Local Corner: Wem
“Everything that has to do with sanity involves clarity,” said music artist Wem, as he sat back comfortably in a stylish artist print T-shirt, leaning on an even more stylish black leather jacket slung over the back of his chair. Wem, real name Wemerson Olivera, replayed his words over, nodded and continued: “As long as you know where you want to be headed, it’s like driving at night. Even if you’re only looking 20 feet ahead of you, you can get where you need to go.”
Signed to Heartbreaker Records, Wem has already released his mixtape, “The Unexpected,” with the aid of veteran DJ Ill Will. The end of November will see the release of his second tape, “Intellectual Arrogance.”
Olivera was born in Brazil and moved to America at the age of four. He lived in New Jersey for most of his childhood, with some time spent in London. As a first generation immigrant, Olivera was forced to grow up fast — he was the best English speaker in his household and was expected to help his parents through big decisions and adjusting to life in the States. Olivera’s experiences made him mature early on, but he said, “Don’t get me wrong, I had a great childhood and I still consider myself a grown kid. Times were just different back then.”
Olivera attended the University, where he hit the ground running as a recording artist. “When I got to college I was so focused on doing my music,” he said. “I’d be at home sending emails early in the morning and booking studio time. What Rutgers taught me the most was that no one’s going to give you anything.”
Olivera is readying himself for a busy new year. “Intellectual Arrogance” sees its release in November, and is sponsored by major hip hop media sites such as Dat Piff and Hot New Hip Hop. In January, Olivera begins a national tour with dates at different showcases throughout the U.S at festivals such as South by Southwest (SXSW).
When asked about the current state of music, he said that hip-hop lacks a specific message. “At the end of the day, you’re put in an opportunity to relay messages to massive amounts of people,” Wem reflected. “I’m looking to offer insight into a different perspective, and let people find their own meaning in it.”
Wem is an artist to keep an eye out for. As both a motivated worker and a diligent intellectual, Wem offers a clear twist to a genre that has seen much monotony.
Head to datpiff.com or itsmewem.tumblr.com to grab “Intellectual Arrogance” when it drops Nov. 20.