Genre-bending, retro-pop duo WHOAA has a sound unlike anything I’ve ever heard. Female vocalist “Ring” and the artist known as “Dolla” bring a unique flair to their music that will stick with you long after you’ve heard it. I got the chance to talk to them about what WHOAA stands for, who some of their musical influences are, what the story behind “Candy Love” is and so much more. Keep reading to see what they had to say!
For those who might not have heard of Y’all, can you give us a brief history of the duo and how you guys came together?
Ok, brief… whew, that is hard but here we go – we do have somewhat of a long, interesting story but basically we met through a mutual music acquaintance or shall I say re-met, and we then started doing music together and here we are 4 years later. We are WHOAA!
WHOAA is such a unique name for a band. Where did it come from and what does WHOAA stand for?
Well, WHOAA is an acronym for When Hearts Open And Attract. We are both always trying our best to live life with a positive mind and [we’re] always about spreading love and positive energy to others. So WHOAA just kind of came to us as a reflection of our lifestyle. We love to have fun but also love to inspire and uplift people as well. We just love to spread LOVE at the end of the day!
You guys put a big emphasis on creating genre-bending music. If you had to describe the kind of music you create without using genre names, how would you describe your sound?
Yes, we aim to create something that can seamlessly cross-genres. That’s always an interesting question for us… if we could describe it, here’s what it might feel like: bright, colorful, electric, glowing, elevating, feel-good, warm, spacey, positive, and uplifting… oh and versatile.
Because you guys are constantly pushing the boundaries of genre, I was wondering — who are some of your musical influences?
That is a long list — we are OLD SOULS over here. But let’s break it down between the two of us.
Ashley “Ring” is influenced by: Mariah Carey, Teena Marie, Betty Wright, Mary Davis of SOS Band, Paula Abdul, Prince, Lita Ford, Kip Winger of Winger, Joe Elliot of Def Leppard, and Janet Gardner of Vixen, just to name a few (I would say these are overall my top VOCALIST influences).
“Dolla” is influenced by: Prince, Michael Jackson, The Isley Brothers, Ready for the World, Morris Day & The Time, Larry Blackmon of Cameo, WAR, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Tupac Shakur, Outkast, Lord Infamous of Three 6 Mafia, Jay-Z, Scarface, UGK, Twista, Gangsta Pat, Rick James, and Bar-Kays.
We told you there were a lot!
Talk a little bit about your latest single, “Candy Love.” What is the story behind this song?
“Candy Love” is ALL ABOUT LOVE! We say “love” 43 times. Catch the vibe?!? For us, it is really an anthem about not giving up. Even when times are tough, you just got to push through. If your true core is love, that is way easier and sweeter than having hateful energy in your core!
What was your writing process like for this song in particular? Are you guys a band who likes to keep it in-house or do you like to collaborate with others?
We typically write all of our tunes ourselves. We are always open to collaborating with others though!
You guys recently released a music video for “Candy Love.” What was the shooting process like?
It was fun! The director we worked with on “Candy Love,” Mike of IAMEYEPHOTOS, is very easy to work with and artistically and musically he just gets us. So that makes for a smooth process when it comes to doing the storyboard and then executing the video. We are always on the same page.
And the video just made its way to Ellen DeGeneres and was recently featured on EllenTube. Congratulations! What was your initial reaction when you heard that news?
Thank you! We have been submitting to EllenTube for a while now. As soon as we finished “Candy Love,” we knew Ellen had to see and hear it. We love her energy and what she stands for with her show; she is all about love. So we were very excited to hear that they wanted to add the “Candy Love” video on EllenTube! We hope to actually be on her show one day. We are working towards that! Hey Ellennnnn 😉
Musically, what can people expect from you for the rest of 2018? Is there an EP or a full-length album release coming anytime soon? Any tour plans?
As far as 2018 goes, we will be releasing a song every month. We have so much content we will just be unloading. We have WHOAATV coming, more music videos and more music. Our album is almost finished and we are looking to release that around March of 2019. We do have two EP’s available now, The Day Before and Broke Hearts Avenue.
Last question — we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner-nerd. What is something, besides music, that you nerd out about?
Ring is definitely a nerd about food and cooking. Dolla is a nerd about Sega Genesis Video Games.