Fairytale Beginning: Mac Wetha Is Primed To Launch

Dirty Hit all-rounder on his solo pursuits, production, and his next move...

Serial collaborator and Dirty Hit wonderkid Mac Wetha has been making waves since he burst onto the London scene in the late 2010s. Since then, the singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer extraordinaire has joined forces with a myriad of talent – including the likes of Amine, Biig Piig and Lava La Rue, among many others. Mac teamed up with the latter pair during college years to form the multi-talented and disciplined NiNE8 collective, a group of like-minded talent born from a sheer and unfiltered love of music.

Of late, however, Mac has focused his lens on his solo output, taking to the vocal booth just as much as he’s producing on his laptop. Over the last couple of years he’s shown that his abilities stretch much farther than being a stellar producer, boasting to the music world he truly can do anything. 

Collaborations with Spill Tab, Lord Apex, and fellow NiNE8 member Biig Piig have appeared on a string of solo singles – the latest coming in the form of ‘Fairytale’, featuring Rachel Chinouriri. The single is in classic Mac Wetha fashion; his signature production style met with his melodic and crisp vocals, and of course a stunning guest spot from Rachel. Mac has consistently been proving that he is a continuous force to be reckoned with, the artist making leaps and bounds since the inception of innovative NiNE8 collective. 

Clash were lucky enough to sit down with the acclaimed artist, to talk all things Mac Wetha – and everything else in between. 

How’s your new year been?

Good man, did an event with NiNE8 which was pretty good. I did a DJ set and it was great. Doing events can be hit or miss, especially on New Year’s, but it all went off perfectly. All the staff were brilliant. I also left at quarter to one (laughs), I don’t drink that much so was just like, I’m gonna go home. Went to my mum’s house!

Are you planning to do more NiNE8 events this year?

We got a pretty mad year planned. We’re going all over the place. Got loads of random festivals and shows, curation stuff too, basically running a stage in places.

You gonna hop on Coachella with Lava then…?

Ah I wish! So crazy, bro. Mad. We’re on the same label now too.

How’d you get in with Dirty Hit?

I really fucking like them, as people and a business. When lockdown happened I started singing more, released a couple of songs and they expressed interest out of nowhere. Sent them some unreleased stuff, they just signed me after that. Been with them ever since. There’s no bullshit; if they like what you’re doing, and see you doing your own thing, they wanna work with you.

Obviously you’re a pretty serial collaborator, how do you decide who you want to work with, or is it very natural and organic? How does the process wprk for you?

Very organic. Probably nine times out of ten, or honestly every time, it’s been through someone I’ve met organically, or people I know. I’ve been making music for so long in this scene that I’ve just met everyone, so I’m like just come to the studio and let’s make something. Or maybe it’s mutual friends I’ve seen on Instagram and I like their shit, so I just shoot them a DM asking for them to come through. But then, very rarely, my manager will be like you just link up with this person, so if I like them I’ll work with them! Every time I’ve done that it’s been an amazing session, and an amazing person that I’ve met. 

Does your process differ when making music for yourself rather than producing for others?

Yeah. Kind of. It really depends. When I’m alone, there’s upsides and downsides to it I guess. I can do whatever I want, take my time with it. The downside is the same thing – I got no opinions to bounce off. If I’m on my own I’ll spend all day madly tinkering with stuff, then it’ll be complete trash. Other days I’ll make something quick and love it. Working with people, especially in these recent collaborations, it’s been way more back and forth, a flow state. The workflow is very different. Generally, I find it easier to write when I’m with people, you inspire each other, vocalising ideas rather than it being in your own head. Then the collaboration with Spill Tab was one of the ones where my manager said: she’s in London, I think you’d be great. And then from the first time we met we got along really well, made the song incredibly quickly. Been friends ever since, last time I was in LA I crashed at hers!

Well, you made a wicked song!

Ah, thanks man! I love that song. Thank you, bro. Appreciate it!

You’ve just teased a new track with Rachel Chinouriri – how did this come about?

