With humble beginnings performing soulful renditions of “Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog” on the school playground, Michael Wansley developed an affinity for music at an early age, performing wherever he could for anyone who would listen. As he worked towards his degree in music education, the newly nicknamed “Wanz” joined his first band, Central Connection in 1979, soon sharing the stage with artists like Joe Williams, Bobby McFerrin, and Dizzy Gillespie! Eventually moving to Seattle in 1986 and performing as a savvy stage man in groups such as Life Ring, The Ghetto Monks, The Rangehoods and many more!! It was only a matter of time before Wanz grabbed the national spotlight.
In the spring of 2012, rising hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis recruited Wanz for a hook on their song about shopping for second-hand clothes, a humble and forward-thinking track against the traditionally flashy hip-hop status quo. Partly thanks to Wanz’s unforgettable hook, “Thrift Shop” quickly climbed the Billboard charts before landing at number one and holding that spot for six weeks total, to date, the track has been certified diamond (ten-times platinum) in the United States!
After touring the world with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, charming fans from all walks of life with his captivating vocals and unparalleled stage presence, performances on Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Fallon, Ellen, and festivals such as South by Southwest, Hurricane and Bonnaroo, among others. Wanz now seeks to establish himself as more than a flash in the pan hook singer.
Currently, Wanz is writing and recording while sprinkling in a few live performances and appearances. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Bill Withers, Seal and many other pop/R&B artists past and present, Wanz blends pensive lyrics with tight grooves producing a fresh sound that will capture your ears, make your head bob and stimulate your mind.