AINSLIE WILLS

How did you start?

With a song called Little Brown Jug, my Aunty taught me how to play it on piano when I was around 6. I remember she wrote out a little chart for me to read the music but I couldn’t so I just learned by ear. That then led to my obsession with figuring out chords on the piano, singing happened not long after that.

Where are you based?

Melbourne.

Please give an example of your music writing process?

The most common approach for me starts with a melodic and lyrical line that loops around in my head, there has to be some sort of magnetism that I feel toward that line to enable me to explore it further. I then grab a guitar and work out a bass line, no chords at this point as that can dictate the mood of the song too quickly. I then go about fleshing out a first section which can sometimes be a verse or chorus or neither. It’s then a process of finishing off a draft of the main structure of the piece and refining that over time.. an incredibly satisfying and frustrating process..I love it.

What are you working on right now?

Working on a follow up single to Running Second which I released last month as well as working at putting together an EP which should be out before the end of the year.

What is your gear setup?

It changes a bit as I sometimes play in a duo, trio or five piece line up so my role changes depending on what mode we’re in.

At the moment I’m rehearsing in trio mode (me on vox + keys as well as Guitar and Drums). I play a Nord Electro 3 with a synthesiser and an A/B switch so I can switch between the two .

What do you like to do outside of music and does it affect your music?

Yoga has become my love outside of music. My sister got me into it and It’s hard for me to go a day or two without practicing as my body starts to crave the feeling. It makes you a lot more centred in your mind so is particularly useful for performance preparation and because the stretches encourage circulation and body alignment it’s really good for the voice as well! Yoga With Adriene on Youtube – its the best.

How would you describe your music genre?

When people ask I always say Progressive Pop which is quite boring sounding really. 🙂 It’s extremely melodic and exploratory in that I don’t like to stick to one ‘sound’ as such. Lyrically it’s introspective most of the time but as I’ve gotten older I’ve tried to make the lyrics a little more universal so as to try and communicate an idea to more people. A lot of folks compare me to Feist, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead and I’m totally ok with that hahaha 🙂

Do you know any music theory?

Yes. I studied Jazz for 5 years so I learned quite a lot of music theory there.

What are your plans for the future?

I just want to keep making records, keep refining my craft and get better at being able to communicate emotionally through song to people in the hope that they are in some way moved or inspired.

How did you get into music?

Similar to the first question, I started playing music at a young age but professionally I didn’t start releasing music until 2007 when I was unearthed by Triple J. After that point I wanted to keep making, releasing and touring my music as It felt amazing to be able to share it with people beyond my family 🙂

What are you listening to at the moment?

Jesca Hoop –  her album Memories are Now is amazing, Blake Mills produced it.

Merpire – New single Holding Breath, the lovely lady is supporting us for our upcoming shows in Sydney and Melbourne.

Who are your top 5 influences and icons?

Patti Smith – I love that she’s just ‘concerned with doing good work’ whatever that may be – punk rocker,  poet or mother, she transcends all stereotypes.

Jeff Buckley – Hearing his album Grace made me want to write my own music.

Feist – I love her aesthetic musically and visually and my debut LP You go your way, I’ll go mine was influenced a lot by her albums The Reminder and Metals.

Tori Amos – Through listening to her records I taught myself how to be able to accompany myself with just the piano and voice. Her syncopated style of piano playing has influenced the way I play a lot.

Yoga – as mentioned before, was and is a big game changer for me.

When are you playing next?

I’ll be playing a couple of shows in celebration of the new single Running Second, the first will be in Sydney July 13th at the Lansdowne and the second will be in Melbourne on July 20th at Howler.

 

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Featured Photo Credit : Melissa Cowan Photography

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