Efrim Waite

Efrim Waite
Media
Image
A portrait of Efrim Waite, with a thick beard and showing his iconic tress of long white hair as he looks directly at the camera

Efrim Waite in 2045.

Birth name

Efrim Uttu-Isimud Waite

Born

July 1st 1999 (age 50) in Aquileia, Italy

Nationality
Occupation

Musician, entrepreneur

Known for

Polysemic Sortilege

Efrim Uttu-Isimud Waite (born July 1st 1999), known professionally as Efrim Waite, is a French-British musician, investor, and entrepreneur. They are best known for their solo work as well as being the lyricist, vocalist, and guitarist of the band Polysemic Sortilege.

Born in Italy and raised in London City and Paris, Waite studied at the Conservatoire de Paris and the University of Cambridge. They formed Polysemic Sortilege in 2019 and released seven albums until the band was broken up in 2033. Waite launched their solo career in 2029 and has since released four albums, with the development of a fifth and final album announced in 2045. Their dense lyrics, public elusiveness, and cryptic statements have made Waite an influential and controversial figure in the music industry.

On October 4th 2049, Waite was found comatose in Tunisia after being reported missing in Spain by their executive protection team. They received care in a private clinic before boarding a private jet out of Tunisia. On October 10th 2049, Waite was spotted entering the Paris catacombs ahead of an explosion that uncovered a G6 hub in an unmapped section of the tunnels. It is unclear whether Waite was killed in the blast.

Early life and education

Efrim Waite was born Efrim Uttu-Isimud Waite in Aquileia, Italy on July 1st 1999. Their father is Abdel Talbot Waite, a British bioengineer of Syrian descent, and their mother is Marguerite LeNormand, a French physicist. Waite’s childhood was spent between London City and Paris. They began playing music at an early age and released their first EP in 2009, going on to create over fifty projects before the age of fifteen. In 2016, Waite enrolled at the Conservatoire de Paris, but dropped out before completing the first semester. In 2017, they began studying at the University of Cambridge, graduating as a Master of Science in Physics and completing their PhD at Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory.

Polysemic Sortilege

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A promotional photo of the four members of Polysemic Sortilege partially obscured by smoke. The band members are wearing dark hooded cloaks and only lead singer Efrim Waite's face is visible, looking at the camera.

Promotional photo of Efrim Waite as part of Polysemic Sortilege.

During their brief time at the Conservatoire de Paris in 2016, Waite met drummer/singer Nadira Bentoumi, bassist Imran Djebarri, and violinist Rokaya Toussaint. Upon Waite’s departure for Cambridge, the four were determined to work on something together and ultimately formed Polysemic Sortilege in October 2019 after a “life-changing experience that had nothing to do with music, or so we thought.” [1] As part of Polysemic Sortilege, Waite released seven albums. Their lyrics were often highlighted as one of the band’s strong points, but it wasn’t until the 2028 release of The Opening, the band’s final album, that they gained international and commercial acclaim. Polysemic Sortilege went on hiatus in 2031 and officially disbanded in 2033 following the disappearance and death of Djebarri. [2]

Solo career

In 2029, Waite released their solo debut, For That Which Howls In Multiples. Although the album was considered a commercial failure, it was met with critical acclaim. Pitchfork praised Waite’s eagerness to “return to Polysemic Sortilege’s early sound” and described the album as “a noxious, intricate soundscape pulsing with slow-moving chaos, loss, and the sense that Waite is begging to be heard.” The Guardian called the album “a two-hour, heart-wrenching epic, an abandoned lover’s plea echoing from the depths of hell.”

Waite’s second album, Of Altars & Graves & Sacrifices, was released in 2033. In his longest review to date, Anthony Fantano dedicated two hours to the album and called it “an incomprehensible, erudite masterpiece that seems eager to devour all of history and spit it back at us. Waite sings in eight different languages while deftly referencing John Milton, the Quran, particle physics, and obscure fin de siècle occult art. It’s a prophetic vision of folly and grief that stretches across time and place.” Following the death of Djebarri in August 2033 and investigations into Waite’s involvement, Of Altars & Graves & Sacrifices was removed from all major distribution platforms, which has made it into one of the most widely pirated albums of all time.

