They are the electronic music duo making waves in the industry.
Jamie Christensen (29) and Tiaan Du Toit (26) both graduated with a degree in Information Science but traded tech for tune several years ago when they fell in love with the process of making music.
Since forming Wax Beach in 2017, Jamie and Tiaan have collaborated with artists like Chad Saaiman, Josh Wantie and Matt Gardiner.
Now they’re back with another banger, By My Side, which features singer Kerwin.
We sat down with the Cape Town-based twosome to uncover what makes them tick when they’re not making music and how they know a song is for the world to hear.
Who are the men behind Wax Beach?
Jamie: I developed a passion for music at a young age. I played in a few rock bands in high school and later learned about production tools.
I really enjoy releasing new music and seeing how we improve our skills as artists and how our audience grows with each new track.
Tiaan: I like to keep busy with many different things and making music has always been one of them.
I really enjoy the creative process and working with talented artists. Also the sense of reward I get when we release a new track and seeing it do well is addictive.
I’d say neither of us are super outgoing, but we have met some amazing people through music.
What would we likely find you doing when you’re not making music?
J: Between work (I work for a logistics software company) and music there is not too much free time. I try to exercise daily and be as social as I can.
T: When I am not stuck indoors behind a computer I like to go jogging and hiking. I also really enjoy going to music events.
Why the name Wax Beach? Where does it stem from?
T: Uh, Jamie needs to take this one…
J: In 2013, after completing a course on music production, I had finished my first full electronic production that I was happy with and wanted to upload it to Soundcloud. I needed to come up with a name and wrote a few names down. Wax Beach was one of the names I liked and I went with it. I like the fact that I didn’t overthink the name and have now built a brand around it.
Besides an obvious passion for music, what else made you pursue a career in it?
J: After playing in bands for a long time, I was introduced to music production software. I really enjoyed the process of making music on my own instead of the band setup I was used to. Being able to work on something, honing the craft of production and releasing songs that I’m really proud of is fulfilling and a big part of why I keep making music.
T: I think a career in music lets you meet a bunch of very talented and creative like-minded people. Also if you do it right, you can travel the world performing your music in front of millions of people which I think is a pretty good reason!
What makes you know a song is complete? Is there a feeling it gives you? Is there someone you play it to for their approval?
Jamie and Tiaan: We often spend a very long time meticulously going over every minute detail of a song. It's a slow process of refinement until we are satisfied.
Through this process we end up going through a few iterations of a song before we settle on a final version.
Once we are done, we send the track to a few mastering engineers to get their opinions and feedback which we then implement.
By My Side, your song with Kerwin – how’d that come about?
J: Chad Saaiman introduced us to Kerwin. We instantly loved his voice and style.
We had a few demo instrumentals ready that we wanted to show Kerwin on our first meeting. We chose By My Side because we all liked the idea of doing something with a funky disco vibe to it.
The rest of the process was refining the instrumental, the structure, coming up with vocal melodies, Kerwin writing the lyrics, making sure the song flows well and lastly taking care of the mixing and mastering duties.
would you say is a highlight of your career thus far?
J: One of the highlights for me has been having the tracks playlisted on radio and being able to share my music with lots of people.
T: I would say charting at number 1 for 12 weeks straight on 5FM’s electronic chart is definitely up there.
Dream artist/s you’d want to work with?
J: Skrillex would be a dream collaboration as he's a pioneer of modern electronic music and someone who inspires me as a producer. As for vocalists, I am a big fan of Post Malone’s style and what he has done with his career so far.
T: Locally I would say ChianoSky. She has an awesome voice and I really like the vocal melodies she comes up with.
Internationally it would have to be Tom DeLonge who you might know as the old frontman of blink-182. He is my childhood hero and a punk rock icon.