Since it was released last month, Brisbane-based pop up-and-comer Wafia's new single 'I'm Good' has chalked up 70k+ plays on Soundcloud and 240k+ views on YouTube for the official lyric video as well as receiving love from places like triple j.
The 25-year-old singer is overwhelmed by the response, noting it's a big move for her musically. “I've never done anything like it before,” she says.
“On the voice memo of that song, I could hear myself talking to my co-writer and being so excited about it. I could already hear the keyboard, the melody... I could even hear the point where it was going to come in when we played it in the set. In that moment of putting it together, it felt so exciting.”
The co-writer in question is Stephen Wrabel who, like Wafia, uses part of their real name as a mononym and has credits on songs by pop heavyweights like Ellie Goulding and Backstreet Boys.
Wrabel is one of several people Wafia has worked with on new music, and Wafia feels like letting other people in on her process has allowed for her own abilities to grow.
“I feel like it's a result of taking risks with people that I'm getting in the room to write and produce with,” she says of the confidence that has come with her new batch of songs.
“I've been choosing people really carefully – if I'm writing with them, it means that I really trust their tastes and their instinct. I give them the space to play around and try new things, and often they'll change my mind about parts I normally wouldn't think to put into my songs.
“What's interesting,” she continues, “is that I've worked a lot with co-writers that have more of a background in acoustic, singer-songwriter kind of stuff. Some have even been session musicians for country artists.
"I think what brings us together is that we're all kind of weirdos in our own way. I love that – I identify with that. I use that commonality to go in and make something different together.”
'I'm Good' is one of several songs Wafia has been working on since the release of her third EP, 'VIII', in January. She promises there is more to come, but whether it will culminate in a full-length release is still up in the air. “There's definitely something ongoing,” she says.
“I just don't know what form it's going to take just yet. I don't want to use the A-word until I've figured it all out. I've been working and writing non-stop for the past two years, and there's a lot of changes in my sound that have happened in that time.
"If I'm going to put something together like that, then I want it to be my absolute best.”
In the meantime, Wafia and her band have a long road of touring ahead of them including a run of headlining dates through Australia, the US and Europe.
As much as Wafia loves performing to audiences here at home – as she did recently, performing at Splendour In The Grass and opening for CHVRCHES – she is particularly excited about making further inroads internationally.
“I did a US tour earlier in the year, and it's going to be great to go back to these places and see how the audience has built,” she says.
“I'm sure I'll see people that I saw the last time I was there, but I'm also anticipating seeing new people coming as well and making them feel welcome.”
'I'm Good' is available now.
Wafia Tour Dates
Fri 5 Oct - Howler (Melbourne) Sat 6 Oct - Woolly Mammoth (Brisbane) Fri 12 Oct - Oxford Art Factory (Sydney) Thu 18 Oct - Mojos Bar (Fremantle) Fri 19 Oct - The Sewing Room (Perth) Sat 20 Oct - Jive (Adelaide)