Together as Wajatta, vocalist/comedian Reggie Watts and renowned electronic musician/DJ John Tejada make playful, funk-infused house and techno. Much like Watts’ famed absurdist beatbox comedy, the duo’s performances are loose and improvisatory — the two build off of each other’s energy, with Watts developing vocal melodies and hooks in real time over Tejada’s ebullient beat sequences. Wajatta’s recordings, including 2020′s Don't Let Get You Down, refine this energy into concise song forms.
Both Tejada and Watts have been making music since the 1990s. Tejada, who is classically trained, has released dozens of acclaimed recordings on labels such as Kompakt, Plug Research, and his own Palette Recordings, while Watts led eclectic soul band Maktub, played keyboards as part of Wayne Horvitz’s 4+1 Ensemble, and released a 2003 solo debut before branching off into comedy. He became famous for his loop pedal-enhanced beatbox improvisations, and made frequent appearances on late-night talk shows and Adult Swim programs, additionally releasing his two acclaimed Comedy Central specials as CD/DVD sets. A longtime fan of techno and house music, Watts had always wanted to make proper dance music, and after meeting Tejada at one of his club gigs, the two Los Angeles residents began working together. Merging their last names, they called their project Wajatta, and their debut album, Casual High Technology, was released by Comedy Dynamics in 2018. The duo toured throughout 2019, and Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label released their second full-length, Don't Let Get You Down, in 2020. ~ Paul Simpson