Posted On 13 Jun 2017
Los Angeles-based artist WELFAIR smoothly blends soul and ‘90s- flavored R&B on an electronic musical foundation. In November 2016, she released her sophomore EP, “Good Mourning.”
The 4-track Good Mourning was released on her brother’s birthday who lost his life to suicide in late 2015. As a play on words, the EP’s title is exactly what WELFAIR needed as she moved through the grieving period, pouring her emotions and energy into the writing process. Produced by multi-instrumentalist Mac Hill, Good Mourning exudes neo-soul and funk-styled grooves softening the edges on WELFAIR’s lyrical blows.
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Learn more about Welfair in the following All Access interview:
Q: Thanks for your time! So where does this interview find you today? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it?
A: I am currently at home in LA. You caught me listening to “Afternoon Tea” by The Kinks.
Q: How is 2017 treating you so far? Did you approach the start of this year any differently then you did last year?
A: 2017 is treating me splendidly. My approach to this year was/is to remain flexible in all areas of life. There are lots of opportunities arising & a ton of growth happening.
Q: Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your first musical memory? Could you see yourself doing anything else today? If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?
A: Originally, I wanted to be a dancer. Singing was a skill that came naturally to me. My first musical memories are of my dad. He is a musician and vocalist. He used to be the front-man of his own gospel band called Bitter Sweet. I guess by default it’s in my blood. At the moment, I cannot see myself doing anything other than music.
Q: How did you come up with you artist name? Why did you decide to not go by your own name?
A: Welfair is a literal, almost political, sarcastic manipulation of the word “Welfare.” Hence the spelling, promoting fairness;equality. Welfair is my stage name. I didn’t use my actual name cause I didn’t think it was cool enough. I also wanted to give myself something to live by. Create my own reality, and way of life. My manifesto or motto if you will, of this word and ideal vision I have. Welfair meaning honest; straightforward; over all well being. In all areas of life, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Q: Last November, you released your EP, “Good Mourning.” Can you talk about what it was like to release this collection?
A: Good Mourning is also a play on words. I’m a huge fan of symbolism and word play. The name symbolizes the decision to turn something terrible into something at least, productive. Good Mourning was released on November 25. In loving memory of my brother Michael Henry, who I lost to suicide in September of 2014. The EP’s release was a relief. Releasing Good Mourning helped me accept the reality of the situation, and face a whole lot of demons. The process of writing was very healing. The release date was also very important to me. November 25th is Michael Henry’s birthday. Although it’s always going to puzzle me, having GM released on that date was my way of attempting to close that chapter of my life.
Q: Have you been working on new music this year? Do you have plans to release anything new anytime soon?
A: Yes! I have been working on new music with my homie and producer Mac Hill. A release date for new music is TBD. We are currently working on Welfair’s first album.
Q: You’ve been playing live a lot lately. What have been some favorite shows of yours? What do you think makes for an ideal performance for you?
A: As of now, I have 2 favorite shows. The 1st was Pasadena Eclectic Music Fest. It was the first festival Welfair’s ever done, and the first time the crowd sang my words back to me. My 2nd favorite is the Troubadour and opening up for Raliegh Ritchie. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that. An ideal performance is forgetting where I am.
Q: I’d love to more about your show at The Vortex. It’s an art and music showcase with all proceeds going to Planned Parenthood. How did you get involved with this event?
A: Allie Fisher, the founder of Boogie Woman, reached out to me via email. I love everything the event supports, what it stands for, and signed on immediately.
Q: What artists have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
A: Oddly enough a lot of men inspire me. Michael Jackson, Zach de la Rocha, Jim Morrison, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye, (shout out to Chicano Batman) to name a few. But of course women as well. Badu, Amy Winehouse, Lauryn Hill, Kimbra, Whitney Houston, Tina Turner, Selena, Janis Joplin. I could go on really there’s so many.
In the future, I would love to work with FKJ, Mark Ronson, Anderson .Paak, Electric Wire Hustle, Mos Def, Dre, Brenton Wood, Francis and the Lights. Again, I could go on.
Q: At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music? What do you hope is the message of your songs?
A: I want my audience to escape. I’d like my shows to be a form of escapism.
Q: Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
A: Your support means everything to me. I ❤️ you.