Willie J Healey is a self-proclaimed Rock ‘n’ Stroll artist from Oxford. Lighthearted, warm and one-of-a-kind; his music is for the free-spirited and the open-hearted. Willie J Healey’s releases include HD Malibu and Saturday Night Feeling EPs. His sound adds a definitively British twang to the lacy, grunge endeavours of the likes of Mac DeMarco and Kurt Vile. On record Willie J Healey is smooth and melancholy. On stage - with a full band behind him - he creates a sound that is far louder, oozing an unfamiliar rawness you might not have heard on record.
There’s no specific reason that Willie J started writing music, “I just love music.” Does he think about the impact his music will have on his listeners? “I don’t really think too much about what people think. I like making music that the people I play with will like.” With a laugh and a crunch of his apple, the kindly Englishman jokes, “I make music that my dad likes.” Willie J Healey's music extends a warm embrace to those who endeavour to listen. His endearing personality perfectly matches his witty and truthful music.
Inspiration is an interesting concept. For an artist, it comes in many different shapes and sizes. For Willie J Healey, its films that inspire him the most. “There’s not much going on in the town that I live, which is quite cool, because I have nothing else to do but write. Boredom breeds creativity and all that. Just so bored that you end up using your imagination.”
On this note, he mentions his car that is far too big to drive (mentioned in HD Malibu single). This began as a figment of his imagination, however ended as a reality. “I have a really good connection. A family friend owns a lot of cars. Its actually a funeral limousine. I was like 'Hell Yeah I want this limo', then I realised it wasn’t as cool as I thought it would be. We gigged in it, but thankfully no touring.” He wanted a reason not to buy it and someone to stop him from being silly, “I phoned my dad and he goes ‘if I was 20, I'd get a limo’. So there I was, with a limo instead of a van or a normal car."
The Oxford lyricist initially nurtured a very DIY approach to his music. His first EP, HD Malibu, was recorded in his home - he played all instruments apart from drums. For his second EP, Saturday Night Feeling, Willie J enlisted some help. “I worked with a producer in his studio. It was still pretty lo-fi though. I tend to demo everything at home first."
What’s next for Willie J Healey? He’s got plenty on the horizon. Don't worry if you didn’t catch him on tour with Beach Baby last month, he'll be back around soon. As for new music? “I’m going through producers at the moment. I'm not sure if I’ll record again in the studio, or…I just really like doing stuff at home. There’s no pressure doing takes and you can go at your own pace. Creativity flows better in that atmosphere.”