WALLA formed out of different times, places, and hardships. By random chance, these 5 individuals found each other through digital means and a common love for inventing new wavelengths. After forming a strong friendship and working tirelessly on different prototypes of songs, they finally decided to begin the project, now officially called, WALLA. The name is a reference to the sound and murmur resulting from a large crowd of people. The sound also reflected confusion and hopelessness during a time of tough life decisions and rough financial circumstances.
Their credentials range from 2 members being graduates from the prestigious Berklee College of Music, touring in Europe, scoring big band arrangements, and playing sold out concerts and festivals. All members have a background from a different part of the globe (Mexico/El Salvador, Italy, Indonesia, Brazil, Korea) which is advantageous in influencing their songs, but also disadvantageous because of student visa issues.
In 2013, WALLA won their first accolade for Best Indie Rock Artist at the 2nd Annual Artists In Music Awards, then repeated during the 3rd annual and took home two more awards including Best Alternative Artist at Universal City, CA on February 7th, 2014. WALLA looks to repeat for 3rd year in a row at Season IV of the Artists In Music Awards in 2015.
What first draws you into WALLA’s music is the sheer catchiness of it — the melodies, the big punk drum beat, and the humbly clever lyrics. Then, as you listen again more closely, you start to realize the depth and genius of the arrangements and the pure, raw talent of the band members.
I love every song on their “Gangsters of Suburbia EP”. The lyrics are catchy, yet not too overly deep or complex. Each song has a great beat which bends the norm. Each track, from “Love Was On Your Mind” and “Gangsters Of Suburbia” to “Love and Celebrate” is packed full of finely-tuned energy and enthusiasm, making them all fair game for radio play. It is apparent that these guys set out to establish themselves as formidable contenders in a market full of overrated posers, as they wasted no space with uninspired filler material. What further sets them apart from the crowd is their authentic talent.
Jonathan Hoonch Kim’s lead vocals, strive to maintain the fine balance between edgy and joyously rapturous. Benefitting from a contrasting backdrop of medium to fast-paced percussion and grounding synth and guitar riffs. The auditory apotheosis is completed by a sleek production that serves to maintain a feel-good atmosphere and authentic retro taste.
While this album fits squarely in the indie pop realm, its highly accessible nature allows for it to be easily devoured by just about anyone interested in mainstream pop right through to rock and electro-dance subgenres.
Ultimately the thing that impresses most about the “Gangsters of Suburbia EP”, is its manic energy made all the more electric through the colorful sonic palette used throughout each track. Rarely are songs performed to the degree of tightness shown here. Be prepared to have these songs on constant rotation inside of your head for several days on end, right from the very first listening.
Repeated listens to Jonathan Hoonch Kim – Guitar/Lead Vocals, Gabriel Nava Rodrigues – Synths/Backing Vocals, Ian Charlie – Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals, Mauricio “Moebeats” Carcamo – Bass and Alessio Balsemin – Drums – aka WALLA, are all the more rewarding due to their careful attention to detail and impeccable performances, arrangements and production.
The “Gangsters of Suburbia EP” serves to dispel the belief that there are no longer any perfect pop recordings being produced!