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Wilmah: The Greatest Band In NYC

Matt Connolly(Left) and Will O'Connor(Right) enjoying the sun in the grass

Wilmah is a local indie band consisting of Matt Connolly (vocals and guitar) and Will O’Connor (bass). Having grown up together, the two began making music in high school and are now on their way to make their mark in the NYC music industry. Matt and Will “try to find the meaning in everything and anything”, as Will says in the interview, and their music is just that. They connect themselves to the world through their music and it shows.

Their songs have amassed over one million streams on Spotify. Being a local band, based in Brooklyn, we thought Wilmah would be perfect for the I <3 NY issue, as they have just released their new single on April 14!

Read below to learn more about Wilmah and their new song, Dead To Me!


What made you want to start a band together?

M: Will actually had a crush on one of his friend's mom in high school who happened to really have a thing for musicians, and he knew I played guitar and sang so he asked me if I’d be willing to start a band with him.

W: I wish. Nah, actually we were kinda put in a band together by one of our music teachers in high school. But we left that band in college and realized we wanted to do our own thing and it kinda took off from there.

What is something you hope listeners take away from your music?

M: I hope listeners take away the personality in the songwriting. I really try to put myself and the way I think into my lyrics, so I hope people can relate but also be entertained at the same time. Funny lyrics are the best lyrics.

W: I just hope they can find some way to relate to the lyrics. We wouldn’t be writing and making these songs if there wasn’t a way to relate and connect with listeners. It doesn’t feel important if these songs don’t mean anything to anyone. What would be the point in performing if you couldn’t? Matt and I have always said we try to find the meaning in anything and everything so I think that’s always good to keep in the back of our minds when we write a song.

Have you always lived in NYC? If not, what made you want to move here? If yes, what makes you want to stay?

M: We grew up in Buffalo, New York but ended up going to college in Westchester and the Bronx. We want to stay for the Bonus Room off the Halsey stop.

W: Best burger in Brooklyn. No bev no cap.

Has NYC influenced your work or creative process?

M: Honestly not really. I don’t find places to influence our creative process, but it is exciting to be surrounded by other talented people making music that we appreciate.

W: I don’t think it has, like in the sense of all the cliches that people always describe NYC as. Although, the new relationships we’ve made here definitely have inspired a lot of good lyrics.

What can you find in NYC that you can't find anywhere else?

M: A good BEC (bacon, egg, and cheese.)

W: I honestly don’t really know, I haven’t been to many places besides NYC in the world. I just know the pizza is definitely better here than in Buffalo.

What is your favorite spot in the city?

M: Times Square. We love the action!

W: Murray Hill! Such a great atmosphere for nightlife!

If you could be anything or anyone in this world or another, what would you be?

M: I’d like to be Brad Pitt.

W: Probably Robert Pattinson. I don’t really know what another world would be like.

What superpower would you want?

M: Teleportation.

W: I don’t really think I’d be happy with any of the superpowers out there. I don’t really think this is a hot take but I’m just not a fan of superheroes or comics. Idk can’t explain it. Just doesn’t excite me yanno? I think it’d be cool though to just have a really random hidden talent. Or just be able to speak a crazy amount of languages. Kinda random, but ya.

Who is your favorite artist?

M: Wilmah.

W: What he said. Gotta shout out Father John Misty as well and probably The Strokes. Honorable mention FatBoy Slim.

When did you realize you wanted to pursue music?

M: Once I hit about 15 years old, I realized there was no other path for me. It’s sometimes challenging to live with that decision, but it’s the cross we bear!

W: I think the moment Matt and I joined the band together. So I was 16/17. My mom wouldn’t let me do so many other things I wanted to do, so picking up an instrument was the least dangerous and most probable.

Tell us about your first performance, how did it make you feel?

M: I played at an open mic when I was 7. A woman asked me for an autograph after and that made me feel pretty cool.

W: I honestly don’t have many memories about the first time we played together as a band. I just liked the feeling of being able to let go of all the stress and anxiety I have and random thoughts and just let loose. The music just kind of takes over me. Every time we get on stage together is equally as special as the first.

Your new song “Dead to Me” just released, what is your favorite line in the song?

M: I do love a lot of the lines of this song, but at the moment I’m pretty happy I fit in a Frasier reference with “We could’ve watched Frasier reruns late at night.” Shout out Frasier!

W: I like the air mattress line. It’s a very specific memory to me of a relationship I was in.

W: Thank you guys! We really appreciate it.

Thank you so much to Wilmah and Brooke for taking the time for this interview and working with us! We can’t wait to see what you guys do in the future. Speaking of, Wilmah will be playing at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn on May 4th. There is still time to get your tickets and we hope to see you there!

Written by Grace Bugin

Photography by Mark Bluemle

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