Everyone hopes that their wildest dreams will someday come true, but for singer-songwriter and musician, Will Linley, that “someday” arrived in a most unexpected way. The 20-year-old artist from Cape Town, South Africa grew up in a musical family but never thought pursuing music as a career would be a path his life would take.
When the global pandemic happened and quarantines were placed all around the world, Linley suddenly found himself with more time to invest in his musical interests. He began creating music to feel less isolated and the rest is part of the history of his continuous rise to fame.
Will Linley’s debut single ‘miss me (when you’re gone)’ went viral on TikTok, garnering over 5 million streams and over 5 thousand uses of the sound on the platform. It has also collected an impressive 6 million global streams. As it should, his single offers up emotional, meaningful lyrics and an addictive melody.
Watch the official ‘miss me (when you’re gone)’ music video.
I had met someone who I felt brought out the best part of me. The song is about me realizing that I’m going to miss the person that I am when I am around her, when we can no longer be together.
Will Linley on the story behind his debut single.
This is only the beginning for Will Linley, and already he’s catching the world’s attention. We had the incredible chance to interview Will so keep reading for some behind the scenes of his song creation process and to find out which two artists he would like to collaborate with!
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Be kind to your future self and pre-save Will Linley’s upcoming single ‘Wrong Time’ which drops on March 23, 2022.
Congratulations on your debut single ‘miss me (when you’re gone)’ which went viral globally on TikTok! What was it like to see that many people resonating with your first song?
It felt rather surreal if I’m being honest. I could have never predicted it at all. I was expecting to be studying at university for the next couple of years! I couldn’t quite get over the fact that people were connecting with something I wrote. To be able to do something I love makes me incredibly happy, and I feel incredibly grateful.
Can you tell us about the first moment you knew you wanted to pursue music? Is there a particular song or artist that inspired you to become a singer yourself?
My parents are very musical, so I was raised in a household singing and putting on concerts for my dad when he would come home from work. However, doing music as a career did not seem like an option for me until I started gaining traction and connecting with amazing people on social media. It was only then that I realized I could potentially do music as a career, and I still don’t quite believe it. I pinch myself every day! I also have to shout out South African artists, Matthew Mole and Jeremy Loops, who have inspired me to chase after my music dreams.
You began recording and uploading music to SoundCloud during the pandemic. At the time, did you have any set goals with what you were hoping your music would achieve?
I really never had any serious thoughts of becoming a singer because I didn’t know how to go about it. It remained just a distant dream. Uploading songs to SoundCloud was just a fun way of scratching my “singer/songwriter” itch. That was really it. I wanted my friends to be able to hear the stuff I was making, and SoundCloud was the easiest way of getting my songs out into the world.
When it comes to songwriting, you have a true talent for painting vivid pictures with your words. Where does a lyric begin for you? Do you have a favorite lyric that you’ve written so far?
My way of songwriting is often building a song around a concept I have circling in my mind. I’ll take the concept into a session and flesh out the idea with the writer or producer that I’m with. Collaborating with other writers and producers helps me refine those ideas into interesting and clever lyrics that tell a clear and concise story. As corny and cliché as this may sound, my favourite lyric I’ve written so far has to be “I’ll miss me when you’re gone” just because I feel it encapsulates that feeling of loss/sadness when someone you adore leaves your life and you miss the person you were around them.
On TikTok you teased an unreleased song and it sounds incredible! When arranging a song, what is the most important aspect for you?
Thank you so much! For me, the most important aspect is everything! There is so much that goes into a song. The melodies, the production, the story, and the energy all play such integral roles in the song-making process. I’ve created songs that have nice melodies but not the best words, and they may never come out. But that’s all important to the process. The bad songs make way for the good ones to flourish!
What is your favorite part of performing live in front of your fans?
Looking them in the eyes, singing my heart out, and seeing them sing back at me! It has been an incredible experience, and I feel so grateful to be able to make music and perform my songs live to such incredible people!
Aside from the guitar, can you play any other instruments? Are there any that you would like to learn how to play?
I can play the piano a little bit. It’s one of my resolutions for this year to get better at both the piano and guitar!
If you could convince two of your favorite artists to collaborate with you based on how excellent of a meal you cooked them, which artists would you invite for the meal, and what would you cook?
Jon Bellion and Chelsea Cutler for sure! Hmmm… I think I’d have to keep it South African and invite them around for a braai!
Let’s say The Honey POP has the power to grant you one wish. What would your wish be and why?
One wish?! That’s a tough one… If I had to pick one, it would be to go back to when my brothers and I were young kids all living in the same house. I miss the days of playing sports in the garden and messing around. We’ve all grown up now and moved out. We obviously are still very close, but something about those childhood days hold such a special place in my heart.
What can you share with us about your upcoming music? Do you have plans for an EP, album and/or tour?
I can’t say anything just yet, but what I can say is that we have a lot of exciting music coming soon! My next single ‘Wrong Time’ drops on March 23!
You have shared songs with your followers that you are personally a fan of such as ‘Egotism’ by Fin Askew and have even made playlists for your followers. If you were to make a playlist of your favorite songs today, which seven songs would be included?
- ‘Seventeen Going Under’ by Sam Fender
- ‘The Dress’ by Dijon
- ‘SO GOOD’ by Grady
- ‘Wildfire’ by Cautious Clay
- ‘House on Fire’ by Mimi Webb
- ‘the lifeboats empty!’ by Chelsea Cutler
- ‘all my ghosts’ by Lizzy McAlpine
Fresh off of the fire of ‘miss me (when you’re gone), Linley is bringing another single entitled ‘Wrong Time’ and we’re hyped to hear it. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Will Linley is only getting started bringing the world fantastic music. He might not have expected to find himself on this road, but he’s already paving it gold.
Check out Will Linley’s Current Faves Playlist on Spotify.
On the hunt for more excellent music? Look no further and start your Spring right with these three new songs!