Having grown up with music – the son of a pianist – AJ Wander was perhaps destined to develop from a household in South London surrounded by instrumentation, to a modern day pop artist.
Performing a kind of driving, emotionally-wraught pop that underwent a breakthrough in 2020, when the single ‘Time Out’ became by a distance his biggest hit, gathering in excess of four million Spotify plays. Post covid, AJ returns with new single ‘Take It All’. Around the launch, we talked about his career to date…
First of all, ‘Time Out’ has done really well – congrats. It’s obviously a hugely personal track. Have your feelings towards it evolved since you wrote it?
I feel pretty distant from the headspace I was in when I wrote the song. Having to accept that something beautiful has run its course is a pretty common place for humans to end up in. It’s a great feeling to know so many people have connected with the song because of this mutual experience.
Judging by the themes of the new single, you’re quite happy to put your emotional side out there. Is this how you connect with music?
Not exclusively, but music is an emotional crutch through tough times and it just so happens I relied on that crutch for the whilst writing the singles I’ve released up to now.
How did ‘When You Say I Love You’ come together, and what’s the story behind it?
I wrote ‘When You Say I love You’ with my mate Geth in Wales. WYSILY is about when someone falls for you too fast and you go along with it just because you don’t want to hurt them. Then finally realising that pretending to be in love isn’t a healthy solution…honesty is the best policy.
Is the contrast between an upbeat feel and some quite self-exploratory lyrics something of a calling card for you?
I think the contrast between sombre lyrical content and anthemic production is definitely something I’m unconsciously drawn towards. However, there’s lots of music on it’s way that’s far less self-explorative…
I understand there’s an EP on the way. What should we expect from it
There is indeed! This EP is going to be a bridge from the music I’ve been releasing up until now and what I will be releasing next. I’m stepping outside of my own head little.