Wrap Radar: Matt Wills
With his official debut EP Lost and Found, singer/songwriter Matt Wills is setting off on his journey into the notoriously cut throat music industry. But the deeply heartfelt and personal content of his songs tells the story of someone who’s journey to this point may very well have set him up for what’s to follow.
Growing up in the small village of Tenterden in Kent, which isn’t exactly known for its thriving music scene, Wills became interested in Grime music, highlighting artists like Roll Deep and Trim as early influences, telling us “Before I started singing when I was younger I was convinced I was going to be a rapper. I was this awkward fat child in a tracksuit who used to do rap freestyles with a band. The Roll Deep albums I just fell in love with. I loved the production of full on hard grime but also tracks like ‘The Avenue’, which had a more pop feel to them with the samples they used. Trim and Scratchy always did my favourite verses and me and my friends used to learn all the words and put them to beats. My love for those guys has never really stopped.”
Through his desire to pursue a career in music, he has in the past fallen on hard times, having to sleep on the sofas and floors of his friends houses in London. “I was kind of lost but just kept on making music. I didn’t realise how long it would last and what I was really doing. In my mind I was just staying at my mates for a couple of nights and that would”, he said about this tough time in his life. But seeing artists such as Ed Sheeran get to his record breaking heights, following earlier releases such as the No.5 Collaboration which featured a host of Grime artists, Wills was buoyed to continue.
“For me, that EP is what makes Ed Sheeran what he is. It's such a mix of styles but always stays true to what Ed really is. I record a lot down at the studio that he did that and I’ve been big fans of all the guys on that EP.”
But it’s tracks like EP title track ‘Lost and Found’, that really showcase what Matt Wills is all about. His tender vocals and immensely skilled guitar playing transfers beautifully onto the record but also into a live environment too. He recently sold out a headline show in London, alongside special guest Kojey Radical, one of his more recent inspirations. “I wanted to see him live and I wanted people who came to my shows who may not have discovered Kojey hear his sound. He just gets the crowds so hyped and even gets me hyped. I really think he is one to watch next year man.”
Even though he has only recently been signed, he still finds them time to praise and support fellow up & coming artists and that says a lot about this incredibly humble performer. If anyone is going to be a ‘one to watch’ for 2016, it’s Matt Wills and if he continues to grow and evolve musically at the rate he has so far in his career, he’s going to be looking at a very bright future.
Words: Matt Tarr