Will Kevans

Will Kevans is a UK-based singer-songwriter and master of the catchy pop tune and lyric. His song, ‘Dialling Tone', recently won Will an award in the prestigious ‘International Songwriting Competition.’ It has also been featured on a compilation album released by Universal alongside artists such as James Morrison,the Goo Goo Dolls, and Keane.

His unique Nashville-influenced brand of hooky songs have given this performer quite a reputation on the live circuit, where he’s a regular at venues such as The Bedford, Cobden Club and The Troubadour. He was described by one critic as being ‘Ian McNabb meets Squeeze.' Will has also just signed a publishing deal with Eaton Music.

The names associated with his debut solo album ‘Everything You Do' (due for release this year) speak for themselves. He is currently working with producers Ian Grimble (Travis, Manic Street Preachers and The Enemy), Gavin Monaghan (Editors, Ryan Adams, The Twang) and Andy Hughes (The Orb, Basement Jaxx). The album also features slide guitar legend Al Perkins, guest vocals from former Beautiful South songstress Alison Wheeler whilst keyboard skills are provided by James Blunt's pianist Paul Beard. Further guitar excellence is supplied by ex-Steely Dan and Doobie Brothers guitarist Elliot Randal.

Artwork for both single and album comes from Will’s wife Annie Kevans, a much lauded and well respected up and coming artist and whose entire collection of paintings ‘Boys’ was bought by Charles Saatchi in 2004. Annie has received excellent press and has been featured in the Independent, Sunday Times, Harpers Bazaar, Have I Got News For You and the Evening Standard to name a few. Annie was also interviewed by BBC London News and by Jono Coleman and JoAnne Good on BBC London Radio. The image used for the single cover had to be cropped, as iTunes would not allow the full image (including nipples) to be used.

Tell me about how you originally got into your craft, Will.
I started playing guitar when I was in the army just to amuse myself and write my own songs.When I left I then started playing at all the main acoustic events in London and I have been doing so ever since.I also ran my own acoustic night at Proud Galleries in Camden.

How do you describe your music to people?
My music has been described variously as Johnny Cash meets Pulp, Urban Country and "Quite possibly the finest home grown singer songwriter of recent times reared in these fair isles"(Which is nice!) It's always really difficult to describe what your sound is to others. It is quite acoustic and I tend to do a load of finger picking and lyrically it's quite urban and Ray Davis like.

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
To date playing my guitar and writing songs obviously...but also in no particular order kayaking, sword fencing, rock climbing, squash, running and paragliding.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
The biggest challenge is keeping the faith. A lot of people are preaching doom and gloom about the music business at the moment and it is a difficult time for labels and such like with new releases. Recording an album is a huge investment with the PR, Agents and all the rest going into it and the profit margins are really slim on the download side. So live and merchandising is the way forward, which is great because I love performing. Also I think it cuts out a lot of the dross out there or other players who don't hold the passion.

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
I had no idea.My dad was in the army,so I guess I followed in his footsteps. This was unwise, I did enjoy the adventure of it, the parachuting and going on exercise etc. I have to say my lack of discipline was a bit of a problem. I'm too free spirited and don't like being told what to do.When I left I variously worked as a hod carrier and labourer. Between being a cartoonist and animator. I now earn most of my money doing games animation in flash for Scooby Doo, Dennis The Menace etc...which is much more fun than building or the army. I now also run my own recording studio which used to belong to Lennox Lewis the heavyweight champion of the world, and my wife Annie Kevans is becoming a very successful painter, having sold her artwork to Charles Saatchi.

In what way has your community impacted your development as a musician?
I love East London and I think the city in general has had a huge impact on my life experiences and what I choose to write about.

What other artists out there do you love?
There are so may and my tastes are so diverse. I listen and latch on to what's happening in the charts, but probably won't buy it. But I do have a good vinyl collection with Tom Waits, Crosby Stills and Nash, Neil Young, Dylan, Gram Parsons, Johnny Cash, Kenny Rogers, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix being some of my favourites. Current artists, the Killers I like, Razorlight, Teitur, The Streets, Nick Cave, The Smiths, The Cure...

What does your future hold?
I really hope this is going to be a great year.So far I'm very happy with the way the release is going and I've got some great people helping me get there.The album Everything You Do is due out in September, October.I'm looking forward to doing some worldwide stuff next year...US, Japan...China...Germany...Poland and that's just in a weekend.

Coming up this week I have The Water Rats as main support for Skint and Demoralised, the new Mercury Records signing on Thursday 18th 328 Gray's Inn Rd WC1X 8BZ on stage at 9pm, Then Gladstonebury (not to be confused with Glastonbury) on Sunday 21st June 15:00 at Gladstonebury Festival.

Then we have a gig at The Borderline in July 11th on stage at 9pm supporting Mesh 29 off charing cross rd London.Then August 14th THE BARFLY in new Oxford street London

Learn more about Will Kevans at www.willkevans.com or stop by his MySpace page to say hello.