Who is Wesley Black?
I go by the name Wesley Black, and I have been making music since 2018. Or at least that was when I started taking it more seriously. Ever since then, I have just been trying to find ways to flesh out this kind of character – this Wesley Black character – through music videos and directing. I have always tried to expand my repertoire.
I first started – ever since I was really little – writing stories, novels, comic books, cartoons and stuff. After that, maybe around the age of 14, I got into writing poetry, and one of my friends showed me these few rap songs – he was really into rap music. So, I ended up just listening to more and more of that kind of music and like I said, I was writing poetry at the time, and so they linked up together.
I ended up writing music. I still remember my first studio experience at my friend Vince’s house, it was in his garage, and we would just make music in there for ages. Eventually, he took on a music course and we both – well, I had to pretend to be a student – used their practice studio facility. We would record there, and now I record at an actual studio.
Recording music now.
I always record all my songs at Shake Down Studio, and I always get my songs mixed by Boy Banks (formerly known as Son-J), so I guess now I have found my team, people I like to work with.
The more you work with your people, the easier it gets because Boy Banks, for example, knows my sound; so, when I send him something, he’ll have an idea of what I am going for, and we work from there. I could not do what I do without him and all the other people I’m currently involved with.
Wesley Black: the character.
Going back to those stories that I was writing, there was one, in particular, a sci-fi story called ‘The Angel Hunter’, and the main character was Wesley Black. That was just from me writing ages ago in the middle of high school, way before I started doing music. Once I started doing music, I was trying to find a name that sounded kind of like it could be a real name to be my rap stage name. The music I was making at the time was super energetic and aggressive and kind of emotional as well, and that kind of tied in with this Wesley Black character I had created years before.
I was just looking through all the stuff I was writing and I found that old story and thought, ‘Oh, this is actually – this character kind of speaks to me,’ even though I did make him up; I guess the personality of that character was really what I was feeling at the time and what I was writing about, so I was just like, well, I kind of am Wesley Black. I took that name on, and I felt like that was a huge step for me because I have always been someone who visualises music. So having a character I could visualise myself as made the whole realm of music a lot easier.
It’s hard to put out songs if it’s in a vulnerable manner – if you are speaking about personal things. So having that kind of ‘mask’ I can speak from – with that perspective – makes it a bit easier to get my message across.
It comes a lot from story writing because when you do story writing, you have to craft characters and show how they are different from the other characters in the story. That all kind of ties into when I was trying to create this ‘artist persona’, I had to develop and create [Wesley Black].
The Angel Tapes.
The Angel Tapes are a series of three tracks that will come out leading up to my upcoming EP. The EP is going to be called Angel, and the Angel Tapes are just a little series – I guess like a prelude. It will give the audience an idea of what the EP is going to sound like, without revealing any of the songs from it. [The Angel Tapes] are just three songs that go for under a minute, and there are visuals included to give a bit of background to the EP. They kind of follow a story. It starts with my friend and me in the car, and after we’re driving, [in the second one] I take a seat on a chair, and he ties me to it and sets it alight. And then in the third one – I’m obviously still alive, but I look back on the chair that had been ignited as the song finishes, so they [the songs] all tie together in a sequence. It shows the death of something and the birth of something else, so it fits into that whole ‘angel’ aspect.
In the first and second visuals, it says ‘insert the next tape’, and then the last one says ‘insert the EP’ so it lets you know that something is coming. So, I guess they’re a set of hard, energetic tracks leading up to something a bit bigger that will be coming soon.
Film and Design at Murdoch University.
I think studying this degree has helped heaps because I am someone who visualises all my songs. As soon as I make [songs], I already know what the music video would be, whether or not I’m going to end up making it – because obviously, I can only make so many. I would always know what the kind of ‘vision’ for it is. I feel that [studying] film has helped me a lot. Furthermore, I find that after I watch a movie or something that I connect with, I come up with ideas that inspires me to make songs. Rather than getting inspired by music, a lot of the time I will be inspired by movies that I see.
In terms of me creating my videos, I have a really big part in those. I will create a shot list and a storyboard. In my last video for ‘Outlaw!’, I had JustPlay Media film it, but most of the other things I did, such as location scouting, directing, storyboarding, editing and shot lists. I like to be involved in the videos because I find they’re such an important part of the music. It’s a good way for people to visualise what you intended for the song.
With videos, you can create another story that people wouldn’t have envisioned, and you don’t even have to follow the lyrics exactly – you can add a little background story and a lot of different elements.
I finish my degree this semester.
Top 3 artists.
Travis Scott – he’s super cool and makes music that manages to sound different every time. When you think of visuals, I always think of Travis Scott. He’s always one level ahead in terms of visuals and videos. In terms of stage stuff as well, his live presence is crazy. He also has good stage design, which is something to keep an eye out for when I do my next show, in which I’m going to try to incorporate a few live elements.
Smashing Pumpkins – they’re a 90s rock band, but I love their music; the first music I ever got into was rock music and old rock. They will always have a special place, which makes me feel nostalgic. I would also like to eventually make something more folky or acoustic down the line, just to mix it up.
Trippie Redd – I have to include him. I think he’s great, and I think he’s always changing. I think his music is always changing, and he came out with that rock album which, to be honest, I didn’t like that much. But I feel like he’s, for me at least, one artist I can listen to over and over and over again and never get bored of him.
Angel EP launch party – July 9 at Rosemount Hotel (Ticketed event)
There will be four artists at the event on July 9. That one is going to be to launch my EP. I plan on putting a decent amount of effort into that event, talking about the live elements from before. I’m going to both perform at and organise this event. I’m also going to have two little guest sets, like intermissions between my sets, just so I can stay on top of everything and catch my breath.
1 year from today.
I think I see myself at a similar place where I hope I can still be as involved [in visuals/videos] as I am now. I see myself also releasing a lot of different music in the next year, stuff that I’ve been working on now. After my EP, I want to experiment with some new sounds and something that’s going to be a bit less rap and more singing. We will see.
Find Wesley Black online.
Stream his EP below!