Spanning both the house and techno genres, influenced by UK bass and disco music, DJ duo Waze & Odyssey, formally Serge Santiago and Firas Waez, shot up the charts in 2014 with their remix of R. Kelly’s Bump n’ Grind. Well traveled, having played extensively in Europe, Asia and the United States, W&O’s unique worldly perspectives have been shaped by bringing people together through music, intrinsically spreading joy.
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SunCity Paradise: Where are you from? Describe your home country a bit. Has the culture influenced your music in anyway?
Waze & Odyssey: We’re both born in the United Kingdom, but both have mixed backgrounds in our heritage. London has definitely influenced our persons, our music and our DJ sets. We’re both based here and both love it for being one of the best, most exciting and most diverse places on the planet. London is a law unto its own compared to parts of the UK, it’s definitely busier and has a mind of it’s own, but much in the same way you’d say that New York is different to the rest of the US. London has a rugged, rawness to it, from rave venues to the music played. It’s definitely influenced the rougher sound in W&O music.
Photo courtesy | Luc Mercelis
SCP: Describe what it is like to be constantly creating music while you are traveling around the world. Is it freeing? Does it help inspirationally anyway?
W&O: Change is a huge influence in creation and feeling creative. Whether that’s mixing things up or taking apart your whole studio and re-wiring it back in a different way, or with different equipment — the processes can help you discover new ways of doing things. We write ideas on the road in much the same way a designer might sketch an idea or something on a notepad. The important element in making music, like most things, is the idea. We’ve made ideas on planes, trains, boats and cars.
SCP: From DJing in Europe, the US and Asia you live the ultimate music and travel lifestyle. How do they complement and go hand-in-hand with each other?
W&O: It’s flattering that people want to see us live in their locality and for this we’re lucky to get to travel the world, but we’ve realised recently that it’s important to make time to keep up regular appearances in the studio. One without the other is futile. We always want to be creating new W&O music. So, we’ve learnt to balance them a little bit more now and to sometimes take breaks of time that gives us solid amounts of time in the studio.
SCP: When searching for a personal getaway, are you looking for a serene beach or after a more active, adventurous getaway? Why?
W&O: We both crave beaches and downtime — when we travel so much we like the idea of a holiday being in one place. Preferably sitting on a sun lounger with a drink watching the sea.
SCP: One of our core objectives at SCP is to bring people together while traveling, not only to influence people to see and appreciate our beautiful world, but to also minimize cross-cultural divides. What effect does traveling, specifically surrounding dance music; have on humans in this regard? How has it broadened your perspective of the world?
W&O: Traveling and getting out into the world makes you, A) trust in the world out there and realize that the very large majority of people are just like me and you, they love their family and friends, and just want to do right by them, happy and cool. B) It shows you that there is no right way of doing stuff and that cultures are different. You go to Europe and there maybe used to be a consensus among people that having a tan means you’re rich. You go to Asia and people use whitening cream, because if you have a tan it means you work outside all day so you are poor. It’s totally broadened our perspectives on life though, as mentioned previously. Both of us have parents who were from different cultural backgrounds, so we were very fortunate that we were educated to different ways of thinking in the world from a very young age.
Photo courtesy | Dhilung Kirat
SCP: Everyone has a bucket list of places that they would like to visit. What are you top three bucket list destinations for either work or pleasure? Why?
W&O: We’ll go with holidays, but we would love to visit Bhutan for the fact that in the 1970’s the leader introduced a metric that measures the ‘gross national happiness’ of the country rather than it’s ‘gross domestic product’ — any country that does that is cool in our book. Sounds like a progressive way of thinking for the future. Also, Nepal looks pretty interesting to go and see some of the mad castles. Finally, Fiji, to hit the beach.
Photo courtesy | Chris Isherwood
SCP: Most destinations have a festival that they’re known for. Which one would you choose to attend? Why?
W&O: SXSW looks pretty great, it’d be cool to check out some bands and live music but also to soak up Austin which we hear from friends is pretty great — also a big fan of meat and the ribs and grilled meats, slaw and beans look pretty damn special.
SCP: What is the most beautiful outdoor location that you’ve played at? How did the beauty add to the music?
W&O: The boat parties in Croatia are pretty special, you’re out in crystal clear waters in blazing sunshine with dolphins swimming up next to you with house music setting the mood — what could be better on a Tuesday afternoon?
Photo courtesy | Charles Sayer
SCP: Lastly, when’s the next vacation and where to?
W&O: Both of us have been to Thailand this January/February — great to relax. Next trip is a few days in NYC to soak up some city vibes, hit some record shops and do some studio work. We’re looking forward to that.
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