INTERVIEW: Son of William


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Son of William


THERE is something quite low-key…


and under the radar when it comes to Son of William. Whilst their social media profile is a little limited; the music they are creating is turning heads and standing out! I have been speaking with the Manchester duo about their E.P., Colour of Love, and what influenced the music.

Hayley and Ben discuss Manchester and reveal how they got together; what gigs they have in the pipeline; some new acts to look out for; what advice they would give to upcoming artists – they each pick Folk classics to end the interview with.


Hi, Son of William. How are you? How has your week been?

Hello. We are well; thank you for asking - we have had a busy week preparing for our E.P. launch.  

 For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?

We are a Folk duo hailing from Manchester - comprising of Hayley Williams (Vocals) and Ben Williams (Vocals and Guitar).


Your new E.P. is out. Can you talk about it and what influenced the songs?

Our new E.P. is called Colour of Love. It’s a stripped-back acoustic affair, pretty much as we perform live - with the addition of cello and piano on a couple of tracks. The Civil Wars have been a big influence when writing the E.P., as well as a more traditional Folk and Blues music.

Is there a cut from the E.P. you each gravitate forwards?

Dear Old Acquaintance was a cathartic process. The song is an open letter to someone one of us couldn’t speak to again. Colour of Love is probably our other favourite song from the E.P. That song came together relatively quickly and we found ourselves in an extremely lucid writing process.


Are you already working on more material – or do you want the E.P. to bed-in first?

We are currently writing more material and hope to perform some of them at our launch next week. 

How did you get together? When did you start to jam?

We started playing music about five years ago. I was getting guitar lessons from Ben and he was getting vocal lessons from me. There was a natural gravitation into writing music from the off. 

Being based in Manchester; how important are the city and its personality regarding your musical ethos?

The city is extremely important to us - both in its musical heritage and its influence. After living here for a number of years, we both have found the gigging scene to be wholly accepting and versatile for many different styles and genres which, in turn, has allowed us to grow as musicians and hone our craft. We have been able to be musically authentic and have found that we have been able to find our own feet and not had to adhere to certain musical trends. 


You have supported the likes of Simply Red and Chic. How important have those moment been to you?

Ben supported those acts while working as a session guitarist. It was great to experience playing arenas and playing to large crowds - and also have the opportunity to learn from the amazing musicianship in both bands.  

Where are you heading on tour? Where can we catch you?

We have dates coming up in Manchester, Coventry; London, The Lake District and Hamburg at the end of the year. 


What do you hope to achieve in 2018?

We are currently writing for a follow up for 2019 and will hopefully have some festivals booked in by the end of the year. 

Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?

We have both had many experiences, musically, that have been notable to us in many different ways. One of the most memorable musical experiences was singing for Andrew Lloyd Webber. 


If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?

Jägermeister, Shetland ponies; chewing gum and hot sauce: we would like to support Joni Mitchell.  

What advice would you give to new artists coming through?

Don’t compare yourself to others in a negative way. Don’t give up too easily. Remain authentic. 


IN THIS PHOTO: Janileigh Cohen

Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?

Janileigh Cohen, Jon Kenzie; Alina Ly, Shunya and Buffalo Brothers.



Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?

Music tends to be our hobby as well as our livelihood. We like to cook, do yoga; run, meditate and play Scrabble with alcohol. 

Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).

Hayley: Pink MoonNick Drake

Ben: A Case of YouJoni Mitchell


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