Our friend WILL KILLEN from Leeds just released a brand new single “Overthinking”. Previous two single did extremely well on the chart and both songs topped the chart and spent nine weeks at the top spot.
It’s been a while since we last spoke to Will and there were so many changes in his world: released debut EP “Write You Out”, the single “In My Arms” was streamed millions of times, was recently signed to an indie label. And to top it all, Will is ending 2019 with a massive bang by presenting “Overthinking”.
Tell us about your journey since releasing “In Your Arms”
It feels like a lifetime ago. I really never expected any of this, by my god am I grateful. The past two years have seen my 5-track EP emerge, as well as forming a band and playing some really special shows, from intimate cosy rooms to cavernous churches.
What was the inspiration behind “Overthinking”?
Frustration. I’m past it now, but with one out-of-the-blue message, this song’s fire was ignited.
I was just tired of getting into really bad thought cycles, so this sort of came as an outburst to that feeling.Will Killen
I’m not sure it comes across, but it’s a very empowering song to me.
Tell us more about the idea behind the artwork for a single
I’d thought for weeks how to best portray the act of overthinking. It’s a lonely endeavour, especially if you feel you have nobody to talk to about whatever it is that’s upsetting you. Curling up into a ball is how it feels to me, so I wanted to capture the essence of that, and I honestly couldn’t be more happy with the outcome.
Do you tend to overthink before or after making a decision?
I’d say before. Before is usually worse too, because it actually changes your actions. This song isn’t a gimmick though, it’s a genuine realisation. I’m taking active steps to avoid overthinking, whether it be creating my own healthy distractions, or a general mindset shift–letting things happen and being open to any outcome. Learning that life goes on regardless of what I do.
When you are not singing, writing or recording, what do you like to focus on?
To some extent, I’m always writing; trying to find inspiration. It’s a blessing and a curse. Seeing the world through a writer’s lens reveals a lot of beauty. Some healthy distractions when I need a break from music include climbing, ping pong, pool, and general exercise. I do get passionate about things very easily, so often have to check myself, or I’d end up pouring all my time into becoming a ping pong world champion–but travelling the world with my music is the only true goal.
In our last conversation, you mentioned that you’d like to live abroad and immerse yourself in different cultures. Have you had a chance to do that yet?
I have! I made my escape last February, where I travelled across Vietnam on my beautiful stallion of a Honda Win. Seeing other cultures first-hand is so eye-opening, it’s very easy to forget the billions of other people outside of the small culture in which I reside.
It’s very easy to forget the billions of other people outside of the small culture in which I reside.WILL KILLEN
I’m happy to be back here though, working on building something special.
“In My Arms” was recorded in your bedroom, while now you are working in your own studio. Did that change a lot in the way you write or record music?
It hasn’t changed the way I write, but certainly how I record. There’s so much more room, and scope to experiment. I think that’s clear in Overthinking – the ceiling was lifted. Although, there’s plenty of songs in my pages that need a ceiling – need that intimacy of a bedroom recording. One thing I’m excited about is piano-based music. Writing on the piano is just so different from the guitar. It feels like a whole new experience and that’s so exciting.
In the last three years, you released a single each year. Is there a reason why all singles were released in October, November?
Oh yeah, I hadn’t really thought about that! It hasn’t been intentional. I guess it’s the pressure of the year coming to an end that pushes me to get something finished off – I guess it’s just pure luck that my music goes hand in hand with winter. There are plans for a January release to follow up “Overthinking” though, so perhaps that’ll break the trend.
Your Instagram handle says “Will_takespictures”. Does that mean that photography holds a special place in your life?
Not the act of taking photos, but I’ve learned the importance of capturing moments. No matter how much I think I’ll remember a moment or feeling, I WILL forget. Even if it’s a god awful photo, I always try to capture something in the hope that the moment isn’t lost.
What artists could we find spinning on your Spotify playlist?
Oh too many. Right now, I’m absolutely infatuated with FINNEAS. What a writer. I can’t mention Dermot Kennedy here too, and Daughter (always). If I’m not feeling gloomy, which might be more often than you think, I’ll be spinning Loyle Carner, Tom Misch, Clean Cut Kid, August Greene. Anything with feeling.
What were the biggest highlights of 2019?
2019 has been a blur. A nice blur. The highlight for me has to be playing at The Adelphi in Hull with my band. Just that feeling of going all out musically–leaving everything up there. We laughed the entire way home.
What have you got planned for 2020?
2020 is the year to go. Release release release. I have so many songs that I’m so proud of, and I know need to be heard. I have no doubt shows and festivals will pop up along the way, but it’s really time to show everyone what I’ve worked so hard to craft all of 2019, and I’m so god damn excited.