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Oct 11, 2023

Hello and welcome to episode 173 of the ACPG Podcast.

This week Ben is zooming with the delightful Willie J Healey. They talk about his new album Bunny, touring with the Arctic Monkeys and Jamie T, working with Yala records and more.

Thank you to Jay for setting up the interview. And thank you to Willie for his time and rearranging time for a clash in Ben's diary.

We have a special artist in Willie and, as I mention, new album ‘Bunny’ is something of a new dawn for him. Recorded in NYC with producer Loren Humphrey (Florence + The Machine, Arctic Monkeys, Lana Del Rey) he stepped out of his comfort zone, pushed himself to be more honest with what he wanted to do, and ultimately discovered that there was a freedom to be found in embracing that honesty. There is a maturity and warmth to the songs here, whether he’s pondering the cost of ambition (‘Dreams’) or revisiting themes of love (‘Sure Feels Good’), contentment (‘Woke Up Smiling’) and appreciation (‘Thank You’). It’s the sound of Willie at the happiest he’s been in a while, and I think this comes from being able to strike a perfect balance between determination to create what he wants, and knowing when to accept that – whatever style of album he makes – it will always have signposts to the parts of himself that he can’t change. 

Sliding into new musical territory, he welcomes hypnotic grooves, gospel harmonies and brass flourishes to support his own organic, understated falsetto. Fusing soul, rock and R&B, ‘Bunny’ is Willie J Healey waking up a dormant side of his musical world and rolling with it.