Famed French artist Willy William holds wide acclaim as an author, composer, producer, DJ and singer, all while blowing up the Internet one hit at a time. The Scorpio Music artist gives a new meaning to urban pop, curating a musical endeavor that embraces a surplus of creative intelligence. In 2016, Willy saw the elevation of his musical vision attracting the title of #1 most Shazammed French artist in the world and #5 most Shazammed artist in the world. His new track “Mi Gente“, in collaboration with J Balvin, is the highest 24-hour debut of an original Latin music video, and has amassed over 1.2 billion YouTube streams worldwide.
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SunCity Paradise: Kicking it off with your home country of France, a place with such rich history, what really stands out and makes it special to you? Where would you send a first-time visitor to get a real sense of the city and area?
Willy William: This is a hard one, because I am from the South, but I obviously also love Paris and the rest of France. Like you said, there’s so much history and so many beautiful places with great things to see like the Castles or wineries, and of course the South with its amazing beaches. It’s a rich country, I would recommend taking a train and doing a big “Tour de France”.
SCP: What was your first real exposure to music? How did you get inspired to create your own and eventually pursue it as a career?
WW: As a teen I was a rocker and had a rock band! It was a great way to discover new music through the other band mates. It was fun and we met weekly with no expectations. Then, after I received a synthesizer from my mother, my “solo” journey in my bedroom studio started.
SCP: To create music, and traveling to promote it, must be such a feeling. What’s the most impactful and meaningful part you cherish about it? Does the travel help inspirationally?
WW: I live in Mauritius, so my whole life when I’m home feels like a holiday-destination life. Yes, of course traveling helps find inspiration, because I meet new people and see different crowds at the venues. All this helps to inspire me.
SCP: We wanted to touch on some of your recent work. First, touch on how otherworldly it is to see your track “Mi Gente” with J. Balvin approaching over one billion streams? Second, your latest single “Ego” did really well on the European continent, as well as outside of it. What was your thought process around it? How has it been received since you dropped it?
WW: I still can’t believe it! The counter grows so much and so fast, I am always like, “Wow!” “Mi Gente”, and the opportunity to work with J. Balvin, who is super talented and believed in the track for global success since he heard it, has been amazing. I never really sit in the studio with the idea of making a hit. I just get lost with synths, instruments and lyrics, and sometimes the result works well, like it did with “Voodoo Song” and “Ego”.
SCP: How does music and travel complement and go hand-in-hand with each other in your life?
WW: Today, I’m lucky to be able to have a portable studio on my laptop, so I can basically be anywhere and still be able to do what I love, which is producing music.
SCP: When searching for a personal getaway, are you looking for a serene beach or after a more active, adventurous getaway? Why?
WW: Like I said, I live at Mauritius by the beach, so I love those vibes. It keeps me zen and relaxed — no stress!
SCP: One of our core objectives at SCP is to bring people together while traveling, not only to influence people to see and appreciate our beautiful world, but to also minimize cross-cultural divides. What effect does traveling, specifically surrounding dance music, have on humans in this regard? How has it broadened your perspective of the world?
WW: Travel, just like music, has the ability to connect people that are originally from a different continent or country. It’s a great combination. [Music provides] opportunities to be able to travel a lot, discover new places and meet new people.
SCP: Everyone has a list of places that they still have to hit. What are three destinations, either work or pleasure, that you need to see? Why?
WW: I would love to see and discover Latin America, no country specifically, but I want visit most of it really. I love their musical history, and I use many latin influences in my productions. It would be great to go for inspiration.
SCP: When you’re relaxing on a beach or just have some downtime what music are you listening to? Who are you a fan of?
WW: I don’t like to drop names, because there are so many musicians and singers I’m a fan of, and I wouldn’t want leave anyone out. But, I can tell you this, I listen to everything to keep an open mind. I enjoy any style from rock and hip-hop to afro and pop.
SCP: Lastly, what do the next couple of months have in store for you? Any trips or plans around your music scheduled?
WW: I’m going to focus on studio sessions. I have a little time off from touring, [which is nice] because the past months have been really hectic. I have a lot to catch up on and get used to after the success of “Mi Gente”. So, I’m excited to work on new projects.