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Searchlight 2017: Get to know finalist WILL
By
Kerry Martin

Published

April 5, 2017

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You watched, you voted and now, it's time to get to know the Searchlight 2017 final four. Leading up to the April 9 finale broadcast on CBC-TV, we'll help you get acquainted with each of the artists vying for the title of Canada's best new music act.

Below, get to know Toronto's WILL.

Tell us a little bit about your song.

"Palisades" is a song about getting closure and transitioning into motherhood; closing one chapter and entering the next. "Palisades" was written by my best friend, Kelsey Vaz, and I while hanging out in Daniel's studio (my guitarist/producer). What started out as a sad love song about heartbreak and unanswered questions soon changed into a song about confidence, truth, love and readiness when I found out I was pregnant with my son. This song is something I can always revert back to when nothing else makes sense; it's the beginning of forever. It just seemed to place itself together so perfectly ... everything from the lyrics to the melody. It is my heart and soul.

What inspires you to write music?

A lot of the time I write music about real-life experiences. My songs are usually written to get closure; if there was someone close to me that passed away, my song would be a goodbye letter to them. I do make a variety of music that isn't always about an emotionally or tragic event. Sometimes I'm even inspired by the instrumental and that's what triggers me to write whatever comes to me in that very moment. Those songs usually turn out to be more upbeat dance songs.

Who are your musical idols?

Celebrities in the music industry that inspire me would have to be Beyoncé and Sia for their fearlessness, effortless vocals and ability to always play an extraordinary character while delivering amazing music. I also love Rihanna for her rawness, freedom and culture. I feel like I identify with her well, knowing she's also a small-island Caribbean girl pursuing her dreams in music. And last but not least, Whitney Houston and Jessie J, they both have phenomenal voices and their vocal ranges are what I aspire to gain in the near future.

If you were to describe your sound to somebody in one sentence, what would that sentence be?

I would describe my sound as an authentic blend of pop/R&B vocals on top of engaging hip-hop/trap percussion, layered with a purposeful ambient melody.

What is your favourite thing about playing music?

In the future, I'd like to start playing the guitar and piano. For now, when I listen to music I like to get lost in the artists' instrumentals and lyrics. I always try to dissect the meaning and thought behind a song to find out what emotion and story the artist was trying to convey.

If you could play a show with anybody, who would you pick?

My all-time dream would be to collaborate with Beyoncé! I'm sure that's a generic answer for a lot of R&B singers. For me it's so much more than just her and I singing the same genre. I feel like we have a similar truth and depth to our music and there's also a character she creates for each project. On top of that, she's an incredible fashion icon and I admire that tremendously.

What's your favourite musical memory so far?

My favourite music memory would have to be the making of "Palisades," everything from the song to the video production. It was truly a time of growth and new beginnings. The understanding of the song itself was just enough to catapult me onto a bright new path in life, one that I will be forever grateful for. It helped me to understand who I am as an individual, who I was becoming and acknowledging my surroundings.

The Searchlight finale airs Sunday, April 9 at 6 p.m. (6:30 NL) on CBC-TV and at facebook.com/cbcmusic.