Gothenburg artist sir Was,also known as Joel Wästberg, is soon to release a new album titled Holding On To A Dream on September 20th via Memphis Industries. The hip-hop, electronic, old soul music inspired album contains 11 tracks uniquely put together. Each conjuring up the past yet futuristic in their execution. When asked about the album he states, “I was interested in having a lusher sound, more rich,”Wästberg says. “With the first record I had this idea that I wanted it to sound like an old vinyl record. I wanted this lo-fi, old-school sound. When I realized that I was actually making another album, I felt a bit scared of the whole thing, but it didn’t take me that long to realise that the only thing I could do was to make something that felt really right in my body and soul. I’ve realised that there’s nothing to be afraid of. I’m ready to explore so much more.”
We wanted to find out more about sir Was so we asked him to pick three albums that have influenced him and his music. These are his picks.
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Voodoo (Virgin Records, 2000) – D’Angelo
This album, I think I was around 19 or 20 when I first heard it. I was blown away and also very confused. Some of these songs were rhytmically something I’d never heard before. I remember playing it loud in a stereo and the feeling almost comes back as I write these words. It filled up the room and me. The first track……Wow. It was powerful to say the least. This album has followed me ever since. I still come back to it regurlarly and everytime the sound and feel gets to me. It contains so many things I love in music.
A Lil’ Light (Stones Throw Records, 2003) – Dudley Perkins
When I heard this record I was immediately drawn to the sound and feel of the record. I always find it hard to describe these things but I’ll try. A warm, fat , messy, analog , slightly rough around the edges feel to it. It felt like it all sat together so nicely. Some of the songs made so much sense to me lyrically. One song called Money. I hadnt really heard anyone sing about money or rather the lack of money in that way. But also the bigger more abstract themes about existence in general resonated in me. I loved how Dudley Perkins dealt with these subjects in such a natural , playful and direct way. Without the beats and lovely production I wouldnt have picked up on this. It made me listen to lyrics in a new way.
Blonde (Boys Don’t Cry, 2016) – Frank Ocean
I didn’t really connect with this album at first but its grown on me and maybe the last year or so I’ve been listening to it a lot. Especially in my car. Very loud. I love driving around with some of these songs blasting in the speakers. Such a rich sound but still very ”tight and controlled” if you know what I mean. The songs seems to just exist in a natural way without being predictable. I love how the lyrics just goes everywhere, high and low, concrete, abstract, silly, sad, humorus, vulgar, honest, plastic, young, old. They are so many things and at the same time so precise and playful.
It makes me feel everything is possible somehow.