Staying relevant in this constantly changing music industry can be very difficult. We have great respect for those that have long careers. Wil Key has been around for quite a while working with big names all over the world.
We had the chance to catch up with him to get into the mind of a true music professional:
First off, what was behind the decision to go by Wil Key?
That’s Actually my name, short for William Key
What draws you to create music?
I come from a long line of musicians, so I guess it is in my DNA. There is nothing that brings me more joy
How would you describe your sound?
Soulful, groove-based, sophisticated but accessible. Hints of jazz
Which artists have had the biggest influence on Wil Key?
Hiatus Kioyote, Van Hunt, Joni Mitchell, Prince, Bill Evans
You have worked with many well-known artists. Tell us about that experience?
I have shared the stage with many talented artists, however name-dropping really doesn’t turn me on. I will say this, the more famous the person is I am working with, the less fun the experience has been. I tend to enjoy working with unknown, but truly talented artists. This is where it feels the most free and fun for me.
Tell us about how a song comes together for you. What is your songwriting process?
I have several ways to write. Sometimes a title come to me and I brain-storm words and phases along that theme. I create a lyric lexicon for that theme and work from there to spark phrases. Sometimes, a chord progression emerges when I am playing guitar or piano. I go with that.
Other times, I creat full instrumentals inspired by a drum beat or groove/vibe that is going on in my head. I later write to that – freestyling jibberish with good rhythm and melodic structure. Then, I go back and fill in real lyrics. lol
Give us some advice to share with young artists trying to build a career in the music industry?
I would say, be true to the voice in your head and follow your gut. This goes for your writing and your creative path. Only you know what you are really called to do. It is cool to be inspired by other artists, but you really have to go your own way. Be relentless. Be authentic. Never, ever stop.
What does the future hold for Wil Key?
We are also currently working on the follow up to my last CD which was called “Globetrotter: Side A.” That project was in the works for over 4 years and each song was recorded in a different country. For “Globetrotter: Side B,” the second half of this two-part project, we are heading to new places such as Asia and London to record the music. It will feature a new line-up of songs and special guest vocalists and musicians from around the globe.
Keep up with more music and news from Wil Key on his WEBSITE