I recently talked to Evan Wize about the making of his debut Evan Wize EP. Wize’s formal introduction to the music world is an effortlessly cool blend of pop, R&B and soul. It begs to be played on city rooftops as the sun slowly disappears on summer nights.

It’s curious then to hear from Wize that the earliest musical influences that inspired him to start singing as a teenager were mainly emo/hardcore bands like Brand New and Taking Back Sunday.

“It was a part of the people and musicians that I hung out with when I was younger,” said Wize. “That was the kind of stuff they listened to, and I wanted to get into it, too. As I grew older I just grew out of that phase like a lot of people do, and started exploring new stuff.”

Wize said his greatest period of musical discovery came when he needed it most. He was studying psychology at West Chester University, and had nearly accepted that it might be the right time to move on from making his own music.

“There was a two-year period where I was done trying to make it in music,” he said. “I was trying to do the college thing – get a degree, get a normal job – and the artists that influenced me during that time were guys like Chet Faker, The Neighbourhood, Anderson .Paak…those types of artists. They really changed my perspective on what I wanted to do as an artist and who I wanted to be.”

I asked Wize if he could put together a playlist of some of his favorites – old and new. Follow the link for a full Spotify playlist and check out the tunes below for a sampling of Wize’s taste.

Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

Chet Faker – Talk Is Cheap

Tom Misch – Beautiful Escape (feat. Zak Abel)

Jordan Rakei – Add the Bassline

HONNE – Warm On A Cold Night

-Mike Still