.H (Her In Greater Heights)”. Since then, she has collaborated with Tiwa Savag, Flohio and Eugy, and performed around the world.
This month, Wavy released her first body of work, a seven-track EP titled P.S. Thanks You For Waiting, which is a reference to the hiatus she took from the spotlight and an acknowledgment of the fans—79k of them on Instagram alone—who have been patiently waiting for her return.
Wavy’s sound blends elements of hip-hop, Afro pop and electronic dance music. The new release, on which she sings of life, love and sexuality delivered in melodies sung against delicate piano chords and vibrant percussion, features collaborations with other Nigerian talents including Tay Iwar and WurLD.
“P.S. Thank You For Waiting is an expression of myself and all the different types of love I have experienced over the years,” Wavy says. “I am opening up in ways I have never done before in the past. I speak about love, lust, infatuation, heartbreak and feeling like I’ve been omitted all in one body of work. It takes you on a whirlwind of emotions and love expressed in all forms.”
The Folklore spoke to multidisciplinary artist Wavy the Creator about her new project, where the name Wavy came from and forging her own unique path in the music industry.
How would you describe yourself? Can you please tell us about your background?
The best alien to ever walk earth. I was born in Lagos, grew up in Lagos and Kansas City, Missouri, later moved to Houston after high school.
What drew you to the music industry? Do you remember when you first wanted to pursue music?
I was constantly surrounded by music. I loved and enjoyed music, but never planned to actually make music, because for one I didn’t think I could actually sing. The most singing I did was in my bathroom while I showered. My love for music grew stronger when I started working with Olamide in December 2016 as a personal photographer, and as a creative who loves to explore and challenge myself I decided to give it a try in 2017. I just met a producer named HOD and he had asked me if I could take some photos for him for press and we decided to do a trade where he gives me free studio time and I take photos for him for free. It worked out pretty well, I recorded my first record “H.I.G.H” and the rest is history.
You’ve probably been asked this numerous times, but we still want to know: where does the “Wavy” in your name come from? Does it have a particular meaning?
Wavy was given to me by a friend from Houston in 2015. There was a particular day I was in the studio with him and for some reason he believed I could sing a particular line on a song he was recording exactly the way he had imagined it. I did and he said to me, “Wow, this sounds wavy af. I’m gonna start calling you Wavy, cos you wavy”.
Your visuals for your videos are always so unique and creative. Where do you find inspiration?
I have been inspired by a lot of great people, from the likes of Michael Jackson to Sade Adu, so there’s always somewhere to pull from every time there are visuals to create. Therefore, I believe that every opportunity to create a visual that is attached to music, it is very necessary to be intentional and creative with it.
What is your process when it comes to writing music? What or who are your major influences when it comes to music?
I have had different processes since I started music in 2017. My first record was a freestyle, and a few other records that came after that. Then I moved to listening to the beat, writing down words that related to how the beat made me feel, then formed a song from it and then currently putting down my melodies and spending time writing to it. I am influenced by a lot of things when it comes to music—my environment, emotional state, my connection to the instrumental, where I am at the moment I am recording.
You just released your new project P.S. Thank You For Waiting this month. Congratulations! What can your listeners expect from this new project?
This project is a new level and new world for me and everyone who supports me. It’s a lot of growth and emotions being translated into songs. It’s really the beginning of a new chapter in my music career, that will open amazing new doors. It’s a starting point for who I will be as an artist and there are high and low levels of emotions. It starts from a heartbreak song and ends with a celebration of life.
The title of the record is a reference to the time that has passed between your debut “H.I.G.H” in 2017 and now. You’ve also been open about some of the difficulties you’ve faced in that time. Why is now the right time for you to step back out into the spotlight? What impact did the time away have on you and your work?
It felt like the right time. Everything aligned and everything felt almost perfect. It‘s my first body of work and I took enough time to be sure this is exactly how I wanted it to be released and received by everyone who will come across it.
You were the official photographer of Nigerian hip-hop artist Olamide and now you are preparing for your new musical endeavors. How would you say your experience as a photographer within the music industry has contributed to your own musical career?
I was the official photographer for Olamide from December 2016 through to early 2017, which really gave me some kind of insight into the music world. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes so I was privileged to get a view of that to somehow help with how to move through the industry.
You have forged your own path in your career with your own sense of style and unique sound and are not one to conform to any norms that are placed upon you. What keeps you motivated to continue to push past any limitations and continue to create your own lane?
One of the reasons I had to go away was so I remember exactly why I decided to continue making music after my first record and why I choose to create art in the way I do. It’s especially because of my uniqueness that inspires everyone who understands my art. It is very necessary to be true to myself as a creative and believe fully in who I am, so that it translates to everything I create. My supporters keep me motivated, because they understand.
Photography by TSE