In 2036, Waite released their third album, Slumber ’Til The Miasma Calls My Name, to universal acclaim. The Guardian dedicated a special issue to the album, labelling it “a forty-seven minute, one-track experiment that simply shouldn’t work, yet does. Waite crafts melodies akin to whale songs and deep ocean sounds. They do not seem intended for us, yet we cannot help but listen. Their latest work is a chimeric oddity which shifts between a piece of music, an endless alternate reality game (ARG), a cryptographic cypher, an incitation, and a grimoire. The discordant, labyrinthine landscapes Waite envisions reconfigure what music can be and the ways in which art affects us.”

After disappearing from the public eye for over two years, Waite returned to music in 2039 with a double-album called Epiphylogenesis: Unbecoming Machine / Becoming Other, which was praised for “weaving a unique, historical, and monstrous tapestry of the complexities created by our interactions with technology.” Waite’s fifth album, Wandering The Squirming Multiplicities: A Farewell, A Fluctuating Hatching, An Ending A Venir, was first announced in 2045 but has yet to be released. Waite described it as their “magnum opus, which shall take the time it takes and the forms it will.” Waite has also suggested it would be their final album.

On October 10th 2049, Waite uploaded a copy of Wandering The Squirming Multiplicities: A Farewell, A Fluctuating Hatching, An Ending A Venir to Vessel, with the upload taking place moments before Waite was seen entering the Paris catacombs. Fans have described the album as “entirely instrumental,” finding that it “seemingly loops in on itself, with the only lyrics compressed into a ten-second series of strident sounds and unidentified, overlapping voices.”

Business ventures and research

In 2023, Waite founded DebteraPharma, which became part of Zhupao Campus in 2032 and was acquired by Zhupao in 2033. In 2039, Waite acquired a majority stake in PenCréant and enlisted the company to replicate ancient grimoires and musical instruments to their specifications. Waite has also invested in numerous other companies and ventures, including Sanial in 2026, Moodoo in 2029, Cengal in 2030, Pokrov in 2032, and Endoptic in 2033.

Waite’s involvement with Endoptic was heavily publicised when they volunteered to be the first human test subject for a neural colloid implant. After Waite organised a livestream to demonstrate their colloid being administered by Spencer Hagen on August 1st 2032, the company received an influx of requests from their fans to sign up to the company’s human trials. This drew ire from the medical community, as colloids were still the subject of long-term biocompatibility tests in animals at the time. In several interviews, Waite has expressed the belief that colloids are a highly beneficial technological development, stating that they, “rather than interstellar travel, are mankind’s only chance to see what lies beyond the primeval muck.” [3]

Controversy

Death of Imran Djebarri

Waite was the primary suspect in a murder investigation after the death of Djebarri, who disappeared on August 1st 2033 after landing in Tunisia. On August 3rd 2033, Djebarri’s remains were found in a Tunis hotel room, with the cause of death established as hypovolemic shock due to multiple thoracic wounds. His body was found placed on a pile of animal remains and the words THE SONG-WEAVER BEHELD US were painted on a nearby wall using Djebarri’s blood. The handwriting was shown to match Waite’s. Additionally, hotel logs revealed that Waite had spent a night in the same hotel room precisely a year before Djebarri’s death.

