BABËL founder & NYC nightlife savant WAÏ unveils debut EP ‘Liberation’


French visionary behind NYC hotspots Gospël, Silencio NY and dance music’s beloved BABËL collective introduces his otherworldly opus, Liberation, after eight years in the making. 

NEW YORK, NY (June 21, 2024) – Today, French-born, New York-based DJ, producer, and sonic savant WAÏ reveals his debut EP – Liberation -via acclaimed German record producer Oliver Koletzki’s label, Stil Vor Talent/A Tribe Called Kotori. Traversing both the unexpected and the transformative, the two-track project draws inspiration from the aficionado’s worldly influences ranging from his Parisian roots to Brazil, New York City to Ibiza, Portugal, and beyond. 

WAÏ (Waël Mechri-Yver) has been challenging industry norms for nearly two decades, and this next evolution of his already prolific career is no exception. An arbiter of simultaneously conscious and elevated experiences, WAÏ has long focused his expertise on fostering a global community that reimagines club culture. His impressive portfolio is inclusive of the immersive nightlife collective BABËL and revered venues such as Göspel and Silencio NYC, where he leads Music Direction. The release of his inaugural EP signals an apex for the muti–faceted impresario who, after years of immersing himself into the world of music and creative curation, steps into his next role as an international recording artist.  

WAÏ’s journey is defined by a balance of his love for music and “he(Art)-preneurship.”. Akin to its multi-layered creator, ‘Liberation’ is an appropriate title for the EP in more ways than one. First, there’s the sense the music itself provides—of joy and healing. Second, it’s a breakthrough for the entrepreneur turned artist. 

“I have worked on hundreds of records,” said WAÏ, “But this is the first record I am putting out. I am relieved. It’s been such a long development. It’s a liberation of my soul as I express myself and share it with the world.” 

Liberation commences with the dance-floor-ready lead single, ‘Sanctify’, made in collaboration with singer-songwriter Marieme. The Senegalese-American artist’s rich vocals command movement and infuse an electric undercurrent to the dynamic, beat-driven track. Once a fixture in the early BABËL party scene, Marieme’s involvement in the project offers a poignant testament to the skilled collaborator’s commitment to discovering and providing a platform to uplift emerging talents across his project portfolio. The chanteuse has since gone on to create music supported by the likes of Michelle Obama, Oprah, and the WNBA. 

“I had the great pleasure of meeting Marieme almost ten years ago,” said WAÏ, “Her voice is evocative – full of soul and wisdom. Her music has always been deeply moving to me, and I knew that when it was time to create my own music, I wanted those entrancing, almost haunting vocals to be a part of it.” 

‘Sanctify’ is followed by ‘Faith’, an expressive and enveloping, eight-minute ode to transformation. 

WAÏ’s distinct sound is defined by, a unique blend of soulful electronica with Eastern and Western influences, reflects his global experiences and cultural passion. His performances at iconic venues like The Edge at Hudson Yards, Webster Hall, Sony Hall, Hï Ibiza, and Las Dalias Hippie Market, highlight his ability to create unforgettable musical experiences. Sharing the stage with notable artists like Dixon, Guy Gerber, and Damian Lazarus has further cemented his reputation in the music world. Following the release of Liberation, the skilled DJ plans to continue to tour internationally, bringing his unique sound to global audiences.

Early on, WAÏ’ curated parties while studying at La Sorbonne in Paris, before moving to Lausanne to study at one of the world’s greatest hospitality schools, Ecole Hôtelière. Pairing passion with a dynamic education, he would soon move on to play an integral role in transforming one of the most legendary venues in Paris, Man Ray, into a nightlife destination for a new generation, Cirque Bonheur.  There, he was the first to bring legendary acts, such as Tale of Us in 2011, to the French capital. 

In 2013, WAÏ expanded his influence by founding BABËL, an event series built on the ethos of consciousness- with a mission of promoting unity and common ground, while also championing diversity. The imprint provided a platform for artists such as Carlita, Layla Benitez, and Salome Le Chat to build their careers in the industry early on- all of whom moved on to much success in the global dance music scene. 

The brand later teamed up with Black Coffee to give birth to Gospël, a culture club in Soho, NYC established in 2017. The inspired visionary took the lead as not only the talent buyer and creator of the brand but also lent his design expertise to create a stunning venue, where Parisian design elements blend seamlessly with Moroccan-inspired touches. Gospël quickly gained a reputation for its immersive music, art, and social experiences, and was lauded as “the undisputed champion of Manhattan nightlife” by NYLON Magazine. WAÏ has also extended his curatorial expertise to the newly opened Silencio NY, a club with locations in Paris, New York City, and Ibiza, that has collaborated with luminaries like Swizz Beatz and the Marley Family. 

Arriving on June 21st via Still Vor Talent/A Tribe Called Kotori, WAÏ’s eight-year journey to Liberation will finally be shared with the world.


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