News Column

Lee hopes to be king of the castle

June 28, 2013


Tonbridge Castle. Sunday July 7 from 1pm. Free event. Visit 21-year-old musician Lee Willz, from Tonbridge, will be part of the bill at Tonbridge Arts Festival's music weekend at the castle. Until recently he'd been part of a duo but with a new solo show, he hopes to get his home town up and dancing on the castle lawn. How do you describe your style of music? If you had to put me in a genre then it would be hip hop but I just like to make feel-good music keeping lyrics real and big pop choruses for people to sing along to.

You were part of a duo until recently. How are you finding going it alone? To be honest I didn't see it coming and I was gutted, after going through so much together and doing some great projects, but I'm carrying on with a level head and I've got some exciting solo projects coming up including a new EP, playing at some top venues plus my European tour to Sziget Festival in Hungary in August. How did you get into music? I always loved performing.

From a young age I would make up plays with my sister and perform in front of my family, but it all really started in school, rapping in the playground with friends, going to bedroom studios at the weekend to record. Who are your biggest musical influences? Like many performers Michael Jackson was my idol while I was growing up. I was also brought up around reggae and motown so various artists from that era, but more recent inspiration stems from singers like John Legend to rappers like Drake or UK artists like Labrinth and Dappy.

What's been your biggest achievement to date? I think everything I do is an achievement whether it's gain a new fan or record a new song but being on a music channel on Sky TV back in 2009 was great. But I think winning the International Surface Festival competition out of 11,000 other bands was a big achievement and I would like to thank everyone who supported me through the competition.

You're performing at Tonbridge Castle at the finale of the Arts Festival. It's your home town; how does that feel? I love performing in my home town. I get such a crazy buzz, it still makes me proud to have a crowd of people watching me from my town.. What are your hopes for the future? I'm just really enjoying my music and having fun performing where and whenever I can. Obviously I would love to be an established artist known all over, but for now just setting reachable goals.

Music On The Lawn will also feature the choir from Hillview School, guitarist Sean de Burca, Searching For Pie and twin singers Kyla and Natalie Stroud.

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