Celeb Mix caught up with Willo Wonder to discuss his music, inspirations and style!
When did you first decide to pursue music as a career?
Well I always studied classical music in school and was never allowed to do pop music even though that was what I was passionate about. Singing was always the only thing I was ever good at, so as soon as I left school I went to Liverpool Institue of performing arts and decided to follow my passion of becoming a singer. It was there that was inspired to write music and become an artist.
You’re currently studying at BIMM London. How did you find moving to London from Wales?
I always dreamt of living in London as there was never any musical opportunities for me in Wales. I knew that if I ever wanted to succeed, I needed to move to London and learn about the industry, make contacts and create opportunities for myself. BIMM has been great for this and I also knew that the producer I dreamed of working with, Cornel Sorian, lived in London, so I had to go!
Who/what are your main inspirations?
I have many inspirations for many different aspects of my artistic being. Vocally I am inspired by Christina Aguilera because of her ability to out sing everyone. Sonically I am inspired by Lana Del Rey and Florence & The Machine for their use of cinematic orchestral arrangements. And visually I am inspired by the likes of Lady GaGa and David Bowie as they are unafraid to push the envelope and be provocative.
You’ve just released your new song ‘Find Yourself’. What was the inspiration behind that?
I have always been the odd one out. I have never been popular and have never fit in. I went to a private boarding school where if your different, you are automatically a loser and you are picked on, mistreated and bullied ruthlessly. It took me a while to realise that being different is ok and that it should be celebrated. I realised that I would never be happy chasing popularity or trying to be someone I am not so I made peace with myself and learned to love to myself. I believe in being unique. I wrote this song to inspire other people like me who are bound by their fear of being a loser, to embrace their differences and realise that they are the ones who really matter and have the ability to truly be happy. I think that being a loser is empowering and shows bravery and that you are not scared to conform to the social or cultural norm. I want this song to inspire people to ‘find themselves’. Wether your a winner or a loser, just be happy in yourself.
You also recently released the video to your new song ‘Black Beauty‘. Can you tell us a bit about the song and the video? What were you aiming for?
Well, like all my songs it is very personal to me and describes a dark time in my life where I had hit rock bottom and all my choices and decisions were bad. I was caught in a cycle of living dangerously, hanging around with a rough crowd and abusing my body. I knew what I was doing was wrong, but the rebel in me liked the thrill of being bad. The song itself is quite ominous and I wanted to capture that with a visual. I wanted to capture the essence of desperation and darkness that runs through your body when your fighting against your better instincts.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Well I will be releasing another single in a few months called ‘Bucket List’ and then my EP. I will also be releasing a visual for ‘Bucket List’ and then another EP after that.
Do you have any shows coming up?
I have a show Coming up on 30th July at The Princess of Wales in Stratford for ‘Saint Sessions presents Power House’
What do you feel is your biggest achievement so far?
In 2013 I won a nationwide songwriting competition with Sony Music.
If you could work with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?
Marina & The Diamons. I am constantly blown away by her lyrical genius. I would love to be able to write with her wit and ambiguity.
What are 3 qualities you think every musician needs?
Industry knowledge, tough skin & individuality.
You always look fabulous. What are your top 5 high street brands?
Topshop, H&M, Urban Outfitters, Zara and Primark of course.
Where can we find you on social media?
Listen to ‘Find Yourself’ by Willo Wonder below and let us know what you think: