Comforting as a quilt, and honest as they come. Willolux is a songwriter strapped to a bottlerocket -- she will soon be everywhere. We asked her 3 questions. Here are her answers:
Who are your biggest musical influences at the moment?
When I wrote the record, I was heavily influenced by Sufjan Stevens. He had recently released his album, Carrie & Lowell, and upon hearing it, I was just so moved, I picked up a guitar and tried to learn the song, "Death With Dignity" by ear, but I was making a few mistakes and I ended up coming up with a little chord progression that would eventually become my song "Cedar + Fir."
I have been a huge Regina Spektor fan for about 10 years now - I think she's brilliant and I am loving her latest album, Remember Us to Life. I always admire really Beatle-esque writing, so I must say Elliott Smith, Andy Shauf, and of course The Beatles themselves.
What is your songwriting process like?
I write very slowly but steadily. The first thing that I do is mess around on the piano or the guitar, sometimes with intention and sometimes without. Let me explain - sometimes I will try out a few "projects" for more direction, for example a couple of years ago I did a Bob Dylan Nashville Skyline Project where I studied the album in depth, tasked myself to re-write lyrics to every song, and then I had to write an original song that had something to do with each Dylan song.
That could mean the same using chord progression, subject matter, rhyming pattern, etc. This practice forces me out of my comfort zone and it makes me feels like an apprentice, which I love. Beginner mindset is key - there is always so much more to learn.
When I start a song, I usually sit for a few hours, noodling around until something catches my ear. For me, a song often starts with a 5 second idea, and then it expands from there. I try to be gentle with the process, but I do push myself to sit on the bench for at least an hour longer than I want to. I have found that this extra hour is where I eventually hear something.
I record my ideas as voice memos on my phone, and then the next day or week I re-listen to see if they were any good, and if I think something is there, I keep pushing at it. I have always been envious of those people who can write a song in 15 minutes, because that's just not me! But I would like to add that there is nothing I love more than the process, as frustrating as it can be.
Where do you see your music career three years from now?
I recently released my first album, "Thread & Tape," in June 2017, but I am already gearing up to record the follow-up album. I will be working on that I imagine for the better part of a year, and then I hope to tour to hopefully reach more ears.
Three years from now, I would love to be supporting some bigger acts, or maybe doing an extensive North American and European Tour on my own. I know that one thing is for sure - I'll likely still be writing songs.