Introducing Singer-Songwriter Wesley Preiss

It seems that music and the arts play a big role in you and your family?  Can you tell us about what it's like to grow up in a household of artists and creatives?  

Growing up in a household of artists and creatives has without a doubt shaped me into who I am today. Since I was little, I grew up surrounded by art and music. Some of my first memories, even, involve singing either alone or with my family. Never once was I told that any dreams or aspirations to be a musician were "unrealistic" or anything short of being able to become a reality.

How long have you been playing music and what draws you most to this form of creative expression?

I have been playing music for quite a while now. In the 3rd grade, I tried to teach myself piano, and learned a few intros and pieces, but it wasn't until I took lessons in 6th grade that I really learned the fundamentals of piano in depth. I think what draws me most to this form of creative expression is that you can truly say whats on your mind in a manner that could either be completely metaphorical or totally blatant, and not even have to explain yourself. Additionally, music is so beautiful, and unlike relatively anything else, and I think that's why I find it so compelling.

You recently took the songwriting + recording workshop at Kalabash with Natasha + Chad?  What was the experience like for you?

The songwriting and recording workshop at Kalabash with Natasha+Chad was probably one of the most educational and fun things I have ever done! Before this workshop, I had never really written a full song, and I did not know much about the recording process. Upon having learned these great skills, I am now more comfortable writing and recording. Not to mention the environment was great, and everybody was super encouraging and supportive. :)

We think it's quite amazing for someone as young as yourself to write a love song that has so much depth and maturity.  Can you tell us a little about the inspiration behind this song?

First of all, that is a huge compliment, so thank you so much! I like to think that this song is fairly introspective. This song began as a free-write from the first day of the songwriting workshop. I played around with some different lyrics, I was just like "yes, flood, water, yes, that's good" a few attempts into writing it though, something sort of clicked, I realized that this song was so much more, and was actually reflecting how I felt about quite a few things in that moment, whether or not I knew it at the time. I'd say the inspiration for this song was, and pardon me if this sounds like a cliche, but a literal "flood' of emotion. I feel as though there is a conflict in the lyrics, some even slightly contradicting themselves, which could parallel an internal conflict of somebody with all this emotion. The actual noise water makes I think influenced the piano in the song.

A little bird told us that you love Stevie Wonder? What are some other artists that inspire you these days?

That little bird was absolutely right, because I simply adore Stevie Wonder. I'd say one of my biggest influences is Coldplay, they have such a unique and lovely style. I think that Birdy has definitely impacted me, as well. Imogen Heap, Troye Sivan, Sam Smith, Twenty One Pilots, and Panic! At The Disco are some other massive influences. I could honestly list about 20 more, but I think I might just not stop typing.

If you were gifted a plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

If I were gifted a plane ticket to anywhere in the world, I would either visit Tokyo or Copenhagen. I would visit Tokyo because it is a center of fashion, technology, food, and just immense Japanese culture. The Ghibli museum is there, as well. I would perhaps visit Copenhagen because of the scenery, and all the local food, which I find very exciting.

Favorite food?

I honestly love food so much, like honestly. I'd say my favorite is probably phở. There are so many great noodle dishes out there. :').

Spirit animal?

I am not particularly educated when it comes to spirit animals, or the tribes or the religions that do have them, so I don't really know if I do have one, or what mine is, but I like to think that some animal or other entity is with me on this journey, and can potentially see what's happening and be like "girl I feel you".

Apparently there is some sort of club/cult forming for girls who like to write songs and eat pizza here at Kalabash?  Do you like pizza?  Would you go to such a thing?

I love pizza and it is beautiful. As you would have it, pizza and cults happen to be two of my favorite things, so I'd say yes, I'm totally in. I would do such a thing.