Wndr: Music, Dreams, and Awakening? An Exclusive Interview

In this insightful interview with Wndr, the emerging musician shares his creative journey and inspirations, from his humble beginnings as a teenage writer to the evolution of his music projects like “Beautiful Tears” and “El Despertar.” Drawing from surrealism and his Dominican upbringing, Wndr discusses the significance of blending genres and infusing elements of fantasy into his music. Reflecting on collaborations and aspirations, he offers a glimpse into his artistic process and future endeavors, promising fans exciting projects ahead. From his unique style to his ambitions for the future, Wndr’s passion for music and art shines through, inviting audiences to join him on his creative journey.

Can you share the journey that brought you into the music industry as a singer?

I was sixteen years old when I started writing, I started writing scripts for plays, poems… Without thinking that I could end up transforming them into songs. So that way I started making an EP that I’ve been working on for almost a year called Beautiful Tears.

Can you tell us more about the concept behind your project “el despertar” and how it relates to the theme of surrealism?

‘El despetar’ came out of a bit of a blockage moment in terms of inspiration. In the summer of 2023 I was already on the fourth song of ‘Beautiful Tears’ and I felt that this EP, being a conceptual project and already closed in terms of ideas, did not allow me to explore more sounds that I have been liking since I was little. So I decided to put the EP on pause and start exploring and releasing songs that have been written for years and that’s how the Mixtape I’m working on called ‘Dreamtape’ came about.

What inspired you to draw from works such as “The Metamorphosis of Narcissus” by Dalí and “The Garden of Earthly Delights” by Jheronimus Bosch for this project?

Working with Alvs for this project was a dream, we have been able to tell a story visually, and in some way it is linked to the song. And regardless of whether the cover of ‘El despertar’ is for that single, my goal is to be able to take things from that cover to tell a story, for example, in the ‘fucc u talkin’ bout’ visualizer we delve into that snake that comes out in the cover of ‘el despertar’. The next cover will also take elements from the cover of ‘El despertar’

How do you see your music breaking down the barrier between reality and the unreal?

With music I feel that we are capable of telling a story, and also inventing a story. Let’s say that my way of manifesting is by basing real stories about my life, with stories that I would like to have in my life. We are capable of creating sounds that are not real, but if we listen to them closely they may seem like a real sound, I don’t know, I feel that it is part of the magic of music, the power to break schemes.

Could you elaborate on the significance of the title “el despertar” (the awakening) and its role in the project?

I think the title is very revealing, for me ‘El desperar’ is a way of realizing that the things you dream about are things that you have in front of your eyes, and that if you don’t see them, you have the tools to create them. My awakening was realizing that not everything has to be perfect, it is a form of self-liberation.

You mentioned working on two projects, an EP and a mixtape. Can you share more details about the themes and inspirations behind each of these?

The EP I started working on last year ‘Beautiful Tears’ is an endless love story divided into three acts; heaven, limbo and hell. It is inspired by Ouroboros and is an EP about a relationship I had about 4 years ago. My mixtape, the ‘dreamtape’ is a collage of percussions and melodies that have accompanied me throughout my life and is inspired by video games and arcade machines. They are very different projects in which I feel that I have been able to show myself vulnerable and that each one has helped me heal in a different way, I am very excited and happy that they are almost ready to come out. Surely the mixtape will come out first since I want to show a more fun side of myself first, I hope to be able to release both of the projects this year.

Is there a specific moment that you consider a defining point in your career?

I would say that more than an achievement, it was being able to meet people who make music and who genuinely support and are interested in my projects. At first when I started making music I didn’t know anyone. Taking this journey with people who love you, understand you and provide constructive criticism in your work is a very nice experience, I am learning a lot.

Despite being relatively new in the industry, your single ‘MAMBA’ has gained significant traction. What do you think sets your music apart and has helped you gain recognition?

