She is classically trained in the violin, knows, by her own words, little of the contemporary music scene and started playing guitar because her roommates could not appreciate the sound of a violin? No, with only that information nobody would give Wanthanee Wadngam a single chance of winning Studio Brussels “De Nieuwe lichting”. Yet she did. In 2016 she won this national competition and people got to know the “nightingale of De Panne” or “the London Grammar of the lowlands”, two descriptions giving to her and used by the national press. With her acoustic guitar and her impressive voice, she benumbed hords of crowds at major festivals (Pukkelpop, Leffingeleuren, Crammerock) and passed through basically every venue in Belgium. As a headliner but aswell as support for among others George Ezra, Starsailor and Amongster. Her music did not only hit home in Belgium; Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands, the US, South Korea, and Taiwan are just a few places Wanthanee was able to add to her already impressive resume.
The last five years have not been for a lack of adventure. The song that insured her victory for DNL, ‘Only Shadows Remain’ (2016), got a follow up single in the form of ‘As long as we’re breathing’ (2018) yet it remained at that. 2021 however will change that with the release of ‘W A N T H A N E E’. The singer-songwriter did not make this happen overnight, something that is audible in the exploration of depth as well as the lyrics filled with true personal meaning. For the first time she went looking for the right arrangements, together with her partner Orson Wouters* nonetheless (Transistorcake, sleepers reign). Besides guitar, the piano and violon play an important role musically, while the lyrics reflect her personal quest to an identity and the handling of major life events. This leads to a gem that confirms Wanthanee more than ever as… herself. Her broad, warm voice still reaches out like a comforting shoulder while the rich arrangements pull the listener more than ever into her thoughts, her view of life, and her universe. It is great to lounge there, take it from us.
* (production/instrumentation/mix for among others Poltrock, Dolly Bing Bing, Lili Grace, Le Manou, Berg, Float Fall)