Meet WizTheMc, Your New Musical Obsession
The singer-songwriter sits down with us to discuss his new EP, long-distance relationships and rapping in the shower.
In the last decade, an increasing amount of young artists have been creating music that lives between any predefined genre lines. Among this new generation is WizTheMc, a 21-year-old whose rap name hails from a web avatar he created in middle school. With his characteristic chameleonic flows and candid lyrics, he soon took hold, and before you knew it, his single, “For A Minute,” had been streamed over 10 million times on Spotify. Now Wiz is back with his new EP, What About Now, where he bears all his emotions. Expect chance encounters, missed phone calls, and young gushy love.
“I’m a romantic person,” he said on a Zoom call the week before the EP dropped. He was in his home in Toronto, wearing a striped tee and a slew of beaded bracelets on his wrist. “I’m just deeply interested in love and how to make love work. And when it didn’t work out, I would put down my feelings into songs and see if I could figure it out through that.”
In the digital age where everyone is exposed to everything, and influence blends freely across genres, Wiz takes this to new levels. WizTheMc’s musical heritage is complex: Born in Cape Town, he later moved to Lüneburg, a small town in Germany, where he and his friends would watch YouTube videos together and perfect their flow. Wanting to create waves in the English rap scene, he moved to Toronto, Canada, where he has spent the past few years vibing with local artists and developing his musical approach. Crediting this diverse upbringing to his genre-agnostic sound, he said, “It just gave me room to play around with everything and anything because I was never too deep into any scene,” said Wiz. “And so I was never too attached to a certain image, a certain sound, certain aesthetic, a certain way of speaking.”
Featuring seven songs, this EP is one of the most authentic looks into the artist’s psyches. Grounded in acoustic guitar loops and infectious choruses, these songs explore budding love and the intimacy and heartbreak that follows. It’s an EP full of big, addictive pop songs (“WhoWho” is a total picnic banger, while “Circles” gives us second-hand butterflies) with a generous dose of rapping (“Lied” will get you in all the feels). For the EP’s groovy beats, Wiz hit up several established underground producers, including Hugo Palka — who has previously worked with Abhi The Nomad, Gil Ofarim, and Culcha Candela.
“It’s corny to say, but the EP is inspired by life,” the singer said. “Like my last relationship, because it was my first long-distance relationship. I was in Germany, and she was in Canada. And so it’s just like, I was away, and I couldn’t stop thinking about her. And I just wrote all these romantic inspired songs.”
Like the rest of Gen Z, Wiz is big on manifesting. When he started making music, he outlined his vision for the next ten years on a piece of paper. During this time he would concentrate on perfecting his flow, and when the deadline passed, he would start engineering his music career. This year marks his fifth year, and in so many ways, Wiz is ahead of schedule. Over quarantine, Wiz signed onto 10K Projects/Homemade Projects.
“I would freestyle every day, in the shower before high school,” he said candidly. “When I was 15, 16 I started rapping. All my homies were listening to rap and I went to YouTube and put in like how to rap better than your friends. And they’re tutorials on how to freestyle, and I would follow those tutorials.”
A homebody at heart, he spent a lot of time in his room absorbing different artists in various genres. It was then that his musical sensibilities started forming around two distinct poles. While Wiz is steeped in rap music and 2 Chainz and Tyga’s beats, he is equally inspired by pop icons like Sam Smith and Justin Bieber. Both genres play an important part in the EP’s creative tapestry, and it is this seamless transition between pop choruses and high energy rapping that makes Wiz’s music so intoxicating. One minute, he’s warbling his way through a song’s bridge, and the next, he’s hitting the boosters on a verse, making each song feel like a varied and dynamic world.
“Rap is very accessible,” said Wiz. “And I felt like it was a great medium to talk about whatever you want, there are no limits.”
This shapeshifting superpower is most evident in “Say Hi,” where Wiz blends his vulnerable lyrics to the hardcore rapping that’s ingrained in his musical DNA. A sense of emotional strength underscores the entire song. As lyrics are sown over an energetic, pulsing drum beat, the song manifests his yearning to seal those moments of pure joy in a relationship into concrete sound. Willing to mix his personal anecdotes into the rap universe, the new EP is poignant, heart-rendering confessional that all of us can relate to in one form or another.
“My end goal and goal right now is I want everyone in the world to find at least one song off my catalog they love, and they can party with and go to sleep with or cry to,” Wiz said. “I’m not trying to play to any demographic specifically. I want people to give it a chance to embrace it and fall in love with it.”
When he is stretching the boundaries of his sound, as he does in several places on What About Now, you’ll find yourself unraveling a cross-genre love story that’s eerily familiar. If you’re like us and want some good tunes to bop to, start streaming What About Now (out now!).