Waite’s whereabouts on August 3rd 2033 remain contentious. Compiled footage from various sources showed Waite in Chile, Japan, South Africa, and Sweden throughout the day. This footage has been dismissed by multiple investigators and later attributed to a “hacking campaign carried out by bad faith actors in order to derail the investigation and frame Waite.” Waite has stated that they never left their London City residence the entire time. Their phones, laptops, and smart devices were active there at the time of Djebarri’s murder, and multiple eyewitnesses, including Waite’s executive protection team and personnel, confirmed they had been there since August 1st 2033, the day Djebarri disappeared. All charges against Waite were dropped in October 2033 due to lack of evidence. [4]

Djebarri’s death remains a highly-debated topic, given that numerous lyrics from Of Altars & Graves & Sacrifices seem to reference and foreshadow Djebarri’s final days, including the location of his body and injuries sustained. The other members of Polysemic Sortilege never commented on the events. Many fans and critics believe that Djebarri’s death, Waite’s lyrics, and their erratic behaviour over the years led to the band’s separation in November 2033. [5]

Death of Nadira Bentoumi

On October 4th 2049, Bentoumi was found murdered in their Paris apartment, with the cause of death established as hypovolemic shock due to wounds identical to those inflicted on Djebarri. Despite the similarities between their deaths, French authorities have ruled out Waite as a suspect, as they were hospitalised in Tunisia at the time. [6] Waite has refused to comment on the death of Bentoumi as well as the disappearance of Toussaint, who was reported missing by their spouse in Iceland on October 5th 2049. On October 8th 2049, remains belonging to Toussaint were found in a restricted area of the Arabika Massif. [7]

Disappearance

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A photo of Efrim Waite lying in a hospital bed, staring at the ceiling. His long hair and beard are white, and there is a contusion on his right temple.

A leaked photo of Efrim Waite in a Tunisian private clinic has fueled speculation over their change in hair colour.

On October 2nd 2049, Waite was reported missing by their executive protection team. They were last seen on September 30th 2049 while boarding a ferry in Spain, but did not disembark in Morocco. On October 4th 2049, Waite was found comatose and in critical condition in the area of Chott el Djerid. Their exact location was not publicly disclosed and Tunisian authorities have declined to offer details, citing “an ongoing investigation.” [8]

At 05:32 local time, Waite was transported to La Rabta Hospital in Tunis and admitted to intensive care, and subsequently transferred to the neurology department of the Carthagene private clinic. The head of the department stated that Waite’s vital signs are “stable and within normal range,” that they are awake and conscious, and that they have yet to speak or communicate. [9] On October 6th 2049, Waite was discharged from the clinic, with reports that they were seen boarding a private jet from Tunis-Carthage International Airport. [10]

At 16:23 CET on October 10th 2049, Waite was spotted in Paris, entering the Paris catacombs while using a CV dazzle hoodie to conceal their hair. At 16:51 CET, an underground detonation near Place Denfert-Rochereau collapsed a section of the street, revealing an unmapped set of tunnels containing partially destroyed Datalign servers. The explosion resulted in a local G6 outage, indicating that the site served as a G6 hub. Waite has not been seen since entering the catacombs and it remains unclear whether they were killed in the blast. French authorities are treating them as a suspect. [11]

Doxing attack

On October 9th 2049, Waite was the target of a doxing attack. Published to Vessel under the name PatchworkPersonPt1, the leaked data cache includes medical documents revealing that Waite has received over 120 colloid implants between 2032 and 2045. Medical scans taken in 2045 reveal “what appear to be colloids by the hundreds,” but the exact number is “impossible to pin down, as many of them appear to be custom-made and difficult to identify.” [12]

One subset of leaked documents comprises a data set scraped from Roshantha De Silva, including public and private correspondence going back to 2040. This data was obtained by Pokrov on behalf of Waite, with records of their initial talks with Pokrov representatives suggesting that Waite was concerned about De Silva “keeping tabs on [them].”

Other files indicate that Waite has been on a strict regimen of colchicine, anakinra, and various nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) since 2039, which corresponds with previously unconfirmed reports suggesting that Waite has been fighting an unknown illness for years. [13]

After Five of Swords (FoS) claimed the doxing attack, Waite’s attorney, Claudius Fang, released a statement: [14]

The sensitive, private data illegally distributed today by Five of Swords is further proof that members of this terrorist group have been engaged in a long-running campaign of harassment and defamation which continues to endanger my client’s safety, well-being, and public image. Like predators, they have chosen to act while Mx. Waite is recovering from life-threatening injuries. The authorities have been contacted, and let there be no doubt that we will use every means at our disposal to bring these terrorists to justice.