I am a person who says that everything is invented, and at least in my music, I like to take elements that have always been in music but apply them in a different way. For example ‘MAMBA’ was a song I made for a fashion show, the percussion is Jersey Club, but I felt that since it was a fashion show, I needed to add a more ‘classic’ touch so I asked Olivia Durand to also sing make harmonies for the song, and also play the violin

Can you discuss the influences of your upbringing in the Dominican Republic on your music, particularly in terms of genre versatility?

I feel that the Dominican Republic is a country with a very enriching musical culture, as well as versatile, we have bachata, dembow, reggaeton, merengue, but I also feel that we also have a lot of influence from American pop music.

How do you approach blending different genres like Rap/Hip-Hop, R&B, Flamenco, and Dembow in your music, and what message or feeling do you aim to convey through this versatility?

I remember when I was little my uncle would play Michael Jackson shows for us, my father playing Amy Winehouse in the car, my mother playing Ivy Queen on the radio… In the end I think that’s why my songs sound like a collage of things, because I mix many influences

Today, social networks hold great significance.
How do you navigate this aspect?

Oh, I’m very bad with social networks, the truth is that I think it’s the part that’s costing me the most when dedicating myself to making music. At the end of the day, social networks influence the musical theme in many ways, but hey, I’m still working on it.

If you weren’t in the music and art world, what would you have become?

Well, I have always liked the administrative topic, in fact, it is what I dedicate myself to since music at the moment does not pay bills (at all) but yes, I think I would dedicate myself to managing companies

What is your career aspiration? Do you have any goals planned?

My greatest purpose is to inspire people, just as I have been inspired. Also mixing fashion with music, I’m also working on that. Another of my dreams is to be able to go on tour with a team of dancers and a musical band. I think those would be my top three goals.

When you think about your style, what key components stand out as being significant to you?

First, my afro haha, then I would say the visual part of my songs, for me it is very important that everything is taken care of on a cover/visualizer. I consider myself a very perfectionist person and that is why it has taken me so long to get projects out.

In what ways do you infuse elements of surrealism into your sounds and lyrics, and what effect are you hoping to achieve with this approach?

As I mentioned before, I would say that it is my way of manifesting many things, being able to refer to things that I do not have but that I can be able to achieve since I also consider myself a very ambitious person and I always want more and more… Less I don’t know much.

Could you share your creative process when collaborating with producers like Suko Pyramid and vocalists like Olivia Durand? How do these collaborations contribute to the overall sound of your music?

Meeting and working with Suko has been one of the best experiences of my life, like me, Suko is a very perfectionist person and does not settle for anything, that is why he puts so much time into the production of the songs, I feel that I have learned a lot of him. Olivia has a beautiful voice, and she also always serves as a reference for me when recording my voice for some songs. Working with them is incredible, for me we are the dreamteam.

What was the inspiration behind the cover design for “el despertar,” and how do you feel it represents the essence of the project?

Alvs and I talked about many inspirations, so many that I couldn’t remember them all. But “The Metamorphosis of Narcissus” by Dalí was our main inspiration. Alvs hated the cover for a while because he’s such a perfectionist and we did it in a short amount of time, but to this day, we both really appreciate it. Working with Alvs is a dream, in addition to being a great artist he is an excellent bestie.

When you have free time outside of work commitments,
how do you usually spend it?

When I’m not doing music stuff, I sometimes work as a model, lately I’ve been embarking on projects for emerging artists (who are my friends) as a creative director and stylist. I love helping people make their projects a reality, it is a help that I would have loved to have had when I started. Then outside the art world, I love playing video games, traveling and eating a lot, a lot.

Lastly, what can fans expect from your music in the future, and how do you envision your artistic journey progressing beyond “el despertar”?

Lots of music, incredible covers, and my first concert coming soon. I am very grateful to the people who listen to me, to the people who have accompanied me on this journey

My friends, Claudia, Carlota, Pablo, Alvs…

People I have met who makes music, Santas, Adelwin, Liya, Celenges…

My family, my sister…

I am making music from a very healthy, very happy place, and I feel that I owe all that energy to all the people I have around me

I am very grateful

How might our readers discover where to find more content from Wndr?

My name is wndr on all music platforms, @iamwndr on instagram and tiktok