If you recall, when we released our third annual Top 50 Chicago Projects of the year list a couple of weeks back, there was a newcomer featured by the name of Wemmymo, who released a stellar new project titled Bittersweet in 2018. Admittedly, I was a couple months late to hearing Wemmy’s project after its initial release, but after the homie Femdot recommended that I give it a listen, I finally got around to it; now, Wemmy has been in my headphones every day since.
I recently brought the Uptown, Chicago native through the Lyrical Lemonade office to chop it up and speak about plenty of interesting subjects such as Bittersweet, his inspirations, Chicago and so much more in our latest Q&A! Wemmy has an enormous amount of potential and he’s still in his teenage years, so I am fully expecting to see him continue to ascend as an artist and eventually become a major leader in the city. Take a few minutes of your time to learn about Wemmymo by listening to his project, watching his brand new music video, and checking out the Q&A below, and be sure to keep up with him by following Wemmy on Twitter here.
Elliot: Before we dive into the questions, give our readers who may not be familiar with you a brief introduction of yourself.
Wemmy: I am Wemmymo from Uptown, Chicago! I’m fresh off of my debut mixtape, Bittersweet. I have been making music for two years now and ultimately what I want to do with my music is to speak for those that don’t have a voice, and use my art to go beyond music.
Elliot: What is your earliest memory of music?
Wemmy: My earliest memory of music is playing the drums in my church’s choir at five years old on Belmont on the north side of Chicago. I definitely heard other music as a kid, but my love for it started in church.
Elliot: When did you first start recording music?
Wemmy: I started recording music at Big Wet Studios. I made my song Misunderstood in there and my first time actually recording was probably April 2016.
Elliot: How would you describe your music to someone who has never listened before?
Wemmy: I would describe it as a vibrant, youthful, soothing & mature sound. I know some of those words might be contradictory, but overall, I have a good head on my shoulders and I have a mature perspective on several different topics (street, relationships, politics). Ultimately, I bring that energy that’s youthful.
Elliot: Who are your top five biggest musical influences?
Wemmy: Chance, Erykah Badu, Wasiu, Lauryn Hill, G Herbo & FKJ.
Elliot: What was the first album you ever bought?
Wemmy: I remember the first album I bought was Tha Carter IV. People weren’t even really buying albums any more at that time, but I knew I would eventually be asked this question so I had to buy it.
Elliot: If you could collab with some dead & alive who would they be?
Wemmy: I would have to choose Mac Miller and Timbaland.
Elliot: What’s your favorite music video?
Wemmy: That’s an awesome question, but my favorite video is Suga Free – On My Way. It’s hilarious, go watch that.
Elliot: Who are some local Chicago artists that you listen to?
Wemmy: El Hitta, Manwolves and Wemmymo man, haha.
Elliot: If you had to pick some artists to work with in the future, who would they be?
Wemmy: Femdot, Chance, Smino, Monte Booker & Cam O’Bi.
Elliot: What’s your favorite book?
Wemmy: The Diary Of A Wimpy Kid.
Elliot: You recently dropped your debut project Bittersweet, what was that initial reaction like?
Wemmy: Like I said earlier, I started doing music in 2016, and I have been promoting this Bittersweet project since that point. I definitely built up the hype for it, so when people first heard it (especially in my high school), they were going crazy. I had dropped an EP before so people knew I was nice, but once people saw the results of Bittersweet they were excited and voiced that shit.
Elliot: I noticed you sampled a ton of classic records, what inspired you to use those?
Wemmy: It was a mix of different producers but I was definitely aiming for that sound. I wanted that soulful aspect involved in the tape so that’s why I wanted to use those certain samples.
Elliot: How has Chicago inspired you?
Wemmy: Chicago is ultimately who I am, so I can’t help portraying Chicago characteristics. Everything inspires me from the art to the artists, the energy, the people, the culture, and to the homeless man on the corner asking for a dollar. It all inspires me to create the art that I produce.
Elliot: What’s it like being from Uptown?
Wemmy: Uptown is hella diverse, it’s currently getting gentrified right now so you know how that goes. But Uptown is trail mix bro – you have hella Nigerians, Ethiopians, all types of different types of people. The school I went to was hella diverse so it would dope getting those different perspectives.
Elliot: Why did you name the album Bittersweet?
Wemmy: It’s titled “Bittersweet” because I dealt with very traumatic situations in high school whether it just be relationships or my good friend getting shot in the head. That whole time period shaped me into who I am now, and those situations gave me my outlook on life. In high school you are trying to find yourself, so from 14-18 is a big ass change, you know? The album is mainly called Bittersweet because of the fact that both the negative and the good made me who I am, and because sonically, the project has all different kinds of songs.
Elliot: How did you come up with the name Wemmymo?
Wemmy: That’s actually my name — the whole thing is long as fuck – Oluwawemimo.
“Oluwa” means “God” and “wemimo” means “cleans me well”.
Elliot: What was it like playing in your church choir growing up?
Wemmy: It was different because I started when I was like five years old, so at that age, there were two sections: the grown-ups were upstairs and the kids were downstairs in Sunday school. But because I was in the choir, I was already upstairs with all of the grown-ups, so I grew up fast because I was around older people. It helped mature me.
Elliot: What is it like balancing college and rap?
Wemmymo: Honestly in high school, I didn’t have a lot of time, but I think that it’s easier to balance the music now that I’m in college and have more free time.
Elliot: What can our readers expect from you for the rest of 2019?
Wemmy: In 2019, you can expect more content and visuals from me. I am currently working on my next tape. I’m not sure if it will drop in 2019, but maybe it will. The people can expect more music, merch, working with more artists outside of the city, etc.
Elliot: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Wemmy: In five years, I hope to be making money off of music so I can live off of it. In five years, I hope I am finished with college and I’m not trying to have my OG working at that point. Just overall living my best life and doing more to improve Chicago as a whole.