With the magic date of March 10 creeping closer, Out The Frame, Ghent’s most exciting new festival organized by Vooruit and All Eyes On Hip Hop, have released a fresh batch of new names to add to its head-turning lineup that defies genre categorization. WWWater, Strange U, Flohio, NAH, Azer and Supafly Collective will join the bill alongside Open Mike Eagle, Junglepussy, GAIKA, Chynna, Moor Mother, Milo, Ivan Ave and STIKSTOF, amongst many, many more. The former of the newest additions, WWWater, is particularly excited. This Ghent native has had a massive breakthrough year, filled with high energy shows and a well-received debut EP. As she doesn’t mind to venture into unknown territory through her shows, she embodies the spirit of Out The Frame perfectly. In anticipation of her performance, we called up this hard-working artist to check if she was as excited as we are.
How did 2017 treat you? In your opinion, what was the best moment of the year for you personally?
"There are actually two moments that really stood out for me. One of which is the concert at my favourite festival: Dour. I mean, there were a lot of great shows, but this one was exceptional. That crowd was everything it was supposed to be: open-minded, supportive and it didn’t have an attitude. As for the second moment that stood out this year, that has to be the moment I was told my music got played on prestigious radio stations like BBC Radio 1 and 6. There were a lot of ups and downs throughout the year, but all in all, it has been an amazing run so far!"
From intimate songs to straight bangers, your shows are filled with loads of different vibes. Do you feel that this approach is necessary to show the audience your various interests?
"Having a dynamic live act is really important for me. Calmer moments during a show help you to tell a beautiful story – which is a lot more difficult when you only perform bangers. I’m a sponge that soaks up so many different genres I love, so there are no limits to what I can play live. If there’s a certain kick-drum I like, I’ll use it, even if it came from a jumpstyle track originally. I love to recycle with an open mind – so that may be the reason I’m able bring my own sound in the way I do."
Slowly but surely, the Belgian audience is learning more and more about you. Do you feel pressured to release new music faster in today’s impatient world?
"That’s a good question. I do deal with this kind of pressure often, but it’s mostly self-imposed. Sometimes I think to myself I need to finish my songs faster because people might think I only make that particular kind of music. If you’re not careful this can really eat you up. To avoid this, I make sure I work on my own pace, only listening to myself, following my own impulses. Just do you, you know? If you don’t have anything to say sometimes, it’s definitely ok to just keep quiet. This only makes your message more powerful when you do feel like saying something. When you keep the tempo up for a long time like that, you risk feeling jaded at a certain point."
You’re booked at ‘Out The Frame’ festival at Vooruit in your hometown of Ghent, a festival that wants to showcase the outer fringes of hip hop music, deleting genre categorization in the process. Are these the kind of gigs you want to play?
"I feel honoured to be booked amongst names like Junglepussy and GAIKA. Honestly, I’m really flattered – and I’m excited especially because it’s in Ghent. There are a lot of cool events here, but this is a whole new and important context. I get the right kind of vibes from this festival: it’s not about image and hipness, but rather about cool and forward-thinking artists across the board."
Have you been working on new material? If so, will you perform some of it on stage there?
"Yes, I am! I’m literally doing this interview from the studio right now - my team is waiting for me to finish! We’re currently working on 2 new tracks, which I’m sure I will play at Out The Frame. Actually, it’s the deadline we have set for ourselves. Eventually, my older stuff will be put in the backseat while I can promote newer stuff gradually. Can’t wait to see you guys there!"