Photography: Jacob King

How did you get into music?

I was very fortunate to have had a few incredible music teachers in elementary and junior high school. They helped to instil an appreciation for all different types of music. One year, Mrs Metcalfe spent the entire music budget on a whole class set of garbage bins, hubcaps and oil drums. Stomp must have blown her mind, so there we were, in grade three learning basic rhythms on fucking trash! Early days in band class and playing sax in the jazz band, I was doing more arranging than anything. When I picked up the guitar, I started thinking more about composition and writing all the parts for the band. That led me to recording and production, which is mainly what I do now.

Can you pinpoint a live gig or a piece of music that initially inspired you?

I’d say getting into Stevie Wonder’s 70s work, especially Innervisions and Music Of My Mind. That was what really turned me on to harmony. I would study his chord progressions and break everything down to truly understand what he was doing.

What do you think is the overriding influence on your songwriting?

I just try to hone in on a certain emotion or feeling, making sure my creative decisions are always on that path to deepen the expression of that feeling. It’s probably why my music is so maximalist; I’ll keep adding layers until I really hit the nerve. That can also be dangerous because you need to know when to stop!

“I try to hone in on a certain emotion, making sure my creative decisions are always on that path to deepen the expression”

 

Do you have a favourite venue you’ve performed in? If so, what makes it special?

I don’t do live right now, but what I can say is that cathedrals and churches are the greatest venues, period. There’s a clip of Mount Kimbie with James Blake from 2010 that was performed in a church in Oslo. The atmosphere is just otherworldly. I saw Cory Henry play St. Philip’s in Salford just after Prince died. Places like that just heighten the experience.

Can you recommend an artist, band or album that Bido Lito! readers might not have heard?

Donny Hathaway Live. This album should be issued at birth! His voice is just devastating, his band is telepathic, and it’s just packed with moments that will move you, one way or the other.

 

soundcloud.com/wilroy

Wilroy’s new EP Too Dark To See The Green is out now.

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