The indie-pop music of Minneapolis, Minnesota, native Wayward spawned from a sibling rivalry.
“My older sister wrote a song and I said ‘Well I want to write a song,’ and I wrote one to outdo her,” Jonathan Edwards, the sole musician in Wayward, said.
Growing up in a family of 13, Edwards said it wasn’t uncommon for those types of silly in-family competitions to occur. He didn’t know it would create a career that would have him touring across the Midwest.
Channeling a mixture of sounds that includes Ed Sheeran, Jon Bellion and AJR, Wayward will perform at 9 p.m. Friday, June 28, at the First Ward House, 2101 St. Joseph Ave.
From that first song Edwards wrote as a young teen came other tunes, including three that would make up his 2017 self-titled EP, which gained hundreds of thousands of spins on Spotify. As Edwards was talking with St. Joe Live, he said he was working on the final song on his forthcoming album, “Happiness.”
“I think that we find these little bursts of happiness, and I feel like we so often try to recreate those situations ... So trying to be happy, to get happy and stay healthy is kind of the concept I try to explore,” Edwards said.
Growing up not being allowed to listen to music, Edwards said he would try to sneak pop music into his life any way he could, often with his ear to his small boombox.
“My favorite (at the time) was (Fergie’s) ‘Fergalicious.’ That was kind of where it all began,” he said, laughing.
Like many younger artists, Edwards’ sound is tough to define, pulling from influences that range from rock to hip-hop to folk to dance music.
“It’s funny how each of us, when we hear a genre, we have a specific bucket of different kinds of songs (that fit into them). And it’s so funny how hard to really define what characterizes those different buckets of songs,” he said.
Armed with a looping pedal at his live shows, Edwards layers sounds from guitar to piano to his voice for a one-man showcase of catchy pop tunes.
“There’s definitely a different twist on it for the originals ... And there’s some surprise covers in there, usually I try do some funny covers,” he said.
As far as who won the songwriting war between Edwards and his sister, he said that’s still pending.
“I’m sure we can draw up some competition. I don’t know what we can — maybe a rap battle?” he said.
Wayward’s show is free and open to everyone 21 and older.
— Andrew Gaug | St. Joe Live