Following myriad musical and travel experiences throughout his early life, Joel Wästberg emerged under the pseudonym sir Was with wide-ranging musical tastes.
Wästberg grew up in Frillesås on the western coast of Sweden, and he played music from an early age, starting with the saxophone at ten. He left his childhood home at 18 and studied jazz saxophone at a Folkhögskola in southern Sweden. After his studies he performed in a variety of ensembles, and even jammed with Sean Lennon in New York. Ever restless, Wästberg traveled to South Africa, where he spent some time at the University of Kwasulu-Natal in Durban. During his time there he became increasingly interested in the Pan-African rhythms he encountered. This fascination deepened as he traveled through Mozambique and Zimbabwe and, emboldened by his experiences, decided to start making his own music. He recorded his debut record, Digging a Tunnel, between autumn 2014 and spring 2015, playing all the instruments himself. In the run-up to its early 2017 release, he put out the first single from the record. "A Minor Life" hints at the multitude of styles and influences that informed his music making -- from bagpipes to electronica -- via his own sweet and fragile vocal. ~ Bekki Bemrose, Rovi