Spotlight of the Week: Will Keizer

Will K is a musician unbounded by music genres. His biggest influences include rock throughout the ages, with a blend of acoustic and electric styles. We got to chat over a zoom call and talked about his artistry.

Me: How did you start working with WMV?

Will: I think I had some acquaintances on Facebook that were involved with them and I saw them posting about things. So I think I got interested in it that way and then I think  I followed them on social media and I was just kind of watching to see what they were up to. And it took a couple of years, went through the COVID period and then, I was like, “well,  I should try them out.” So I reached out to Allison and told her what I was up to and we had a conversation and she thought that it would be a good match for me to start off in there.

Me: How would you describe your style of music?

Will: This is always a struggle because I love so many different kinds of music and it’s always been a struggle to try and sort of put borders on what it is that I want to do. But I would say my influences are like eighties alternative, art rock, guitar driven new wave and post punk, kind of stuff and a little bit of album oriented rock. So it’s guitar driven, edgy rock. But I am a songwriter. So, what I’ve been calling myself recently is an alternative singer songwriter: making sort of guitar driven new wave, post punk art rock. I hate trying to converse in that language, but I guess it’s beneficial for marketing and publicity and stuff like that. 

Me: What or who inspired you to start pursuing music?

Will: I remember being probably very little, four or five years old and I had one of those little record players that could play LPS or 45s and I had my mom’s box of old 45 records. So, from the time that I was just barely able to walk, it was always music. I would just listen to music constantly. By the time I was eight years old I had a record collection. I mean, it’s hard to pinpoint a single thing because it was just always there, you know? My dad was a musician, and I think it’s just maybe in the genes.

Me: What is the message you hope to convey through your music?

Will: As a teenager in high school, I listened to a lot of Christian rock. So that was primarily my diet of music. And then as I got a little bit into later high school, I started listening to all kinds of music. It just started branching out. Early on, I thought I wanted to be sort of like a Christian rock band. But it kind of mutated from there. There’s an artist by the name of Bruce Coburn and he’s just an amazing songwriter and musician and he does it all: he’s kind of folk, jazz and rock. And he’s a spiritual man, but his music isn’t preachy, right? His music isn’t evangelical really. His albums I would say kind of changed my life just in what it means to be an artist and be a person of faith. It was like my eyes were opened and his writing is so deep and symbolic and it’s better than just being petty or preachy. That definitely influences my music and my thinking. But I’m in a place more where I want to maybe make people think, maybe say things in a way that’s provocative to ask questions. But then other times I just like a good old fashioned love song, right? I’ve always loved romantic music, there’s definitely a stream of romance in my music,  whether it’s just human love, romance or just sort of a romantic view of life and the world. But then there’s kind of this edgy, sort of satirical side too.

Me: What is the best advice you can give to other musicians out there?

Will: Listen to lots of different kinds of music and don’t be close minded. Explore and also read. Think about music in terms of poetry. I think one of the things that’s lacking in a lot of modern pop and rock is a poetic way of writing. Think poetically. And then I suppose the other thing is on one hand, I want to say, don’t wait until you think you’ve got it all figured out to start pursuing things. But on the other hand, I would also want to say, make sure you’re good and be prepared and practice your craft. But I think maybe my mistake was always thinking I wasn’t good enough yet. But when I look back on stuff and then when I look at what’s popular, I think “I was plenty good enough.” Those are some things I would give as advice. 

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