12 - 14 July 2024 GLASGOW GREEN @TRNSMTFEST

Wasia Project

Wasia Project
King Tut's Stage Sunday, 14 July
listen now spotify
The most enduring artists don’t just make songs: they invite you into an entire world. That’s the mission in a nutshell of Wasia Project, aka London-based siblings Will Gao (20) and Olivia Hardy (18), whose intoxicatingly honest alt-pop has generated an entire ecosystem of like-minded fans with deep connections to the band’s scalpel-sharp take on adolescent growing pains. “Our fanbase is very young as well, and they're growing with us,” says Olivia, “We’re so in touch with [our audience] because of social media, which helps us create a place of belonging where you’re not alone.” That ethos has made Wasia Project one of the UK’s most exciting new pop acts. The band has an online audience of over almost 200K, eight million Spotify streams, and, in 2022, the duo’s music was streamed in 179 nations around the world. You’d be forgiven for not knowing that many countries existed. But their massive reach is a corollary of their pan-global approach to pop. Will and Olivia’s music dynamically melds styles and influences that cut across genre lines — and even entire hemispheres of musical tradition. In their songs, hushed bedroom DIY combines with classical nous, and spiky disco melds with freewheeling jazz, in a merging that’s underpinned by the duo’s deep knowledge of both Western and East Asian Classical styles. Wasia Project kicked off 2023 with “Petals on the Moon,” a multifaceted slice of indie pop perfection with an air-punch of a chorus that’s so addictive it should come with a warning. As well as the monster hook, there’s a sly depth to Olivia’s vocals as she sings “I can’t help but feel I’ll always be so blue” that lends the song the emotional heft of a young Joni Mitchell or Rickie Lee Jones. The same emotional nuance coursed through the band’s 2022-released debut EP. Titled how can i pretend?, the four-song project’s songs could pull you from the brink of tears to unabashed euphoria in the space of seconds. “You can’t stay high all the time,” says Olivia. “Without the moments of feeling down, you can’t have the wonderful ones.”