Wanz Newspin

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” started his first band, Central Connection, eventually performing as a savvy stage man in groups such as The Ghetto Monks and Life Ring — soon sharing the stage with artists like Joe Williams, Bobby McFerrin, and Dizzy Gillepsie.

It was only a matter of time before Wanz grabbed the national spotlight.

Last summer, 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, certifying the single as six-times platinum in the United States.

Wanz now tours the world with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, charming fans from all walks of life with his captivating vocals and unparalleled stage presence. Recent performances include Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Fallon, David Letterman, Ellen, and festivals such as South by Southwest and Bonnaroo, among others.

Currently, Wanz is putting the final touches on a solo EP, which is due out this summer. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Teddy Pendergrass and Bill Withers, Wanz blends pensive lyrics with tight, soulful grooves on his debut solo effort, producing a fresh sound that will capture your ears and stimulate your mind.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Wanz “Thrift Shop”

6 Responses to “About”
  1. Renee says:

    I heard Wanz on 106.1 this week, and I have to say how impressed I was with the interview. Now as I read more about him, I get it, and appreciate it. An older (not too much older than me!) musician setting good examples for the younger generation. You can be well spoken, educated, intelligent. Thank you for being true to who you are and not acting like so many musicians do…

  2. Karen Streeter says:

    Wanz has always been on his way to something extremely worth striving for (Wow! That was a mouthful!) He (YOU) made it! You are seeing the world. Your musical talent has been observed and acknowledged on a higher level. “Because there’s something about you, so right.” I read a interview where you stated something about growing old and maybe enjoying your music in quiet room by yourself. Maybe soon. For now. Keep shining. What did you used to say, “Let the little things go.” As my Idol Billy always said, “You know you’re gonna rock on the Blue Highway.” You have. I am so glad you are living the dream.

    • Wanz says:

      Thank Karen!!! You still hold a very special place in my heart and always will. I hope life is treating you and yours well. Much love, much peace to you!


  3. Hi Michael. Just a quick not to say that I loved hearing you describe your story on a youtube interview with Daniel Mogg. I too am about your age (52) and have been a musician since 14 (guitar player). I have also followed my dream and while it hasn’t been a blow-out success, I’m cool with what I AM doing. Sometimes when you least expect something, sh#t happens :)

    Thanks for reading and I wish you much success in your dreams. All the best.


  4. Max says:

    I have to say, I was late to the proverbial show. I finally listened to “Thrift Shop” for the first time about two weeks ago. The lyrics and beat were amazing, but the hook lives up to multiple definitions of the word because it’s certainly addictive. What I love is how there’s that subtle hint of irreverence in your tone that really brings the tongue in cheek feel of the song together. I’ve spent most of my life dealing with communications and it says a lot about your talent that you could bring that out in your voice at just the right intensity. It was just, if you’ll pardon the callback, fucking awesome.

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