I’ve always heard Rachel’s name about, been listening to her for a while so thought it would be sick to work together. Like with Spill Tab, we just got on really well. Rachel’s fucking great. The song is good! 

When’s it out?

I don’t know if I can say, but it’s out on Monday! Between you and me (laughs). I haven’t been told I can’t say.

Yeah, often there’s stuff you can or can’t ask/say! I saw a tweet saying interviews need to be more interesting, start dragging names, cause some 90s band beef. It’s hilarious. 

Fuck it man. It’s the entertainment industry for Christ’s sake! That’s what I love about Matty [Healy]. He’s loose, he’s unchained, he’s doing whatever the fuck he wants. He’s a rockstar.

It’s the whole death of the rockstar thing, but in terms of not giving a fuck, being the realest version of yourself, that’s what Matty is doing.

Yeah, he’s not doing what some people do, being completely performative, he’s actually doing what he wants. I’m seeing them [The 1975] tomorrow actually. I’m well excited, I’ve heard many crazy things about this show. I was actually pretty indifferent to them for a while, didn’t follow them massively. Then I was chilling with Jacob [Bugden], from Bea’s band, and he was like have you heard their new shit? I listened to ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’, became obsessed ever since. I need to get more into them and their production and stuff. 

Your sound is very diverse and varied; I hear a lot of post-hardcore and heavier influences on the Mac Wetha stuff.

Yep, big fan. Was frontman in a band until I was about twenty, definitely post-hardcore is the best way to describe it. Big into a lot of the UK punk stuff. Gallows especially. Still am into all that music, getting more into hardcore too. Into very heavy music, have been for a long time. What I’m doing with this solo stuff is experimenting, seeing how it goes. I been doing music for a long time, but this Mac Wetha stuff is still quite fresh to me. Still not sure where I’m going with it. Like the ‘Cloud Paint’ EP is a lot rockier, emo, then the stuff before was, I don’t know, poppy? Then ‘R.E.M’, this FIFA type music. Still working it out. There’s a lot of influences I like channelling. 

Are you enjoying chasing, trying to find your sound?

Yeah man. It’s as rewarding as it is frustrating. Some stuff works, some stuff doesn’t, and it’s not always clear why. But ultimately I’ve always wanted to do it, and lockdown gave me that chance to really experiment with it [solo music]. I’ve been collaborating too, a lot. 

If you could collaborate with any artist – who would it be!

My answer is always the corny-ass ‘I’m already working with everyone I want to!’ I love a lot of people’s music, but I don’t necessarily wanna work with them. As a producer, I’d love to work with Earl Sweatshirt. Ah, shit I don’t know. Yeah I’m gonna say Earl.

That’s a good answer. Now, one for the nerds – me – what’s a piece of studio gear you couldn’t live without, or are you more in the box?

Very in the box. I started making music all completely on Ableton, and random samples that I find. It’s become part of my sound. Even when doing rockier music, I like it to be in the box. Other than that, I’m a big SoundToys guy. (scrambles around the studio). I love this pedal, the Walrus Audio Julianna, use it loads. I’m just looking around, hang on. I like fucking around on this a lot.

The OP-1 is sick.

I haven’t used this on a song, but the DigiTakt Elektron is sick. Got a tape machine here which is cool, use this quite a lot. 

Is there any music you’re listening to a lot of right now?

Been listening to quite a lot of Bach – his lute suites! A lot of this Jewish gangster rapper too called BLP KOSHER, he’s insane. So sick. Next up, I’m telling you. Then, this band called High Vis, they’re really cool. Been checking…a lot of KANKAN, SahBabii’s new album is good. Oh, Lewis Culture’s new album is good. Sick, sick album. MJ Lenderman too! He’s so cool.

Who was your top artist on Spotify wrapped?

Me, bro (laughs)!

So, what’s in store for you this year, what can we expect to see?

Release a shit tonne of music, play live as much as possible. I’m very excited, gonna be a good year.

‘Fairytale’ is out now. Catch Mac Wetha on social media.

Words: James Mellen

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