If there’s one thing that music lovers know, it’s that the power of music has the ability to transcend space, time, culture, and more, and one artist who backs this ethos is Australian singer-songwriter, Wafia.
The Brisbane-raised artist began her career in quite an unorthodox way, originally studying biochemistry at university until a lightbulb moment had her pursue her passion for music.
“I had started writing songs and performing in cafes at that point and I was on way to my last biomedicine exam and my dad said, ‘You spend a lot more time playing guitar than reading books, I think that you might regret not giving this a shot while you have the opportunity,’” Wafia tells Rolling Stone Australia.
“I was 18 at the time and I was like, okay, I’ll give it a shot. He said that medicine isn’t going anywhere, and I could always go back to university, but music was a good thing to try right now. And he was right,” she added.
Now set to perform at the next stop of Jim Beam Welcome Sessions series at epic Gold Coast venue The Lawn at Garden Kitchen & Bar at the Star this Easter long weekend, the 29-year-old reveals she can’t wait to get up close and personal with her dedicated fans, with whom she credits for getting her through her darkest times.
“I wouldn’t have this career if it wasn’t for my fans and community and their continued support. I would be an entirely different person if they weren’t in my life,” Wafia says of her special relationship with fans.
“We’ve been like a part of one another’s lives for years and that is just a great sense of community, especially when it got to points where I questioned if I should keep doing music, if it wasn’t for their messages that said things like, ‘I can’t wait for new music’ or ‘I love this old song’ or whatever, I wouldn’t have that drive to just keep waking up and having a reason to like pull the curtains back every day and keep trying.”
It’s this sense of community that Jim Beam Welcome Sessions are all about. It’s a belief that runs deep in the Jim Beam brand, and it’s what drives them to bring together music lovers from all walks of life.
“I love looking at the crowd and seeing an audience as diverse as I am and seeing so many parts of my personality reflected back at people watching what I do,” Wafia says.
“I know fans who have made friends at the shows because they just happened to be standing next to someone and the thing that they could connect on was like my music. So it’s great that it just built that community feeling.”
Whether you’re a diehard fan or a casual listener, Jim Beam Welcome Sessions, which have already seen artists like Lime Cordiale, Drapht and Bag Raiders take the stage for one–of–a–kind performances, offering a chance to connect with like-minded souls and experience the thrill of live music in a whole new way.
As for what fans can expect on the day, Wafia explains, “You can expect a lot of energy. I think with crowd sizes like this, that’s when my personality comes out the most so I’m excited to show them what the set’s been like.
“My family and my partner are going to be there – they’ve actually never seen me perform in Australia before! So it’s going to be really special for me to have my support network outside of music there.”
From strangers to friends, and friends to family, Jim Beam Welcome Sessions are a reminder of what it means to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, reminding us there’s always a reason to come together and celebrate, and you can be a part of it all by entering for your chance to win a double pass to see Wafia’s performance here.
For more information about Jim Beam Welcome Sessions, be sure to head along to their official website, or stay tuned to Rolling Stone for more updates.
Jim Beam Welcome Sessions 2023
Saturday, 8th April 2023
The Lawn at Garden Kitchen & Bar
Enter here for your chance to win tickets.