creative life, Will Wesley, Musician
Q: How did you first discover your musical talent?
A: I first discovered my musical talent at the age of eleven. My father was a guitarist, and when he would go to bed, I would sneak his guitar out and play. One night he heard me playing along with the radio and he was amazed at how quickly I could play by ear. He believed that God had blessed me with a gift. From that moment on, I began to pursue music more seriously.
Q: How have you grown as an artist?
A: I play a wide variety of music but that is nothing new. I find it very fulfilling to explore many different styles of music. Currently, I am working on two albums and each has a very different sound. One of my current albums, Reinvention, is a rock and roll based album. My second album in the works, titled Meridian, has a more country/Americana spin to it. It also features my fiancé, Jenna D’Shay as vocalist. We perform as a duo called “The Yesterdays.”
In addition, I consider myself extremely blessed to back Grammy award-winning blues artist Grady Champion. I am making my second tour to Europe with him. In terms of a personal highlight, the music video for my latest single, “The Break” from the Reinvention album actually won the Lakeview International Film Festival Award. In 2014 and 2016, I was a finalist in The International Blues Challenge, so there is never a dull moment in this industry. These highlights just make me want to continue writing songs, playing music and pursuing my gift.
Q: Artistic talent is a gift from God. Talk about your faith and if you ever felt directed by God.
A: My faith in God has carried me through the most challenging times of my life. I grew up very poor, but God was my constant. He made me feel rich because I knew I could always turn to him and look ahead rather than dwell on my immediate circumstance. He provides hope to me. Though the road is often rocky, our relationship is always growing. It may seem strange to some, but when I write songs, I consider God a cowriter. I feel this way because songwriting or playing music is a universal language. I have always felt the Lord’s presence in my music and I hope when people hear it, they feel a connection as well.
Q: Do you have a favorite song, and if so, why is it your favorite?
I do not particularly have a favorite song. Yet I will tell you that I love many songs that range in style from bluegrass, country, rock and roll, the blues and jazz. If I had to pick one of my own, it would be The Hardest of Hearts. There is a universal message to this song. You will know it when you take time to listen to it, which I hope you will do.
Q: Have you ever had an encounter or experience that you felt was divine intervention?
A: This may be hard to believe, but God has always spoken to me in my dreams. He lets me know where I am going and reminds me of where I have been. I believe that each person has their own individual language with God. Because we are individuals, we all have our own personal relationships with our maker. Dreams and songwriting seem to be my common language between the Lord and me.
Q: Do you have a favorite scripture or book of the Bible?
A: I have always liked the Book of Job because it describes in detail the trials and tribulations of a common man. When tempted by the devil, Job never turns his back on the Lord. By holding onto his faith, God gives him double for his trouble. The Book of Genesis is another favorite book in the Bile because though the Fall of Man occurs in this book, there is also a purity revealed in the beginning before temptation crept into the Garden of Eden. One of my favorite scriptures is the one that states “you cannot serve two masters.” Daily we are tested, and daily we have a choice to choose good over evil or obedience over our own desires. Satan loves to tempt us in our minds. Our mind is a battlefield. Yet God is our ever-present help in times of trouble.
Q: What else would you like our readers to know about you?
A: I was raised in a poor, yet very rich family. Though money was often hard to come by, we were rich in our love for each other. When I describe my family, it makes me think of some of the interviews I have heard with Dolly Parton. She talks a lot about growing up a country girl in the Tennessee mountains. In her heart, she was rich. I relate to her humble upbringing.
Anyway, my father was a construction worker and my mother stayed home with us most of my life. As a child, in all honesty, I hated how poor we were, but as a man, it was the lack I experienced during those years that helped me have courage and be tough. Family sticks together no matter what is happening and that is the type of family I am glad to be part of while on this earth. I hope people will know that I do not take anything for granted and I hope that people will discover my music.
To sum up my journey, there is a scripture that says, “I will go before you and make the rough places smooth.” (Isaiah 45:2) Hold on and know who has your back if you believe. It is God. He has kept me going.
Wesley’s “The Break” is available on YouTube under the channel, The Will Wesley Band. There is also a Christian-based music video called “The Hardest of Hearts.” Visit his website at Willwesley.com or view his Facebook page. The duo, The Yesterdays is also on Facebook.
Sharon Furrate Bailey grew up in Alexandria, La., and moved to Baton Rouge to attend LSU. She earned a B.A. in English Literature in 1990. She attends Our Lady of the Lake Mercy Catholic Church. Sharon has been in the field of marketing, sales, and public relations since 1996. She is a gifted artist and has been a columnist since 2005. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.