After a chance encounter gigging in Brussels, little did the now duo of rapper Jay Atohoun and singer-producer Willem Ardui know that their brief exchange at the time would become the boundless, grooving expanse of blackwave.
Immediately exercising their creative rapport, they were soon eagerly trading ideas online which culminated in their standout debut project, “Mic Check” in 2017, which continues to catch ears and turn heads the world over to this day. With a name derived from their innate differences and musical backgrounds, their juxtaposed talents formed a rapturous and synergistic yin to yang.
With each meticulously crafted effort, they bring the best out of each other in order to keep the needle moving forward along the groove of their ever-unfolding musical story. Syphoning diverse themes from the likes of hip-hop, pop, jazz, soul and funk through their nostalgic, and at times rose-tinted lens, their vividly transformative approach grants them the creative freedom to blur the lines between both genre and era for a chameleonic sound that’s unmistakably their own.
Keen to translate their music into a live setting, they connected with equally as passionate musicians at the Royal Conservatory in Antwerp and were fast selling out shows across the country. They swiftly captured the attention of their native Belgium, receiving nationwide radio play which soon progressed to a performance at the infamous Pukkelpop festival. Their tireless work ethic gained a dizzying momentum in 2018, earning them numerous national TV appearances, multiple number one hits, an international tour, multiple awards and the release of their most impactful single to date, “Elusive.” This would be the first taste of their 2019 debut album, “ARE WE STILL DREAMING?” which would also feature the likes of Winston Surfshirt, Pell, Benny Sings and Caleborate to name but a few.
Noticing they take inspiration from life’s events both large and small led them to live their lives to the fullest, compounding their already stratospheric trajectory. More experiences meant more music, and their shared ambition of living to create and perform was soon becoming realised, hence the eponymous title of their album. Now over four years into their journey, they’re still chasing the blood-pumping rush of when an idea comes together in the studio and still challenging both themselves and each other. The peak of blackwave. is sure to reach new heights, 2021 and beyond.