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Back to Music talks to... / Aug 24, 2023

Cute dogs, blue birds and Bunny - talks to Willie J Healey

When the likes of Alex Turner, Joe Talbot and Orlando Weeks point to someone as one of their favourite artists, there's substance behind it. Supporting the likes of Arctic Monkeys and Jamie T, Willie has been introduced to wider audiences, and he is ready to reveal to next chapter of his musical journey. It sees Willie dive headfirst into a style of music he has always loved, but that never previously found its way into his own songs. It’s a low-slung, sensual ‘70s-style jam which simultaneously calls to mind Sly and The Family Stone, Philly soul, ‘Midnite Vultures’-era Beck and a little OutKast.

It’s been a busy 2023, how are you feeling gearing up for the release?

I’m feeling good, ‘Bunny’ has been in my back pocket for a little while now. It’s nice to know that
people are finally going to be able to listen to it and hopefully find something they love.

Having had the opportunity to tour with some amazing artists in the past, how do you think the
live experience has translated to your music?

Hmm well, I think that playing the songs live is the fun part of “releasing” something you know?
Writing it is fun, recording it is fun and then playing it is even more fun, because you get to share an
experience with other people.

You’ve had a quite wild journey reaching the third album - getting signed to a major for your
debut, releasing the sophomore during the pandemic - Can you speak to how this journey shaped

Well, I think these things happen. Ultimately, I’ve been very content with everything I’ve released so
far. I think those experiences are all important, for perspective. I think they have made me feel
grateful for what I have, what I haven’t had, and hopefully what I’m going to have.

“Bunny” clearly builds on your music so far, with an extra soul & funk edge to it. Who have been
your influences in that sphere?

Wooof! All sorts, lots of influences have accumulated for me over the years. I mean, I’m influenced
by seeing a cute dog in the park! I did listen to a lot of older 70s music… plastic soul era Bowie, John
Lennon’s hold on, Sly Stone’s Spaced Cowboy.

Which track off of “Bunny” do you look forward to debuting live the most?

I’m not totally sure yet, maybe Blue Bird?

Influencer boxing has been taking off in the last few years - taking into account your past
experience, who do you think you would best stack up against in an indie showdown?

I’m pretty out of the loop on the influencer front at the moment. Having not trained properly for
years... I’d probably prefer to watch than to take part! Somebody my size would be nice though, if I
had to pick.

What’s next? Where can we catch you performing?

I have a UK & Ireland headline tour coming up in November! That’s your best bet.

9th Chalk, Brighton
10th O2 Academy, Oxford
11th Hangar 34, Liverpool
12th Whelan’s, Dublin
14th Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
15th The Cluny, Newcastle
16th St Lukes, Glasgow
17th The Mash House, Edinburgh
18th Band On The Wall, Manchester
20th Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
21st Castle & Falcon, Birmingham
22nd SWX, Bristol
23rd Electric Brixton, London

Willie J Healey's "Bunny" is out 25th August and available here

Photography credits to Hollie Fernando

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