Pop duo Wotts consists of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Jayem and bassist Ricky 100 from Ottawa, Canada.
Since their debut at the RBC Blues Fest, Wotts have performed at Canadian Music Week, Juno Fest, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Metro News (Canada), and PopMatters have all given them shootouts for their work (U.S.).
Today, we’re interviewing them about their musical journey together and their new track, “Lemonade,” which they’ve released recently.
What is your real name?
Rick and Jay
What’s your official Showbiz name?
Ricky 100 and Jayem and together we are Wotts.
How did you get into music?
I grew up in a smaller town with nothing much to do, so playing music and jamming with friends was always a great way to stay entertained. It eventually evolved into a huge part of my life.
What field or genre are you into and how would you describe it?
We used to make hip hop music but over the last year, we’ve switched to making indie-pop. That being said, if you listen to us, it’s pretty obvious that we draw from other genres.
There are lots of hurdles you face when making music, but nowadays it seems like people are embracing stuff that doesn’t fit neatly into one box, so that’s kinda nice.
What were your first project and the people you worked with and which year?
I had a four-piece band when I was in seventh grade, around 2006. We played a lot of grunge and alt-rock covers and were really bad, but we had a ton of fun and it was a great excuse to hang out.
Who or what inspires you or motivates you? And why?
Seeing other motivated and passionate people inspires me. I try to surround myself with them, as they are usually very productive and happy in life.
Any models you look up to? With reason(s) why?
I’m really inspired by musicians who produce and mix their own music. Kevin Parker comes to mind, he’s one of the biggest creative minds right now, but it’s crazy that he does everything on his own, and does it all incredibly well.
What do you look out for in this line of business?
Good people. Might be an obvious answer, but at the end of the day, nothing beats hanging out and making music with people who just like to vibe. No egos!
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
There’s definitely good and bad. The fact you can record something in your room and distribute it on platforms for people around the world is mind-blowing.
But on the flip side, more people in the game means more predators and internet scammers after your money. At the end of the day though, it gives everyone a platform, and that’s great.
Do you have any advice for aspiring songwriters?
Keep at it. It takes time to nail down your style, voice and process. Find good people in your scene, help each other out, and watch out for people trying to take advantage of you.
What is your current project about?
We just dropped our single “LEMONADE”. It’s about persevering in tough times. It’s hard to nail down the exact inspiration for it but it has some M83 and Empire of the Sun vibes. Not a bad track to listen to while you soak up some sun!
What are your hobbies?
Skateboarding and my dog Ripley.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
Big thank you to anyone that’s checked us out. Changing from hip hop to pop is a pretty jarring move, but for anyone that stuck with us, or came on board after, we truly appreciate y’all.