The Los Angeles-based duo, Whesli played a set full of soft melodies, creating a serene atmosphere among the crowd who sat languidly on the outer limits of the Becker Amphitheater Wednesday afternoon.
Whesli formed in 2015 when lead singer, Whesli Gamble and her bandmate Daniel Perback met at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood.
“We liked the same music and had the same vision for what kind of band we want to be in,” Gamble said.
Since then, they’ve drawn inspiration from Ray Charles, old Motown soul and bands like Led Zeppelin to formulate their sound.
Alongside their own material, Whesli performed heartfelt renditions of MGMT’s “Kids,” The Beatles’ “Blackbird” and an especially beautiful cover of Bob Marley’s “Is this Love” during the concert.
Cal State Fullerton student Melissa Gonzalez stopped when she heard the group’s performance of Childish Gambino’s “Redbone.”
“I liked her take on it. It was very soulful,” Gonzalez said. “The sound of her voice was really pretty, and I thought it was really cool that she was able to play acoustic guitar too.”
The eclectic taste of Gamble and Perback also influences their live shows. Gamble said the group takes influence from music that means a lot to them when choosing tracks to cover for their sets.
“We listen to a variety of different music though, so it kind of shines through in our cover choices and songwriting,” Gamble said. “It’s a blend of what we like and what our parents like.”
Associated Student, Inc. Wednesday Concert series coordinator Brennan Lyell said he decided to book Whesli after seeing them perform at the House of Blues in Anaheim.
“It was very peaceful so I think when students walk by, they could come and relax, even do homework while she’s playing,” Lyell said.
Gamble said she enjoys performing at colleges because students help provide her with a sense of whether she’s doing a good job or not with her music.
Although Whesli has not yet released a full-length album, they released a four-part series of live sessions on YouTube. Their live sessions are comprised of songs about relationships and holding onto optimism when faced with feelings of despondence.
Gamble said she enjoys live shows more than recording because of the sense of connection it brings with her audience.
“I get to express myself and get to eat up other people’s emotions and try to show something to the world,” Gamble said.