An Interview with Wavey Pack
Wavey Pack Productions is a modern hip-hop performance group who came together in Kent, Ohio for their love of edgy beats and meaningful lyrics. The group is comprised of Carter Liston (Carter), Taylor Liston (SpiriT), Donovan Womack (Donny Wo), Kam Stringer (Kam2gnarly), Darian Diggs (AyeD) and producer Trey Bryarly (T.C. Trillz).
I got the chance to sit down with Carter, SpiriT and T.C. Trillz and talk about the group’s producing process, influences and what they have in the works.
How did Wavey Pack Productions come together as a group?
SpiriT: We met Don through our twin friends Gage and Gavin on the first night of our freshman year. That same first night our film director, Brenden Celender got arrested for having an open container, ironically outside of our home we now live in haha. Don and the crew stayed with us throughout that whole situation, even when some of our friends had left us. I gained so much respect for Don from that first night, formed a deep bond and have been hanging out with him almost every single day since. We drunkenly freestyled together on our way back home from every party. We were so amazed by Don’s skills and would hype him up all the time. He seriously would flow for ten minutes at a time!
We had received a cheap recording mic for our birthday from our parents the summer before our freshmen year so the three of us started using it to record songs we made over Youtube beats and fell in love with it. We began focusing more on our music than our homework often times hahaha. Eventually we became really good friends with Kam during our sophomore year when he transferred to Kent from Bethany college. Kam and Don went to high school together, and they would freestyle together at their lunch table and developed this unreal chemistry that I have never seen in the hip-hop industry before.
Carter: One night at a house party, Darian came downstairs jumping around and freestyling to one of Don’s Soundcloud songs and he asked us if it was a new song off of the Rick Ross album! And we were like no dude that’s Don hahaha. Trey and Darian then summoned us upstairs to start working together.
SpiriT: Everyone was immediately connected as if we had known each other for lifetimes. Everything came together in perfect timing. Trey said if he wouldn’t have met us then he would’ve stopped making beats and focused all of his time on school. It truly was perfect because we were looking for someone to make beats and Trey was looking for artists.
That really sounds like you guys came into each other’s lives at the right moment and everything worked out the way it was supposed to! How did you guys come up with the name Wavey Pack?
SpiriT: Our first “official” meeting together we all gathered in a private study room in Kent’s library and discussed our goals, how we would split up income, stuff like that. And we came up with F.A.T. Wave Productions for our group name. We wanted to symbolize that whatever we do and whatever messages we are putting out into the world are rippling through the universe like a wave and echoing throughout eternity. And that people will continually ride in our wake along the way. Artists’ messages really do transcend death, just look at Tom Petty. That is the type of legacy I want to lead with our music. We agreed upon it and labeled our album “Treehouse Vol. 1” under F.A.T. Wave Productions. However, as the months went on we decided we wanted to come up with a better name and strategy to promote that we are a music production group with individual artists within the label.
T.C.Trillz: So we decided to finally change our name to Wavey Pack Productions. Which keeps our symbolism we wanted to portray with the “wave” while making it more clear that we are a production group comprised of individual artists as opposed to being labeled as a band. As of right now we are leaving our songs under F.A.T. Wave Productions on Itunes and Spotify, and anything we release from here on out will be under the artists’ names and Wavey Pack Productions.
Who are some of the group’s main influences that you really gain inspiration from in your beats?
SpiriT: I would really have to say Kid Cudi was a big influence for a lot of our group, but all six of us have our own personal influences. I really resonate with peaceful “beachy” type of vibes like Shwayze, Cisco Adler, Aer, Slightly Stoopid, Iration, The Dirty Heads and Xavier Rudd. I also have spent a lot of my life listening to and rapping to Wiz Khalifa so I have to give him a shout out! The Beatles have inspired me throughout my whole life as they helped change the culture and diversify the music industry. It is a life goal to start a wave at least as influential as they had!
Carter: Migos have definitely been influential, especially to Kam and Don and their adlibs. Trey has started to become influenced by what is called “bubblegum beats” which is heard in Lil Uzi and Trey will add his own twist to influences like that.
T.C.Trillz: Yeah like when I sit down to make a beat, I’ll listen to some songs by some different artists and get some inspiration from those and I’ll pick a good tempo that will work good with what I’m feeling at the moment. All these guys that I work with are all so diverse, Don and everyone sound good on anything. They just always kill it.
