Words by Robyn Emily James // robynejames0
Will Joseph Cook could well be the smoothest artist to come out of the town of Tunbridge Wells, located south of London, UK. Best known for his moving lyrics mixed with joyful undertones and narrative music videos, Cook has been keeping everyone hooked since day one. His fusion of acoustic bangers and electro hits makes his music unforgettable, scoring an appearance on the BBC introducing stage at Glastonbury and a successful year of touring his debut album ‘Sweet Dreamer’. In the wake of his massive year, we just had to catch up with guy and ask him a couple of questions – here’s how we got on!
SO, HOW HAS YOUR 2017 BEEN? ANY HIGHLIGHTS THAT’VE STOOD OUT?
So much has happened this year, it’s hard to pick. It would probably have to be my last London show at Heaven, in May. It was the best show I’ve ever played and meant so much to me.
IF YOU COULD HAVE WRITTEN ANY SONG BY ANOTHER ARTIST FROM 2017, WHICH WOULD YOU PICK, AND WHY?
‘Folk Rock Song 1‘ by Okudaxij. I love everything about it and how simple it is. It’s the kind of song you can’t believe didn’t exist before.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM YOUR UPCOMING RELEASES, SOUND-WISE?
I think there’s a nice blend of both [my EP and album] but ultimately I’m always trying to move the sound forward. All the songs on the EP started as guitar tunes on this, which is a style of writing I did take a bit of a break from on the album.
OUT OF THE PLACES YOU HAVE VISITED WHILST TOURING, WHERE WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO LIVE AND WHY?
I really enjoyed Seoul when we went there, I think living there would be a mad experience to have.
WAS THERE A STANDOUT ALBUM THAT INSPIRED YOU WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP? IF SO, WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE TRACK FROM IT?
When I was very young it was a band called the Eels, the album ‘Beautiful Freak’ is super nostalgic for me. ‘My Beloved Monster‘ is an amazing song.
YOUR ALBUM ‘SWEET DREAMER’ SEEMS TO HAVE SEEN LISTENERS THROUGH SOME TRICKY TIMES – DID YOU ALWAYS INTEND FOR YOUR MUSIC TO BECOME THERAPEUTIC, OR HAS THAT COME AS A BONUS?
Of course, I think that’s what most people want from music. I’ve always tried to make the songs real and emotional. It’s really cool if you can turn a difficult or confusing feeling into a song that you and others can enjoy.
HAS THERE BEEN A SONG THAT’S BEEN DIFFICULT TO WRITE AND RECORD BECAUSE OF ANY FEELINGS/THE STORY BEHIND THE SONG?
Sweet Dreamer was a very biographical album for sure. I usually find that the more emotive or personal songs are the least difficult, as writing them feels necessary.
IF YOU COULD COLLABORATE WITH ANYONE ON A TRACK IN 2018 WHO WOULD YOU PICK, AND WHY?
Post Malone, he’s a sick guy.
IF YOU COULD PERFORM ON THE MAIN STAGE AT ANY FESTIVAL IN THE WORLD, WHICH WOULD YOU PICK AND WHY? ANY WEIRD FESTIVAL EXPERIENCES WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT?
[It’s] predictable, but Glastonbury. I think it’s crazy not to have that as a goal as an artist, it’s so symbolic. I once watched the stage we were about to play get blown away in the wind and rain, that was a pretty crushing moment.
WHAT’S YOUR EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY?
My mum singing to a tape of Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell in the car.
DO YOU COME FROM A MUSICAL BACKGROUND? DID YOU ALWAYS WANT TO BE A MUSICIAN?
It was something I came to when I was 13, I had always wanted to learn guitar but had never got round to it.
CAN YOU REMEMBER YOUR FIRST EVER GIG? TELL US WHAT WENT DOWN!
Haha… it’s quite embarrassing. It was the morning after I got really wrecked from drinking for the first time. It was at my school summer fair – went quite well all things considered!
HAVE YOU GOT ANY TIPS FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO START PLAYING AN INSTRUMENT OR FORM A BAND?
Do it, and make sure you’re having a sick time when you do. That’s the most important thing.
EVER BEEN STAR STUCK?
I was very gassed to meet Matt Healy at the NME awards. I love the long journey to success that The 1975 have had.
WHAT’S THE WORST THING THAT’S HAPPENED TO YOU WHILST PERFORMING? ANYTHING SUPER EMBARRASSING?
I’ve literally had the sound completely cut for a while before. It obviously sucks but I just had to kind of own it, there was nothing I could do about it except laugh.
YOUR VIDEOS ARE VERY NARRATIVE, VERY MUCH LIKE YOUR LYRICS – WHAT’S BEEN THE FUNNEST MUSIC VIDEO TO PUT TOGETHER?
Girls Like Me was definitely the most fun/manic. We did the whole shoot in a day so it was just endless costume and make-up changes.
FINALLY, OASIS OR BLUR?