Imaad Wasif is a singer, guitarist and songwriter whose music combines elements of psychedelic folk and rock. Wasif’s music has been described as "unbelievably intense with sparkling, raga-influenced guitar and a mystic bent."
Wasif was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, but was raised in Palm Desert in Southern California. He began playing music as a teenager and formed his first band lowercase; "a guitar-drums duo that played a weird hybrid of minimal lo-fi pop, post-rock and slo-core." They were signed to the seminal noise rock label Amphetamine Reptile. In 2001, he formed the psychedelic folk-rock group Alaska! in addition to briefly joining Lou Barlow’s Folk Implosion.
In 2006, he started releasing solo albums. Also during 2006–2008, Wasif played with Yeah Yeah Yeahs for the Show Your Bones world tour playing acoustic guitar, bass and synths. He performed as the supporting act for most shows. He stopped touring with YYY's in 2008 to focus on his own music. Wasif assumed more of a collaborative role, writing songs with Karen O for the soundtrack to Where the Wild Things Are (2009), most notably the song, "Hideaway." In 2017 he rejoined Yeah Yeah Yeahs, again as an auxiliary musician.
His first self-titled solo album was released in 2006 on Kill Rock Stars. The record featured minimal, acoustic songs with psychedelic influences, reminiscent of Skip Spence’s Oar and Syd Barrett’s Opel, and was recorded by Mark Nevers in Nashville, TN. This record introduced Wasif’s primary lyrical themes; love, madness, transformation, isolation, and spiritual influences, which continue through his subsequent albums.
Wasif’s second album, Strange Hexes, was recorded in Los Angeles and self-released in 2008. The album is a "tense, trippy collection of songs that become fiercely emotional explorations." The songs incorporate Eastern modal tunings and drones.
Wasif’s third album, The Voidist, was released in 2010 on Tee Pee Records. Recorded in Los Angeles, The Voidist is at once "regal and exuberant. Its unique sonic tapestry is sprinkled with ragas, blues rock, and something totally new that exists at the apex of these varied influences." Influences that Wasif has cited include Paul Bowles, Gérard de Nerval, Neil Young, Can, John Fahey, Captain Beefheart, Jimmy Page, and Vilayat Khan.
In 2012 and 2013, Wasif completed two self-recorded works, "The Dark Water EP" and the album "Great Eastern Sun." Both albums were held back from release, Wasif citing them to be "too dark and too personal."
In 2014, he finished work on a fourth solo record, a concept album titled "Figurehead" again recorded with Mark Nevers. The album's release was stalled due to contractual issues.
In 2017, Wasif released "Dzi," on Grey Market. The album was recorded by Bobb Bruno on a Tascam Cassette 8-Track Machine, capturing a raw, live feel.
"Great Eastern Sun" was released on December 1, 2018 on Nomad Eel Records,