I have been speaking with Will Bowes…
about his single, Mad at the World, and the inspiration behind it. The actor/musician discusses how the disciplines weave and what it was like working alongside Jennifer Lawrence; if there is more coming up from him; which albums are important to him – the Canadian tells me when music came into his life.
I ask Bowes if he is hitting the road and which new artists we need to get behind; whether he gets time to chill when he is not making music – the songwriter ends the interview by selecting a rather good tune.
Hi, Will. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi, guys! My week has been very great, thank you. I’m talking with you fine people and about to go to the premiere of a film I’m in at TIFF, so I have nothing to complain about right now!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
Of course. My name is Will Bowes and I’m a singer/songwriter, actor and filmmaker from Toronto.
Mad at the World is your new single. What is the story behind the song?
Yes. Mad at the World is basically how I, as well as I’m sure a lot of other people, are feeling right now. It’s a song about feeling frustrated, dissatisfied and helpless surrounded by the negative energy we’ve been subjected to lately. But, it’s also a song about hope and optimism - and a belief that things will get better. Toronto, where I live, suffered two extreme attacks this year and it was those attacks that made me feel like I had to write this song.
Do you think there might be more material coming next year? Are you working on other stuff?
Ye. I am always working on new material and I can’t wait to share it when it’s ready. I am also the lead singer in a band called GOLD COMPLEX and we have a record coming out this fall! It’s a Soul/Pop band with a horn section and it’s music that makes you want to move your body!
You are an actor who has worked alongside, among other people, Jennifer Lawrence! Do you think disciplines you have learned as an actor feed into your music – or might the reverse be true?
Yes! I worked with Jennifer right before she got crazy-famous; she is really cool and down-to-earth. I think the two feed into each other for sure. From a performative standpoint, of course, but also both fields are about conveying emotion. About opening yourself up and letting people into your soul, to a degree.
Do you recall the moment you got into music? Was there a day when you knew this is what you had to do?
I guess this applies to everyone but I just remember noticing how much music could have an impact on the way I felt as a kid. I remember one time my dad was cooking dinner and playing Bob Marley and he said to me: “Listen to this music, it’s supposed to make you happy and feel at peace” and that was the first moment I think I realized how significant music can be for people as a cathartic experience. I first wanted to be a singer and then I become obsessed with film and I’ve been chipping away at the two for years now.
In terms of musicians; what sort of stuff are you into? Who were you raised on?
Definitely, Neil Young.
Fisher Price used to make these brilliant little toys for kids and it was a cassette player, attached to a microphone that you could carry around and sing along to. I used to do that with Neil Young’s Decade album. I was raised on an assortment of music for sure; definitely Neil Young, The Beatles and Joni Mitchell are stand-outs.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
I think I just really want to feel completely comfortable expressing myself with creative projects and not worrying about how they’ll be perceived. I’ve spent too much time analyzing and maybe not enough time just living and doing.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
I think just the feeling of playing a great show and knowing that the audience is vibing with you one hundred percent is the best feeling you can have in music.
Which three albums mean the most to each of you would you say (and why)?
Ok, well; as I mentioned: Neil Young’s Decade.
The Beatles’ ‘The White Album’
Because it was just the soundtrack to my childhood.
And, no word of a lie, I really enjoyed Christina Aguilera’s album Stripped as a kid
She’s such an incredible vocalist and was twenty-one when she released that album. It’s underrated in terms of being brilliant music. I’m dead-serious.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Probably a cliché answer but I think it would have to be John Mayer. I’ve always loved his music and feel that our two sounds would probably work together. And, exclusively red M&Ms in my rider, thank you.
Can we see you tour soon? Where are you playing?
I plan to tour with my band, Gold Complex, and also play some solo shows. Sorry I don’t have a more definitive answer but I will soon!
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
To actually DO things. Create things. Make music. Play shows - even if they are to empty rooms and you feel like a complete idiot afterwards. Just do it. Don’t talk about wanting to do it. Do it.
IN THIS PHOTO: Aphrose/PHOTO CREDIT: Jen Squires - Photographer
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Yes. There is a local artist who I love in Toronto called Aphrose. She’s an amazing Soul singer and you would love her stuff!
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I like to stay extremely active. I think that’s just a part of my personality but I love watching movies. I love the feeling of turning my phone off and going to sit in a movie theatre and immersing myself in an experience like that.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
I’m honoured! Ok! My friend just played this amazing song for me called Tadow by Masego and FKJ and I promise you’ll like it! Thanks for having me
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