Willie Main Introduces Himself With Interview & New Project, “Y“
Willie Main, formerly known as Swill, has been an artist on my radar for sometime now so I was excited to talk to him about his new project Y. Full of catchy melodies and introspective lyrics, Y is an excellent tape that highlights Willie’s vocal abilities and unique sound. The spacey, slower moving music Willie presents on Y allows every theme to be fully fleshed out and each sound has time to breathe, making every note sound thoughtful and deliberate. While all seven tracks do Willie’s sound justice, my personal favorites are S’light and Divine, both of which are perfect examples of the type of music he’s been putting out. We got to ask Willie a few questions about Y, his recent name change, and more about his musical endeavors. Check out Y & the full interview below.
Q: What do you want people to take away from this tape?
I just want people to realize importance of self awareness. Have people to remain thoughtful and ask WHY? (Y?). Whether it’s why do I keep creating toxic relationship (kind of a lot of the album) or why can’t I stop using such and such substance. Usually, there’s not a real concrete answer and often you just have to accept that you are conditioned and try to keep yourself in check. Definitely a lot about awareness. #Y
Q: You recently switched up your name from Swill to Willie Main. Why the change?
Swill is a joke. Swill’s definition is really hilarious actually. It translates to the backwash of a drink. Pretty much no one liked Swill… Also there are like two different metal bands called Swill. Not even kidding. I think one of them has a song called like “kill kill kill” or something. My friend Chee who produces and features on Y put it a good way. He liked “Willie Main” because it doesn’t put me in a box. It’s just me. I’m going to make this music now and I might make this music later, but in the end it’s just me. Going to miss Swill though. Honestly just kind of picture kindergarden me when I hear Willie Main, but it’s okay.
Q: That’s dope, being yourself can really help create some authentic music. Can we expect even more personal, introspective music now that you’re Willie Main?
Nah it’s not really about that. My music has always been introspective. I just feel like it gives me more fluidity to work in any genre or be apart of any group or band.
Q: Your music has a unique sound that brings something different to the table. How did you cultivate that sound?
I just do what I think sounds good. I work out of my bedroom so I have a lot of freedom to take my time and just be me.
Q: What are some of your musical influences?
I’ve been really into Yellow Days lately. I really want my next album to sound like his stuff. I love Smino and Monte Booker. Ever since S!CK S!CK S!CK, I’ve been obsessed. I’ve been listening to this dude out of New Jersey, Ehiorobo. He kind of reminds me of Sampha, but goes off wilder beats and he raps a bit too. Always got mad love for Amy Winehouse. Been practicing singing to her in the car, but she’s damn near too good I can’t even. Also love Frank Sinatra. My parents aren’t very well versed in music, but my grandma would always play Frank.
Q: When did you start making music? When did you start getting more serious about it?
I picked up guitar in 6th grade and had a little band. After that ended in freshman year of highschool I wasn’t doing anything except occasionally freestyling with my friends. When I graduated high school, I got Ableton and I started using it for mixing. I picked it up again seriously a couple years ago. First just recording raps, then I taught myself how to produce.
Q: That’s cool, what is your favorite type of musicianship? Guitar, producing, singing, etc.?
I like it all, but I really want to go farthest with the sing/rap stuff.
Q: Who are some artists on the Chicago scene you’d like to collaborate with?
Iris Temple, Melo Makes Musc, Yomi, Jean Deaux, Kweku Collins, Netherfriends. Netherfriends just seems so fun to work with.
Q: What’s your favorite song you’ve ever wrote? Why?
Definitely some unreleased. Doesn’t have a name yet. Sort of about being lazy and shitty. I think it’s a good one.
Q: Nice, will we ever get to hear that track?
I sure hope so!
Q: You not only provide the vocals on your tracks, but you’ve also produced a few of them. How does being able to produce and sing help your music? When did you start producing?
I started producing a couple years ago. I think every vocal artist should do it. You can be 100 times more you. Definitely had production help on Y though. Huge shout out to all of them.
Q: Who are some of those producers who helped you out on Y?
Pooky (doesn’t have a solo Soundcloud yet, but his main band, Lovejoy, is on Spotify)
Yo No Sé https://soundcloud.com/
San Soma https://soundcloud.com/sansoma
Q: Who are some artists you’ve already worked with you think deserve some more love?
Pooky, member of the band Lovejoy. Definitely a brilliant gremlin boy. Also everyone in Lovejoy super cool and talented. Yo No Sé another genius. My 99% 160 brother. My boy Louie Kason on the rise. We just started a little duo called, “Bye DAD” so we will see where that goes. Futura Bloom FKA New Kingz do great rap things. Always mad love to my Evanston brothers: San Soma, Cub-J, Rub N’ Alc, DJKG, Matias. The list goes on.