Will Dailey is an acclaimed independent recording and performing artist. His sound has been described as having a rich vintage vibe while having a firm appreciation of AM rock, pop and big hooks leading famed Rock journalist Dan Aquilante to call him “the real deal”. Dailey’s latest album, National Throat, has been met with stellar reviews, over 7 million spins on Spotify, top 20 on Billboard Heat Seeker chart and won Album of the Year in the Boston Music Awards, New England Music Awards and Improper Bostonian Magazine. Dailey, who is already a three-time winner of the Boston Music Award for Best Singer/Songwriter also won Artist of the Year in 2014 and best male vocalist in 2015 and 2016. Most recently in 2016 he shared the stage with Eddie Vedder in Chicago, joining him for 5 songs for the Hot Stove Cool Music Benefit and was direct support for G Love’s summer tour. In June of 2013 he was featured on a Stephen King/John Mellencamp project produced by T Bone Burnett called Ghost Brothers Of Darkland County and, in that same year, also released an original song he wrote inspired by Jack Kerouac‘s Tristessa. In September of 2013 he played his fourth Farm Aid Concert along side Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews and John Mellencamp.
Dailey’s music has been featured on over 50 TV programs and films and he is now back in the studio recording some exclusive material for fans. Dailey has become an artist to watch not just now but indefinitely. “Dailey’s latest album makes it clear that good songwriting isn’t a matter of hiding behind shiny production or an over-stylized persona. His music doesn’t contain a note of pretense. If anything, it is committed to the beauty of simplicity. National Throat is a statement about the value of creativity and the survival of art. Dailey believes the truth will find its way out, that what is real and beautiful will rise to the top.” – Jon Karr, New York Minute Magazine, May 2015.
Tell us about your latest record National Throat? It’s been a well-received indie hit. What was the process like and was it difficult doing it without a label.
Well it all started with deciding that the major label system wasn’t right for me. It really had nothing to do with a large label and everything to do with what works best for me as an artist. Instead I reached out to fans and made the album with them. It is a common theme now for artists to do that of course but I can’t express how powerful it is for not only the artist but also for the people who help create that art. Certainly more so when it goes on to do well and reach others in a positive way. It is scary and difficult doing it that way. Common nightmares are: What if nobody wants to support the making of my album?, How can I focus on the music and also fulfilling the experience for these dedicated fans in a soulful way?, What if people get annoyed with being a part of the process instead of just receiving the product?. In the end these concerns all work themselves out if the music has a pure intention and is true to itself. It will be more work but it has been the most satisfying process to date for me.
As an independent artist, what is your strategy for making sure that your music gets as much exposure as possible?
Trust your sound. I could easily spend all day every day spinning my wheels online and on social media and trying to connect with people that way. Those outlets are great and fun but in the end I’ll take and celebrate what exposure the actual music yields. It takes patience but it does happen if you have clear intentions with your art.
The number one thing I try to remember or mantra before I walk out on stage is that music serves an important purpose and service to everyone. That might seem like a simple or obvious statement but its truth is not always reflected in our actions and respect for music. For my career to thrive it needs exposure so I try every opportunity that comes my way at least once no matter how strange or challenging it may be. You never know what it will bring to your career or your art. There are 7 billon + people on this earth. I know that any artist being true to themselves can find an audience in a world that wide.
As a singer songwriter how does the Bose L1 system help you better connect with your audiences?
The comfort of quality. You never know the situation you are going to be in: the venue, the crowd, the amount they have had to drink, what they expect from the music, how my voice is going to feel, is the weather is going to mess with my guitar strings. Yet with the L1 I have one thing that isn’t going to vary or let me down. It is unwavering in its consistency and quality. Proud low end, clear high end and mids that punch through. I can throw it up in a radio show, record store, house concert, rehearsal or with the full band and still have the same quality sound. It eliminates any concern about sound without dominating the space that I need to use so that I can just focus on performance and the audience.
What is your favorite personal live musical moment and how did you handle it?
When I was 8 years old I was taking violin lessons and was not a very good student. There was a recital. The recital. We were to play as an orchestra. I did not know the piece and I did not feel confident as a violinist. So I turned the violin upside down and drew the bow back and forth along the backside hoping nobody would notice and I wouldn’t destroy the music. (I think now it’s called playing to the song.) Yes, I could have just turned the bow upside down but I wasn’t as advanced in my skills yet. It was at that moment that I realized I could do anything and that I should probably give up violin and write songs and sing instead.
What does Will Dailey have planned for 2017?
I’m releasing a 7” vinyl in January with two songs on it that will exist exclusively on that wax. Then I’m getting back in the ring with a new full length. I have 22 songs that have somehow appeared in my brain. I recorded 6 of them already because they didn’t fit on the vision I have for an album and I’m dropping those songs ahead of time on things like this vinyl and on digital platforms like “Wings Born On The Way Down” is now. Then I’m starting that whole album making process over again. Bringing in the people who want to be a part of making an album. The fans who want to be the reason it exists. Of course all my fears listed above about making an independent album are firing on all cylinders and that’s probably a good thing. But what we often don’t discuss or think of often enough, when talking about the art that imprints our lives, are all the people along the way that make it possible. The Beatles without George Martin? Van Gogh without his brother buying all the paint and covering rent? The indie DIY punks that fought for the artists on Discord and Sub Pop? It takes more than the artist to make it all sound like magic and I like highlighting that while making music.
Check out www.willdailey.com