When asked whether the leak was in any way connected to Waite’s recent disappearance or the events of 2033, Fang declined to comment.

Personal life

Although Waite has given numerous interviews over the years, they have steadfastly refused to discuss their private life, preferring to talk about “the matter that matters.” Their elusiveness and cryptic statements have added to what some have described as the “Waite mystique,” but also led to criticism from fans and critics. [15] The origin of Waite’s iconic tress of white hair has been the subject of rabid speculation, with fans having determined from photographic material that they must have acquired it before or in October 2019.

Waite has worn numerous religious garments throughout their career, including veils, dresses, tassels, robes, kaunakes, sheepskin skirts, tufts, and kalasiris. Their style has been described as “a puzzling mélange of ancient and pre-historic imagery, little of which could be called fashionable or even aesthetically pleasing.” [16]

Waite is fluent in French, English, Arabic, and mentioned being proficient in Latin. They have described themselves as “a believer, but not in any of the newer religions,” later mentioning Zoroastrianism and Hinduism as religions that “carry traces of truth, but not enough for [their] liking.” [17] Waite has also expressed appreciation for tattoos, skin implants, and scarification. [18]

See also

References

  1. Young, N. (May 2027). “The sublime saw us: the haunting and haunted roots of Polysemic Sortilege.” Encyclopaedia Metallum
  2. Novas, C. (November 2031). “Metal’s most experimental band Polysemic Sortilege announce hiatus, citing ‘clashing visions’.” The Guardian
  3. Manning, C. (September 2043). “The artist for whom the world could never be enough.” The Paris Review
  4. Rohrberg, F. (January 2034). “Too many coincidences: how the Djebarri investigation fell apart.” Politiken
  5. Kazepis, M. (May 2034). “They made us record our dreams: an oral history of Polysemic Sortilege’s inevitable downfall.” The New Yorker
  6. Glistrup, M. (October 2049). “French police name Rokaya Toussaint as person of interest in Nadira Bentoumi’s murder, Waite ‘not under suspicions’.” Le Monde
  7. Lejsgaard, E. (October 2049). “Doubts swirl around Polysemic Sortilege case as Rokaya Toussaint’s iconic violin is found near caves.” The Times
  8. El-Issawi, O. (October 2049). “Authorities seal off parts of Chott el Djerid, citing environmental hazards.” La Presse de Tunisie. 
  9. Hayyān, J. (October 2049). “Efrim Waite deemed stable, but authorities refuse to discuss disappearance.” La Presse Tunisie. 
  10. Hayyān, J. (October 2049). “Efrim Waite released from hospital as locals report ‘armed security teams’ around Chott el Djerid.” La Presse Tunisie
  11. Jauneaud, A. (October 2049). “Paris police indicates “no bomb” was used in explosion that revealed underground G6 hub.” Le Parisien
  12. Ondrak, J. (October 2049). “Efrim Waite’s secret life: colloids, cutting-edge research, and unexpected friends.” Backovic & Ondrak Investigations
  13. Van Tour, M. (March 2044). “Fans are worried about Efrim Waite’s health, and they may be right.” People
  14. Adébáyọ̀, A. (October 2049). “Waite’s legal team threatens actions against Five of Swords.” BBC
  15. Velez, T. (October 2033). “After the collapse: an interview about ruins, gods, and magic with Efrim Waite.” The Atlantic
  16. Troock, R. (August 2048). “The power of ritualistic couture.” Vogue
  17. Korpon, N. (April 2041). “Embodied beliefs.” Inked
  18. Aramchek, U. (July 2047). “Letting the cards sing for us.” North of Reality