The inspiration behind Will 2 Listen

I wanted to take a moment to share a little more about ‘Will 2 Listen’ and particularly the name itself. As explained in the ‘About’ section of the website it is effectively the name and the aim in three simple words (or, two simple words and a digit). Started by myself, Will, in 2015 it made a lot of sense in reference to the singular subject listening to music, but I do believe it stands as a description of what drives me to write for and manage this project.

Music became a major part of my life when I was 14 and discovered rock music. I started learning the electric guitar and never looked back. I had a passion for the music and means by which I could make my own. At the same time, I also enjoyed writing for pleasure, mainly creative writing, which, at aged 14/15, wasn’t exactly showing promise for a Nobel Prize in Literature but I did it anyway. It is only with ‘Will 2 Listen’ that I have finally merged these two passions given my consistent practice and interest of both through my teens.

When I was 18 (and dabbling with the idea of pursuing music slightly more seriously by enrolling on a music production course at Point Blank Music School), I told my good friend Dean Bennell (who has kindly contributed material to this project) that my artist moniker, if I ever got that far, would be ‘Will 2 Live’.

This name soon became a bit more accurate in describing my mindset. Shortly after my 18th birthday I was diagnosed with cancer. While I settled into a different routine of hospitals and appointments, Dean set about raising money for charity on my behalf. This campaign raised just over £15,000 for CLIC Sargent and was cleverly dubbed ‘Will 2 Fundraise’ by Dean.

The name Will 2 Listen represents a deep motivation, irrespective of genre, to share and discuss music in a truly appreciative and constructively critical way.

A difficult but very rewarding year later I had my final brain operation and was cured. I never take this for granted given the amount of amazing human beings I met along the way who, sadly, have not been so lucky. During that time I was also given amazing opportunities by the Teenage Cancer Trust to meet and talk to musicians who visited the hospital. This privilege of being in the presence of artists and industry professionals whom I looked up to was a dream come true and only fuelled my passion for the music industry even more.

After treatment was complete I found work in my local pub while also continuing with my original decision to study music production at Point Blank. It was an experience I thoroughly enjoyed but came to realise it wasn’t what I wanted to pursue in the long term. As such, I looked for work in the industry away from the artist perspective and completed a 3-month marketing internship with Enhanced Music. This was, again, a very rewarding experience and gave me a mindset to create something of my own.

Gazing out the window of the train heading to London for my final week at Enhanced, a light bulb started to flicker. Ideas began to form along with confidence in my current writing ability and knowledge/enthusiasm that had developed over the years of a wide variety of different genres. The name didn’t hit me for a couple of weeks; I had a shortlist of a few other possibilities which, while good, weren’t necessarily personal or punchy. Eventually, through taking a break for some nostalgic reflection of the past couple of years, the penny dropped. I had to call the project ‘Will 2 Listen’.

The name ‘Will 2 Listen’ represents a deep motivation, irrespective of genre, to share and discuss music in a truly appreciative and constructively critical way. While the website will inevitably develop over time and the content will hopefully invite in more fellow enthusiasts, this core mantra will stay constant. So I thank anyone and everyone who supports this project in whatever way they can. Whether you share a social media post, retweet one of our reviews or articles or read with vested interest and passion for the music, you are our friend.

 

By Will Hunt