There certainly seems to be a great deal of momentum propelling Willie J Healey towards big things in 2017. A huge show in his hometown Oxford, much national press coverage and an album out early next year would suggest that several years of developing, honing and polishing his music credentials is all conglomerating in what promises to be a huge year for Willie. There seems to have been a real glut of creativity in this time, so much so that he’s putting out two records in relative quick succession. “One’s a very raw bunch of bedroom songs, that should be out on the 16th of this month. The other being something I’ve worked with the band on for the past few months. I’m pretty certain it’ll be out early next year.” Certainly something of a feast after famine, given that up until now we’ve had to make do with the odd E.P here and there and it’s no wonder Willie fans are excited about his upcoming gig, on the 15th December, which will showcase much of this material.
One thing that Wille has always done though is to keep us all guessing and not just in terms of material releases. His music spans multiple genres and styles and refuses to be pigeonholed or typecast. “I think creating things would get really hard and boring if you didn’t try new and different things out. I guess I like the idea of being a passenger to my ideas sometimes, instead of always forcing things towards my past releases.” This merely adds to the slightly aloof, unconventional nature of Willie’s allure, fans always kept at arms length in regard to where the music is going and how his constant rebirths will manifest themselves.
Certainly one thing which remains a constant is Willie’s love for live performance and feels freer to express himself away from the stringent shackles of the studio. “I think it’s important to have a good live show. We always try to enjoy ourselves on stage! That’s not always something you can do whilst recording” This was no more evident than his set at Oxford music festival “What Became Of Us” where he stole the limelight and the show, going head to head with hugely experienced, international bands and looking himself like the finished product. His quiet confidence and steely determination allows Willie to simultaneously keep grounded while having the ambition to aim high in a most competitive of industries.
In terms of what to expect at this weeks headline show at the Bullingdon, no one really knows but Willie is certainly looking forward to an elongated set “We always seem to be cramming as much into 30 mins as possible so the freedom of having a longer slot will be really wicked. I’m planning on playing a few new songs too.” There have been many shows in Oxford over the previous decades which are looked back on as pivotal and iconic for certain artists and performers as regards breaking through and making a real statement of intent to the industry. Willie J Healey at the Bullingdon could just be one of those shows. We all look forward to 15th December to discover the next chapter in the wonderful world of Willie J Healey.