Exclusive: Interview with Will Joseph Cook

Will Joseph Cook is honestly what music is all about. His intricate beats, fun indie-pop lyrics, and natural comic ability in his videos make us want more. Cook’s long awaited debut album is everything that we could have asked for. CelebMix were very excited to get to chat to the singer (after having seen him perform twice in London) about his music, hysterical videos, and who is Will Joseph Cook.

1. What made you want to be a musician?
I think it just seemed a lot more interesting and fun than any other life choice. The more I fell in love with music and what musicians were saying in their songs, the more set in stone it became in my head.

2. You’re categorized a lot as pop or indie-pop but what do you define yourself as?
Not far off that, I wouldn’t disagree with that title. I think calling it indie in the UK has a lot of connotations that don’t match up to my tunes. I’d call it alt-pop, but people can make of it what they want.

3. Who are some of your inspirations?
I’ve always been drawn to music that has a self-awareness. Alternative pop bands like Phoenix, MGMT, Weezer, and early Calvin Harris. There are a slight irony and humor running alongside the pop sensibilities, I really like that.

4. Tell us about Sweet Dreamer.
It’s my first album and I’ve been putting it together for the past year and a half. It’s mostly biographical and quite classic in its songwriting. I wanted to make an exciting and emotional album that challenged what people currently call ‘singer-songwriter’ music.

5. When curating the album, what was your main focus to get across?
I didn’t want there to be any track on there that I didn’t feel 100% about. It was all about making a statement with every track and not losing the momentum with an overweight track listing.

6. How is the album different from your EPs? Any new recordings of favorite songs?
The EPs were a very important time for me to experiment as they were my first recording experiences. Beach is still the stand out track from the EPs for me and that’s why it’s survived onto the album. I think it set a blueprint for the kind of pop I wanted to write for Sweet Dreamer.

7. What has been one of the favorite songs on the album?
Treat Me Like Lover was a really challenging but rewarding process. I went through about 4 different arrangements before arriving at what it is now.

8. We’re big fans of your music videos, what is the driving creative force behind them?
I’m always trying to make a statement with the videos. I think their sole purpose is to be memorable; whether that’s through their message, visuals or humor.

9. Speaking of videos, what is behind the song and video of “Girls Like Me”? Where did the idea come from?
I wanted to take the title ‘Girls Like Me’ and flip it on its head. It was my first video so I wanted it to be provocative.

10. With all the acting you do in your videos, would you ever consider acting professionally?
Haha, maybe. I would never claim to be a good actor, I just throw myself into it as best I can.

11. What does your songwriting process look like?
It used to be a lot more guitar-centric but about half way through the album I started to write on piano and/or within logic. I think the latter allows me to be more creative and a bit more fearless with my ideas.

12. Why should people listen to your music? What do you think is your main selling point to people who don’t know you?
I don’t think my music has much pretense to it, it’s quite unabashed and satisfies the pop urges. That said, there’s still a lot of sad kid stuff in the lyrics and it all comes from a very real place.

13. What is your ultimate goal as an artist?
To keep recording music that excites me and staying true to the gut feelings I have trusted so far.

14. Anything you’d like to tell your fans that they don’t already know?
I’m a big techno fan. I DJ under the alias ‘Coffee on Mars’ with my brother, Charlie.

15. What can we expect next from you?
I’ll never make the same record twice so expect something different.

If you’d like to know more about Will, you can head to his website here.

Sweet Dreamer is now available to stream and buy.

Do you love Will Joseph Cook as much as us? Tweet us at @CelebMix and let us know!

Written by Lauren Ann Butler

Traveler, Music Junkie, Writer, and Dreamer.