Aphra | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com
Aphra talks algorithm-frustration, Ableton, anxiety and more on the Oh Word podcast
It’s easy to mistake Aphra‘s Rebecca Waychunas as an intensely somber, serious individual. Her 2017 debut, Sadness Is a Gesture, navigated waters of emotional catharsis overtop evocative soundscapes and moody melodies. Hearing her talk about losing both of her parents in 2017 adds an additional weight to the music.
If you’ve ever met the Philadelphia singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist in person, you’ll know something else about her: she’s hilarious. She’s full of joy and optimism, drive and determination to make art that reflects the experiences she’s been through.
That’s the side of Aphra we get to hear on the latest installment of Philly’s Oh Word?! podcast. In the hour-long chat, she discusses her background as a musician, the influence she takes from two performing arts parents (her dad was a singer-songwriter, her mom a progressive house DJ), and her progression through early musical projects to the band Tutlie and stepping out into the solo world as Aphra. But she and host Joe Manno go off-book frequently, and in those moments, we hear her thoughts on social media and taking control of the algorithms that dominate our life, we hear her experience learning self-production skills with Ableton, and her frustration with the current state of the Divine Lorraine (and the privatization of that which should be public).
It’s a great conversation, and you can listen to the entire thing below. Aphra’s next Philly gig is Thursday, April 19th at Boot and Saddle with Wild Ones. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.