Maria Willson first burst onto the music scene as a Telstar records artist, releasing two energetic pop singles, appearing all over the teen press, and supporting Busted on tour. After her record company collapsed Maria continued to write, and perform with her band, and now has a new lease of life, and new musical ambitions to fulfil! Read on to see what this talented singer had to say about her past, present, future, and current topic of conversation Britain’s Got Talent.
1. Hi Maria welcome to music.co.uk, perhaps we can start by asking about your background in music, and where your love of music came from?
My love for music came from my father. Similar to me he released a couple of hits back in the day, and then went on to play famous clubs of the time such as The Ad Lib club, and performed for many private celebrity parties. His love for music and performing definitely rubbed off on me, God bless him. I didn’t discover that I could sings until I was around thirteen, before that I used to torture a little karaoke machine in my bedroom, but I sounded like Orville the green duck! Luckily I began to get involved with lots of local shows, and managed to secure singing on spots on programmes such as ‘My Kind of Music’. I quickly improved.
2. A lot of people find it tough money wise when they are starting out, have you had any interesting day jobs to make ends meet?
I’ve had tons, too many really. The trouble is, when you’re starting out you take what you can get just to pay for the next bit of recording equipment or whatever. I’ve been an elf at Christmas, I’ve posed as a circus clown, I’ve worked in numerous offices, and more impressively I qualified as a nutritionist, and worked as a writer for a popular magazine for a while. Change is fun! I’ve also been so poor and thank my mum for taking me in on more than one occasion.
3. How has your music evolved in the last few years? What can we expect to hear from you now?
I began my career singing very energetic rock pop, mainly because that’s what the label wanted, I like that style of music, but I’m writing so much now and every song is a little different. I’ve been experimenting with soul/pop, bigger rock, and even a little easy listening/jazz. Now I write a bit of everything, depends on my mood.
The music still has that rock element, as there is nothing better than a stadium filler, but my melodies and lyrics have matured, well so I like to think.
4. Are you involved in all aspects of song writing, i.e. music, lyrics, production? Do you play any instruments?
Yes, I write all of my songs with a band member. I play a little piano, enough to get by and I’m a keen drummer. I will normally come up with a melody line, and then my guitarist will work around that, then it just seems to grow. Sometimes you try and it doesn’t happen, and another day you write a great song and that’s a great feeling.
5. What do you think of the U.K music scene at the moment? Is there anyone out there you’d love to tour alongside or duet with?
To be honest I think we’ve had some great female artists evolve in the last two or three years, Duffy, Amy, Leona, Adele, and some good bands, but I’m getting very bored with it at the moment. I think some of these A+R guys need to actually take their ear plugs out! I’m not a great fan of girl bands, but I must say The Saturdays and Girls aloud have really made a huge stand in the industry of late, and it’s because they look great and their songs are ridiculously catchy. I would love to tour with Bryan Adams, Aerosmith or Britney Spears, they aren’t British but it would be so awesome! I would like to duet with Lemar actually. (Is that how you spell his name)!
6. Where would be your ideal place to perform or shoot a music video?
I love hot, beautiful countries, but I would love to shoot another video in the centre of London. It’s a really exciting city, and my previous videos were shot in London.
I would also love to film in Palm Springs, and I would love to make a video in a really spooky wood with twisted trees and other spooky things!
7. If you were a judge on Britain’s Got Talent, what sort of acts would you most enjoy, or on the flipside buzz?
I would enjoy acts with talent and individuality. I can’t stand this DJ Talent rubbish, nothing against him, but seriously it’s not exactly awe inspiring, good on him for getting up there though. Some people can really sing and really dance and you can just tell they were born to do it. I’d love to judge on that show.
8. On your website you’ve said you feel compelled to share something about yourself each time you up-date, can you share some things with us?
Yes. Ok, I’ll share three things. Before Christmas my dad sadly passed away very suddenly. It was a really terrible time and I miss him so much, but in a way it’s spurred me on to write more, and believe in living while you can. I guess I’m beginning to see that everything happens for a reason. On a lighter note I have a really annoying inner ear thing, which means whenever I fly I get really dizzy! And thirdly I have a tortoise called Yoda!! I never said I was normal. Oh and I’m a qualified Boxercise Instructor. Sorry that was four!
9. If someone else out there has musical hopes and dreams, but doesn’t really know where to start and how to make them happen, what tips would you give?
You know what, it’s so hard to even get heard now, and in the last five years it’s all changed dramatically. My advice would be, do everything you can while you’re really young. Go to auditions; get involved in chorus parts, TV commercials. The best way in is to put together a good little show reel; singing, interviewing, anything that showcases your talents, and get yourself a London agent who can create a buzz for you. Once you’re getting involved in little commercials, shows, etc, you can find yourself a producer/writer/manager/entertainment Lawyer to work with, and then the hard work begins. I never had a show reel and I missed out on opportunities because of it.
10. Music.co.uk hopes that we hear some Maria Willson songs in the movies one day. How do you think this task compares with others you might face to get your voice heard (record deals, publishing, concerts, TV/advertising placement etc)
I’ve just got back from L.A and the main purpose of that trip was to meet with people who could help place my material and also to get a really good tan. .It’s equally as difficult, especially when you sign your publishing away to an unhelpful company, but there are tons of music placement companies in the states and although some take 50% of your earnings, you could keep them locked in a room, earn nothing and never get them heard. Record your songs to the highest standard you can and email them to companies. I think if you’re a slightly older artist, getting established as a writer could lead you into bigger and better things.
11. Do you have any favourite movie songs/soundtracks?
I will always love the whole Dirty Dancing soundtrack, and also films like Cry Baby, Bridget Jones, and of course Armageddon. They all have some killer tunes running through them.
12. Finally do you have a message for all our readers who will be hearing about you soon?
Hello music.co.uk readers. I hope your all well and enjoying the sun. Please take a listen to my songs at www.myspace.com/mariawillson and www.kitticouture.com, and if you like what you hear then please visit itunes and buy my Agent P album. Feel free to contact me through myspace, leave me a message on my forum or join my facebook page and have a chat.
Thank you and lots of love
Maria@ (Kitticouture music)