A childhood filled with formal training in piano, trumpet, guitar and bass, interspersed with periods performing those instruments at classical piano competitions, school bands, orchestras and jazz groups culminated in a love of diversity in music for Will-Powerz. He fell in love with American Hip-Hop in the era where it most powerfully matched this diversity, when acts like The Roots, J Dilla, MF Doom, Common and Mos Def were enriching the scene. This was when he first began his craft as a producer, stringing together beats and songs using an Xbox, an old Roland sampler, an 8-track analogue portastudio and whatever additions of synthesizer, guitar and vocals he could muster. This was a formative period of his musical life, awash with the music of progressive and open-minded Hip-Hop artists, meeting other like-minded DIY musicians, talking philosophy and psychology and laying the foundations of the Will-Powerz persona.
Unfortunately, the love affair with US Hip-Hop was slowly wilted, in a timeline matching the visible, but not isolated, decline of Will.I.Am as an artist that worked with Mos Def, Wyclef Jean, Macy Gray and John Legend to a tool that churns out generic mainstream ‘songs’with performers like Britney Spears, Justin Bieber and Cheryl Cole. This dilution of US Hip-Hop, coupled with the tragic early loss of J Dilla, pushed Will-Powerz into a search for more music to fill the space left behind. He stopped making music for a time, finding solace in music by Joe Hisaishi, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Gnarls Barkley, Massive Attack and countless other eclectic musical acts as he struggled with a devastating onset of mental illness.
Discovering the brilliance of modern UK Hip-Hop (primarily through Don’t Flop Entertainment) meant, for Will-Powerz, finally rediscovering a passion for creating music that was now enriched by a depth of life experience and a more broad musical perspective. Will-Powerz was reborn, songs were written, beats were made, and the linkup with Tim ‘Latent’ Plant was established. Latent’s experience and knowledge of music production, and the music industry as a whole, guided Will to acquire the ability to truly bring the best out of his music, and before long he embarked on the journey to create his first studio-recorded release: the mixtape ‘Volition‘.
‘Volition’ was initially conceived as a project to scout promising talent from the UK and US and bring it all together in a unified effort to gain some significant exposure. After five months of work for this cause, the final product stood as a musical journey through a series of existential questions – determination, dreams of peace, condemnation of evil, the passage of time and the nature of consciousness are all explored by Will-Powerz and his many guests, all underscored by a narrative voice from an Eastern philosophical perspective in the late scholar Alan Watts.
Now, three months after the launch of ‘Volition’, Will-Powerz has released his second studio project, a six track EP titled ‘The Noble Truth‘ under the Latent’s Records label. It is available as a free download for the month of March only, then will only be available via purchase or streaming services. This EP branches away from the UK Hip-Hop sound of ‘Volition’, opting instead for a fresh production style and showcasing Will-Powerz’s credentials as a singer-songwriter. All the songs expose personal thoughts and feeling emanating from a particular period of the life of Will-Powerz, unfolding in a perceivable sequence of events and consequences from start to finish.
Coming up in 2014, expect at least three more solo projects from Will-Powerz, as well as tons of material appearing on YouTube, albums featuring him as producer from Snypa D Delic, Gareth Paul and ‘Don’t Flop Entertainment’ battle rapper Quill. There are plenty of other potential collabs on the works, and the strong intention to begin performing live in the second half of the year.