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  • Writer's pictureVingt Sept

In Conversation with South Africa's Hottest Talent Will Linley


We sat down with multi-talented musician Will Linley to uncover the pulsating beats of his music and explore the transformative journey of this young remarkable artist. Multi-talented Linley, invited us into the captivating realm of his artistic evolution. His impressive path to self-discovery has taken the music industry by storm, capturing the attention of millions from YouTube and Spotify through to the vibrant Gen-Z platform of TikTok. With his latest track, Tough (The Girls Song), resonates deeply with listeners worldwide, perhaps through Linley's lyrical prowess and infectious melodies, which have solidified his place as a rising star.

Not content with simply creating his own music, Linley's collaborative spirit shines through as he effortlessly navigates the roles of both writer and producer, breathing new life into the works of fellow musicians. So join us as we embark on a musical odyssey, exploring the boundless creativity and magnetic allure of Will Linley, a force to be reckoned with in the world of music.

Your sound has been described as “happy sad pop music.” When it came to finding your style as an artist, could you tell us how that journey of self-discovery went?

It was really just about doing what I enjoyed and pushing more into spaces that made me happy. I think as an artist, it’s important to make music that is real and authentic to you. So when I was trying to discover what my “style” was, it was all about what music I enjoyed listening to, and what I thought represented my personality the most.

You’ve released over 7 songs already, and you’ve got a lot of attention on TikTok. What were the challenges you encountered as a young artist in this new digital eco-space that we are in?

Making sure that I didn’t create music that would only work on social media. I think it’s very easy to fall into the trap of “what will people on TikTok like?” as opposed to thinking “what would I like?”. I think finding that distinction was difficult at the beginning, and I still find it hard, but more and more I find myself focusing on making music that I love and feel that my fans will love to.

Tell us about your latest track, Tough (The Girls Song) and what inspired you to create this?

I wrote it with my friend Jackson Foote, he’s an absolute legend. I wrote it the day before I left the states after a long writing trip. I was tired, out of ideas and just ready to leave, but I got in with Jackson and we started throwing some ideas around. He told me he really wanted to write “girls just wanna have fun” from the guy’s perspective and I loved the idea straight away. We tried so many variations of the song but nothing quite clicked, however, we felt like there was something to fight for with this idea. He said, “let’s sleep on the idea and get back in tomorrow”. I went home and came back the next day. Jackson excitedly sat me down and played the structure of the chorus you hear now, with the post “girls girls girls” I immediately fell in love with it and wanted to finish the song. After a couple hours we had the verses and pre done and we had one of my favourite songs I’ve ever done.

What was it like to collaborate with Jackson Foote?

So much fun, he has unbelievable instincts as a writer and producer. Everything he does I end up loving. It’s such a fun experience writing with someone you can connect with well!

If you were to describe to your fans what the message of Tough is in a sentence, what would it be?

Even in sad moments, you can always look on the positive side of things!

Apart from Ed Sheeran, Dean Lewis, and Lewis Capaldi who would be a dream for you to work with?

Jon Bellion

You’ve headlined at the Courtyard Theatre, congratulations on that! Would you have any advice for people who are hoping to break the glass ceiling of the music industry?

Don’t stop writing!! Just keep on writing and releasing music, it’s the best thing you can ever do for your career. But honestly speaking, I don’t know what I’m talking about, I'm so new to this too!! Haha.

Aside from that, do you have anything else that you would like to let your fans know?

One of my favourite songs I’ve ever done is coming soon. It’s called Gracie.

Tough (The Girls Song) is out now

Photographer Jack Alexander

Interview by Cyan Leigh Dacasin

Editor Jheanelle Feanny


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