So what’s the group’s process of coming up with lyrics for the songs?
SpiriT: Usually we’ll go into the studio and Trey will show us a small selection of beats he recently made, and if we really vibe with a certain beat then we get right in the zone and start bouncing ideas off of each other. Kam and Don will freestyle random flows that come to them in the moment and then once they find the flows they perfect their verses. Sometimes Don will come up with a catchy chorus the instant he hears the melody. We are getting more in tune with this stream of creativity.
T.C.Trillz: For me it’s always a variety of emotions. So when I make a slow beat I’ll send it to them and see who really connects with it. Our one song “Confetti Drippin’,” it was mine and Don’s birthday coming up and we wanted to drop a crazy beat on our birthday week, and when we were trying to come up with name of it he texted me “Confetti Drippin’” right as I was thinking of the same name. So we were like oh shit alright, so I actually went home and made the beat and sent it to him. It took him about 10 minutes and he sent me the hook to it, and we all came to the studio and stayed up all night on my birthday. We changed it around a lot but we made it perfect and it’s probably my favorite song so far.
When did you start producing beats?
T.C.Trillz: I started making beats in my dorm room two years ago during my sophomore year. I was actually trying to rap at first, but the guy who lived across the hall from me would make some beats and I’d always ask him if I could hop on and freestyle. His style of beats wasn’t really what I was looking for though so I started making my own to fit my own style. I got really into making the beats and kind of gave up on rapping, but it all came together when I met all these guys.
If you guys could pick the best couple songs that really represent you guys as a group what would they be?
SpiriT: “Tsunami” has everybody in it so it represents all of us together on one song and it is a good representation of our positive vibe that we are trying to emanate. But my absolute favorite song is “Days,” I believe it contains our deepest messages so far and can be felt on such an emotional level. We spent the most amount of time putting that song together and Don, Trey and I were all on the same emotional wave length of coming out of some rough relationship experiences. I think we all cried after listening to it when it was finished.
Carter: I agree “Days” is really a great icon for our group, it holds a lot of emotion and contains some of our deepest most conscious messages so far.
T.C.Trillz: “Aspirations” is a good fit for our group. We did “Days” first and when making that song I even started tearing up. But in “Aspirations” when I was mixing Don’s high voice I was so excited and got the chills because it just sounded so good, and it’s funny because Don sang in a high voice as a joke but we told him to try it out because I knew that was going to sound hard when I put the effects on.
So you guys just performed about two weeks ago during the intermission of Focus on the Future’s Wild N’ Out, how did that go?
SpiriT: So many people came up to me after the performance and said they really appreciated what we did and liked our energy. A lot of our friends that we only get to see on occasion came and supported us and said we’re inspiring them to make music themselves. If we’re already impacting so many people in our everyday lives in Kent and everywhere we go then what’s going to stop our impact on the world?
What should we expect in the next couple months from you guys?
T.C.Trillz: We’re starting to work on some more individual tracks for everyone and I have 30 unused beats right now just waiting. I really have this as a full-time job right now and continue to just put my all into it. Right now we’re all trying to graduate from college, but we’re really focusing more on this together as a group. We all want to make music for the rest of our lives. I make like two or three new beats a day so I just always have new material for the guys to work with. Also, shout out to Cassidy King! I met her right when she started singing, and she’s actually getting a lot of radio play right now on all the big stations in Kent and Cleveland areas. She’s working really hard with her music, and I would love to work with her and collaborate with us.
SpiriT: This has turned into the main plan for us now, I really have my sole focus on making music for the rest of my life. We have many songs ready to go and written out, we just need to take the time to record and produce them. We want to continue to broaden our horizons and incorporate new sounds everyday. We also just released a music video for “Vibe With a Few” and plan to make a video for “Purple Jet” soon so stay tuned for the new music and new videos!
You can stay updated with the group’s music on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and make sure to listen to their newest album The TreeHouse, Vol. 1 on Apple Music and Spotify. Check out their new music video for “Vibe With a Few” and catch their performance at Euro Gyro on Friday, November 17th at the Thankful4BSR Concert!
*Photos by Madeline Zupko