Waters Olivia Riley, professionally known as “WaWa Baby” was born on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. Her parents later moved the family to the mainland after a hurricane destroyed the island.
Waters’ parents split up and her mother moved the newly separated Riley family to Oklahoma to be closer to her own parents.
Waters grew up playing Christmas carols on the piano while her family sat around her and sung. Because of her small size, Waters had to sing louder, more powerful with more passion than her church choir singing family, just to be heard.
At the age of 13, Riley was gifted her first guitar for Christmas. Waters’ mother was always singing church hymns around the apartment and made sure everyone was present in the front church pews every Sunday. Riley loved that guitar and it became the subject of her first real family fight, when her mother needed to sell her guitar to put food on the table.
At the young age of 14, Waters became very rebellious and started to act out, partly because of the absence of a father figure and also the loss of her beloved guitar. Riley’s mother decided to move the family to Kansas City. By this time, Waters was uncontrollable and got kicked out of home because of trouble with the law. Mrs. Riley made the decision to send young Waters to live with her grandparents back in Oklahoma.
Young Waters was a rebellious teenager. Riley was never looking for trouble, but trouble always found Waters. No one seemed to be able to control her. The bright side of Waters living with her grandmother was that she owned a piano and played all the old hymns on that everyday. The two of them ate, slept, lived and breathed music.
After six months in Oklahoma with her grandparents and attending a private all girls Catholic school, Waters started to drink heavily and sneak out and go to parties with the local boy musicians where they would jam into the night, way past the strict curfew her grandmother had set.
This time she was sent back to Kauai to live with her father’s parents. Waters barely completed high school, spending more days on the naughty list than on the nice. Afterwards, she up-rooted herself again back to Kansas City and worked her way through college, by working at restaurants and other miscellaneous jobs.
Over the years Waters never forgot her first love of music and fashion, a love she hadn’t nurtured since her teens. However, she kept in the know with her musical events, fashion and photography.
Waters packed it up again and moved back to California, this time to San Francisco and “The Van Life.” Still unhappy with the merry-go-round of cities, jobs and songs, Waters found herself at home in the San Francisco’s open mic/stand-up scene and jammed in clubs and bars. Later, she became a regular artist performing at Café International often performing “summertime” by Ella Fitzgerald with her ukulele.
Waters was performing improv songs and jams every weekend with many San Francisco up-and-coming musicians for almost a year. During that time, Riley continued to write, perform and produce her unique style; a blend of of Jazz, Funk, Hip-Hop, and Swing style music. Waters purchased a van to live in, in which she wrote and created her own unique sound. Riley loaded up her van with her musical instruments and talents and headed south to Southern California.
In Los Angles she started showing up at political rallies and events, where she performed out of her van. “WaWa Baby” was now born. WaWa continued with her fashion modelling and on and off photography, often spontaneously showing up and singing and performing at house parties, fashion events, Hollywood night clubs and bars.
“WaWa BABY” was finally "In da House".