Following the release of their latest single “Television” in June, Wilmah dropped a nostalgia-inducing, 90s sitcom parody music video to accompany it. Released last week on September 15, it inspired Beyond The Stage (BTS) to do an interview with the recently signed alt-pop duo consisting of Matt Connolly and Will O’Connor who originally grew up in Buffalo, NY making music together in their bedrooms. Read along to learn all about the video and group worth watching!
BTS: How and when did you get your start in music?
We had both taken music lessons from a very young age, even playing in the middle school band together, but it wasn’t until 2018 that Wilmah was formed. I (Will) was in college and asked Matt if he wanted to write some songs together and the rest is history. I transferred to NYC in 2019 and we played our first show in Brooklyn two months later. It wasn’t until 2020 that we met our manager and later signed our first deal mid-pandemic.
BTS: What are some of your biggest influences when it comes to your music?
John Mayer, The 1975, Bob Dylan, Father John Misty, Oasis, and mostly whatever we’re listening to at the time. We are big believers in creating how we consume. So, one day we could be listening to The Kinks and get inspired by them, and the next day get inspired by Cigarettes After Sex.
BTS: What inspired your latest single “Television”?
The song is inspired by coming to terms with losing an intimate person in your life despite your thoughts being clouded by the facade caused by nostalgia and heartbreak.
BTS: Do you have a favorite lyric from the song that just really resonates with you?
“It was a ticking time bomb” just because in reality you never hear it ticking, but somehow you knew it wasn’t going to work looking back on it. The song is also about what if’s and things you can’t go back and change, and this lyric brings that home.
BTS: Regarding the song’s music video, what made you choose the sitcoms Friends and Wayne’s World as something to parody?
We wanted the 90s aesthetic to run consistently throughout the video. The sitcoms we chose are so iconic that the characters can be noticed and identified right away. It is interesting to see the way 20-year-old shows still have such a hold on culture.
BTS: What is the plot of the video? Did you come up with it on your own?
We aren’t from NYC, so the premise is to show that when you finally start living here, it’s not nearly as glamorous as it seems in all of those sitcoms and TV shows that take place here. Our jump into the TV dimension shows how we would’ve liked to live in NYC. We had help from our awesome friend and director, Jeremy Leibovitch.
BTS: What do you hope to bring to people with this video?
A taste of something fresh.
BTS: Your previous single “Welcome to America” was written in response to current events in the US. The music video for it highlighted press coverage from protests across the country, as well. Do you believe that real life events of this sort should inspire more music? Why?
I think it is the responsibility of artists to talk about their relationship to the world in an interesting and thought-provoking way. “Welcome to America” was a way for us to do that regarding the injustice we have witnessed growing up in America. To us, the song is not political. The lyrics are a reflection of the lack of kindness and compassion in the country. Whether it be injustice, love, heartbreak, or mental illness, music should always strive to be an intelligent mirror to these things we encounter in our lives.
BTS: What makes your approach to songwriting and production unique?
There is such a specific Wilmah voice. The lyrics are self-deprecating, self-aware, comedic, dark, sincere, and genuine. We pride ourselves in our attention to detail when it comes to lyrics and always make sure the production stays fresh and interesting underneath.
BTS: What artists would you collaborate with if you could choose anyone from any time period?
Wilmah x Bach
BTS: Are your songs meant to fit into the alt-pop genre or be more genre fluid?
We have always felt that we are a pop band. At the end of the day we make pop music, whether it explores alt, rock, country, jazz, or hip hop. Alt-pop definitely feels appropriate when describing our sound to a new listener.
BTS: Is there a different genre of music that you’ve thought about exploring more?
We honestly rule no genre out in the creative process. We are fans of music ourselves, so not being influenced by all the types of music we consume is pretty much impossible. We feel that the new punk is refusing to adhere to a genre. We hope to one day make a jazz album.
BTS: How does it feel to be included in some of Spotify’s most popular playlists like FreshFinds: Pop, The New Alt, It’s Alt Good, and more?
It’s quite humbling. We feel honored to be given the opportunity to be heard by so many people across the world. It makes us really happy.
BTS: As the year draws closer to the end, what does the rest of 2021 have in store for you?
We hope to release more new music and finally get back on stage. We haven’t played since before COVID, so we’ve been itching to play live, full band shows again. Oh, and finally release Wilmah tees!
Young in their career, Wilmah has so much ahead of them and they’re willing to put in the work needed for success. As we await live shows and merchandise for them, we will be streaming “Television” on repeat in our favorite playlists! We can’t wait for what’s next.
Photos Credit: Alec Ilstrup
Stream “Television” here.
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