Sat in a meeting room at Atlantic, with the trio comprising of Akelle, Haile and Louis Rei, WSTRN are chilled and laid-back. They're prepping for rehearsals the following day and the excitement to create music is evident. The success of their first single, 'In2', was unprecedented, however. the trio's confidence in knowing they’d recorded something special is endearing. Growing up with a network of people in and around music has prepared them for what is to come.
In regards to music and locality, West London hasn never really been a hub for R&B, especially when compared to East and South London. With their name, WSTRN want people to know that it's West's turn to dominate the airwaves. WSTRN are poised to make British R&B their own this year and with the team they have behind them, the trio may do just that.
What's the buzz been like since you released 'In2'?
Akelle: It's been so crazy and exciting. We're just taking it all in and it's just so good to see the support right, coming from West London itself. We're just trying to put West London on the map.
Haile: Literally, that's all we're trying to do.
Yeah because when people look at music within London, it's usually East and South that get mentioned.
Louis Rei: All the other areas are doing their thing, that's why it's WSTRN, that's why it's spelt like that. It's West's turn.
Akelle: It's our time.
Were you expecting that blow up in a short space of time?
Akelle: I wouldn't say we were expecting it. How it happened we weren't expecting anything but we knew we had a banger on our hands. Everyone we played it to, in and out of the industry, gave it good response.
How did you create 'In2' come about?
Haile: We got in the studio and just started making music, then 'In2' was created.
Louis Rei: It wasn't like we were trying to make a song. It just naturally happened. We were chilling, having a little vibe, playing with some music and it just happened. Haile went in there, did his magic and as soon as we heard that hook that was it. The rest was history.
I guess that compatibility between you guys just came naturally too?
Louis Rei: Yeah it's deeper than music. That's why it works, nothing was put together.
Haile: It wasn't manufactured or anything.
Louis Rei: It was all organic.
Yeah in the UK, a lot of people would assume you guys were put together by a label or something.
Louis Rei: We're definitely not a boyband. Akelle hates that word [laughs].
Akelle: We're a collective in reference to guys like A$AP Mob. We're trying to create a brand. There's so many more talented people around us as well that have gone through what we've experienced. It's so sick that we have the opportunity to make our mark.
Collectives seem to last longer because of that solid foundation. How long did you guys know each other prior to WSTRN?
Akelle: Yeah that's right.
Haile: Before the music we knew each other for years.
Akelle: Haile is my younger cousin and Louis I met through my brothers, he knew them before me. From the time we met each other it was an automatic thing of respect and genuine love for each other. I knew Louis was sick at music and Haile was as well, he's always been around music growing up.
As you're a collective, would you be open to more people come in if they are compatible?
Akelle: I don't think so because we are WSTRN, we're not a band like that. We're individual artists that came together, we're still doing our own things. You'll hear a lot more people that are coming from our team, that we'll be supporting. It's gonna be a sick journey.
What kind of sounds have you been playing with since you first came together?
Louis Rei: Everything. We have a song for every mood you could possibly think of so I think that's the goal, we haven't set our hearts on any particular sound. It's just what feels good to us at the time.
Have you guys got any new material coming out in the near future?
Akelle: 'In2' is out at the beginning of next month, you can preorder right now. We've also got the remix dropping next week with Wretch 32, Chip and Gecko. That's gonna be exciting to watch and to see the feedback. We've something else coming soon called 'Got Love'.
What's the inspiration behind 'Got Love'?
Akelle: 'Got Love' is about genuine love. It's about girls that want guys who do so much for them and maybe the guy hasn't got the means, but he has the love to give. It's just about expressing feelings for some people. You've gone quiet on that one?
Louis Rei: [Laughs] Just listen to the song.
What's it been like working with Wretch 32 and Chip?
Akelle: It's been sick. We've been around Wretch for a while, he's worked with my older brother Angel and Haile's brother Progression. We met him then and the relationship's always been there and he genuinely supports our music.
How difficult is it to come to a decision on a song and decide that's what you want to go for?
Louis Rei: It's not hard at all.
Akelle: We just feed off each other. If one of us starts the track, then the others will relate to that and write around that theme.
Louis Rei: It's a beautiful process and I enjoy it every time it happens.
Akelle: We need to start doing studio sessions and putting them on YouTube.
Louis Rei: Yeah yeah.
Akelle: To show them that we do it properly.
How would you describe WSTRN?
Louis Rei: Positive vibrations, feel-good music.
Akelle: Great energy.