Artwork by Marie Rupolo
WAYLEY, the Folk/Pop alter-ego of Americana artist Andrew Sherriff was brought to life in 2018 through a quest for creative freedom. Most known for his work and success in the Indie/Folk duo, ‘Andrew & Veda’, Sherriff has always had a passion for staying true to a genre while pushing musical boundaries.
With a firm belief that you should listen to all of your creative voices, Sherriff felt the need to begin exploring the catchy lyrics and unforgettable melodic hooks of the Folk/Pop realm starting with his first single as WAYLEY, “What’s It Gonna Take,” which combines anthem-style lyrics and large band sounds.
Listen to “What’s It Gonna Take,” below and read an exclusive interview with WAYLEY discussing the inspiration and process of creating the song!
What inspired the song?
The song itself was inspired by my love of catchy lyrics and unforgettable melodic hooks. The lyrical content however, much like a lot of my other songs, was inspired by a tough relationship I was dealing with at the time. I initially started writing the song at my home on the ukulele, which is where I came up with the chorus. Often I find that in the moment I can get out exactly what I’m feeling but only for a brief amount of time. So I wrote the chorus, and put it on the shelf. Shortly after that, I brought the idea to Andre, Tal, and Steven and explained the situation I had been writing about. We then went, wrote verses and a bridge, and finished the song, which gave me a great opportunity to really reflect on everything.
Who produced it? What was the recording experience like?
The song was produced by Andre Kaden Black. We recorded it partially at the Slaight Music private studio and Andre’s private home studio in Toronto. The recording process was nothing like I had experienced before. Coming from Americana music, where everything is recorded using live instruments and live session players, it was a complete different recording process for me. We used a lot of stuff from our demos, and did hundreds of take of everything to get it perfect. It was a great experience working with the engineer, Tal Vaisman, who is incredibly gifted musically, both in practice and in theory. He made the recording process run smoothly and was able to translate any ideas we had into incredible parts. Although a lot of the recording process was done ‘in the box’ by Tal, we had some incredible session players play on the track to give it the authenticity it needed. It was fun trying to incorporate Pedal Steel Guitar into a Pop song, and it was the first time I have ever gotten to work with live Horns. It was a huge transition from what I’m used to, but was a great experience and I look forward to working like that more often.
What do you want people to take away from the song?
I think that music resonates with everyone differently, so it’s hard to say what I want people to take away from this song. For me I know it’s a good song when it can make you feel various different things, and is something that’s suitable in several different circumstances. For example, I know that Ho-hey by the Lumineers, is a song that I can put on at a party to get amped up, but is also a song that I can put on when I’m feeling sad, and start feeling something completely different. It’s able to be used in so many different ways and make you feels the whole spectrum of feelings. I want people to be able to do that with this song. I want someone to be able to listen to this, on a hot sunny day at the cottage, while enjoying the weather with their friends, or on a cold winter night when they’re thinking about the breakup they just had. I want this song, and all my music, to help people get through all sorts of times in their life, just like all my favourite songs have done for me.
Was there a particular mood you were trying to capture? A story you were trying to tell?
This is a story of someone who is begging their significant other, to be truthful with them, be there for them, and ultimately be the person and partner that they need them to be. It’s a note to a lover, asking them to grow up, be real with them, and asking them if they truly want to be there with them.
There wasn’t a particular mood that I was trying to capture with this song, it was more of just a feeling of confidence and strength in standing up for yourself.
Anything else noteworthy?
There are 4 more songs following the single, which will be released at the end as an EP. The EP was recorded all while I was attending college and was entirely self-funded.