Introducing Sugarmilk, the debut album from Southside Miami Heights producer and vocalist Wan.
Little is known about the artist Wan, but his debut album Sugarmilk is a mixed bag of synth goodies, displaying a range of production talent and artistry. Take the track "Milk" for example. What begins as a synth funk journey with ocean sounds in the background, soon becomes the stage for a guitar solo full of 80s magic. It's a dreamy journey that brings to mind the chillest vibes of vintage Japanese pop.
The love for Japanese culture doesn't stop there either. One can envision epic Tokyo arcade battles on the instrumental track "Akira". And the track that follows the aforementioned "Milk", which happens to be called "Princess" (Peach reference?), masterfully conveys the more romantic sides of Vaporwave. If you love contemporary 80s r&b like I do then this is a go-to track on Sugarmilk. It has a similar vibe to sweet talker anthems like Robbie M's "Just One Kiss" or the infamous "Cache Vocal".
Aside from a handful of instrumental ear worms, there's some catchy vocal hooks on Sugarmilk too. The first time I heard "What's Your Number", I probably played it four times in a row just laughing at how cool and funny the whole song is. Listening to the chorus now, "Baby what's your number, I wanna be your lover," I can envision a lo-fi but glamorous music video.
There's a rare youthful exuberance to Wan's work that makes it easy to enjoy. No ego or mixed up emotions, just a pure love for the groove that more often than not has a transcendent quality to it. Shouts to Wan, a.k.a Juan, for doing the dang thing on Sugarmilk.
MP: The album starts off slow, picks up in the middle, and cools down with the last two instrumental tracks. Did you envision a certain pace or story for how you wanted Sugarmilk to feel as a whole?
W: Yes, I wanted it to feel very awkward and completely “left field” for the listener. Almost like you're grabbed by a gorgeous memory and all you wanna do is smile and shake your hips. Then realizing that you miss that memory and you’ll probably do anything to feel that positive feeling
MP: The bass line for "Sugar" is on par with the top modern funk music coming out today. What kind of artists do you pull inspiration from for a beat like that?
W: “Sugar” is one of my favorite songs on the project. I got inspired by that song “Forget Me
Nots” by Patrice Rushen. The bass line in that song makes you wanna shake your hips and clap
to that punchy snare. It grooves so well with the keys of the song. “Sugar” makes me think of the
color pink and yellow. Everyone dancing having a beautiful night, not worrying about a damn
MP: I really dig the flourishes of Japanese soft rock on the guitar solo of "Milk". Were you going for that vibe?
W: Japanese K-pop was a huge inspiration in that song due to their bright guitars and smooth
chords laying in the background. Feels like you are staring at the beach water crashing onto the
shore while the seagulls are singing tunes in the skies above.
P: Did you sample the guitar on "Milk" and the sax on "Together Forever"? How much of the album is samples?
W: No samples at all. The guitar and saxophone was played by my friend Aldo Canals. A very
close friend of mine in a band I was in. He’s the bomb.
MP: There's a wide range of direction and love for electronic music on Sugarmilk. It actually made me think of Toro Y Moi. Where do you want to go with your music from here?
W: This project was very big to me “sound” wise. I want this project to open more doors for me as a musician, and that was my main goal to be honest.
MP: Last but not least, what is sugar milk?
W: Well, I wanted Sugarmilk to be about you remembering about the best times in your life and
turning it into a dance party. Then after that dance party, you're slapped in the face by reality.
You can Cop a Taste of Sugarmilk Here