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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week - Will Preston
Monday, December 10, 2007

Atlanta-based R&B singer Will Preston first came to my attention two years ago when he released his debut album, It’s My Will. I was reminded of his talent again a few months ago when he released his second project, a live CD / DVD combo titled Caught In The Act…The LIVE Experience. It’s clear from the DVD that Preston’s following has grown over the years as he’s worked to position himself to take the next major step in his career. This week I caught up with him to discuss his music, why he wanted to have everyone experience his live show, and the flattering, yet slightly frightening, circumstances that led to him changing his phone number.

Adam Bernard: In 2005 you released It’s My Will and this year you followed it up with a live album and DVD. What do you feel is added to the listening experience with the live album?
Will Preston: Well I definitely think you get a different experience with this project. You can actually feel the emotion that is emitted in my delivery. A lot of that is lost in the studio. Performing live gives me an opportunity to just be me. I love it. I really feel a connection with the crowd and we vibe off of each other. Also you have that spontaneity that doesn’t exist in the studio. If I’m feeling a groove I can jam with the band and take it to another level. I love studio sessions but that’s the part I call work. Performing live gives me an indescribable rush. When fans see me onstage they know that I’m having a good time.

Adam Bernard: When and where did the live performance take place? Do you remember anything special about the evening?
Will Preston: That show took place in Roanoke, VA. I chose to record there because I have a lot of support in that region and I knew that they would appreciate the gesture. The crowd was amazing. None of that crowd noise is edited, it’s real! (Laughs) I remember coming onstage to thunderous applause and it really made me feel good. I always receive a warm welcome, but this just seemed extra special. I had family in the audience, which also made it a great experience.

Adam Bernard: I noticed there was a cover during your set. Talk to me about why you chose that song to cover and what other artists you’d like to attempt to sing in the future.
Will Preston: I actually performed two covers that night. Luther Vandross, to me, is the greatest R&B singer to ever live. I’ve always admired him musically and his vocal prowess epitomizes perfection. “Here And Now” is one of my favorite songs. I was so scared on that song because I just couldn’t remember the lyrics. I had actually taken that song out of the set before the show but decided to put it back in at the last minute. I’m proud to say I pulled it off without a hitch. The other cover, ”Let’s Chill,” was actually suggested by my musical director and I thought it was a great fit so we did it. I don’t really make it a point to cover other artist’s material, I think I have some pretty good material of my own that the world needs to hear, but occasionally one or two will creep into my lineup.

Adam Bernard: At some points during the show it sounded like panties were about to hit the stage. Clearly you have no trouble getting women, but how hard is it to shake the crazies? Give me your best, or I guess technically worst, stalker story.
Will Preston: (Laughs) Well, no panties hit the stage that night. I haven’t had anything too crazy happen yet. I did have to change my telephone number to unlisted because of mysterious calls in the middle of the night. “Is this Will Preston the singer?” “Yes it is and you are?” …dead silence on the other line. I think that was when I first realized that I may actually be on my way somewhere with this music thing. It was flattering at first but then I started to think about all the craziness that exists in the world today. You just can’t take any chances. MySpace has also been interesting. I love the site because it really gives me an opportunity to communicate with real fans. Of course you have to be careful with that, too.

Adam Bernard: One topic you cover in depth on the album is love. What about the emotion of love made you want to dedicate an entire album to it?
Will Preston: Love is probably the greatest and worst thing that we’ll ever experience. I love the saying, “it’s better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all.” Isn’t it a funny thing? If we burn ourselves on the stove, we’ll never touch it again. But if we’re burned by love we still keep searching. It’s as if we’re in an endless pursuit. No matter how many times it doesn’t work out we stay the course because ultimately we want to find that true companion. My songs depict the different facets of love. They tell of the oh-so good times but they explore the other side of love as well, the side that we’d all rather erase, but we can’t. It’s real stuff. I’m singing about something that anyone who has ever been in love can relate to.

Adam Bernard: While albums about love hook the ladies instantly they can be a harder sell on us men. In what ways do you feel the fellas will relate to your work?
Will Preston: I have really been fortunate when it comes to support from both males and females. I think I say what’s really in every man’s heart and what all the ladies want to hear. Sometimes men just have a hard time expressing themselves. I don’t mind being that voice. My goal is to write songs that will appeal to everyone. When I think of great writers, veterans like Babyface, Hal David, Burt Bacharach, Lionel Richie, David Foster, Carole King and others come to mind. They have written some of the best songs in history and in their collection we can all find something to identify with. I think they’ve all been successful because their messages have been real and relatable. I just try to be real.

Adam Bernard: Now we’ve all seen, or more precisely, heard, your sensitive side, what other sides of Will Preston will be coming out on future releases?
Will Preston: Oh, there’s a lot to Will Preston. I know that I will continue to evolve both as a singer and a writer. That’s the whole point. My constant mission is perfecting my gift. I want to be the Babyface, or the Luther, of my generation. If you ever stop evolving you’re only as good as you were in the past. Of course there is so much more I plan to accomplish musically, but Will Preston the singer is just the beginning. Like my music, I am multi-faceted. I have an entrepreneurial gene in me that won’t let me rest. I’m always thinking of the next thing. Whether that be musically or the next business move. I have a degree in finance so I’m very motivated by all aspects of the business environment. I have so many ideas but it’s one step at a time.

Related Links

Website: willpreston.com
MySpace: myspace.com/willpreston
CDBaby: cdbaby.com
Amazon: amazon.com


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:53 AM  
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