Since moving to London in his twenties, Will has worked as a percussionist with a wide variety of influential musicians, including Baaba Maal, Utada Hikaru, Roy Ayers, Alex Wilson, Sola Akingbola, Eliane Correa, Snowboy, Roberto Pla, Ernesto Simpson, Giovanni Hidalgo, Eliel Lazo, Edwin Sanz, Nathan Haines, Jamiroquai, Native Dancer, Archie Shepp, Ola Onabule and more.
He has worked on West End shows including Motown The Musical and The Lion King and as a session musician in many of London’s prestigious studios.
Will has performed in over thirty countries across six continents and taken lessons in Cuba, Brazil, Senegal and The USA with many of his favourite percussionists. Will regularly teaches and records from his home in Peckham, South-East London.
Recent home recording sessions include Sam Smith, Maisha, Skinshape, Nicky Brown.
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Each week we will be taking a dip into the crates and minds of some of the digging scenes most prolific collectors.
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What is is about vinyl that makes you dig it?
“I love all the memories that are attached to each record. The places I found them, the people I was with, even the weather that day. Then it’s memories of the friends who I’ve played them to over the years… I love being able to see the personnel on each record and make the connections between studios, players and sessions and imagine what it was like to be in the room. One of the great pleasures in life is is a strong coffee and several hours lost in a good record shop.”
Favourite record labels of all time?
“World Cicuit, Fania, Areito/Egrem, Motown, Salsoul, Souljazz, Blue Note”
7 inches, 10 inches or 12 inches?
“12 inches only. I have to set myself some boundaries, otherwise I’d quickly run out of space and money!”
What is one of your favourite pieces of sleeve art and why?
“This Clara Nuenez record. I love how it folds out and brings you in.”
Number 1 guilty pleasure record?
“Lionel Richie – Can’t Slow Down. So cheesy but Paulinho Da Costa’s multiple layers of percussion are what make it for me.”
Name one institution that change your life musically…
“A music shop (but more of an institution) called Adaptatrap Percussion in Brighton who sell instruments and music from around the world. I would go there most days as a teenager and the staff and customers would regularly introduce me to mind blowing new music. Toumani Diobate, Doudou Ndiaya Rose, Maracatu Esrela Brilhante, Olodum… are a few names that come to mind. “
Who is the person who knows your collection almost as well as you?
“Maurizio Ravalico, my friend, upstairs neighbour and wonderful percussionist. Maurizio has his own album and EP out on the Funkiwala label. Highly recommended.”
Where is your digging Mecca and why?
“I’ve enjoyed whole days searching and finding amazing records in the $3 bins in New York.
The Latin Jazz and Salsa that I love is still pretty inexpensive there. I’d love to visit some more shops across Latin America (Brazil especially) and West and East Africa.”
Weirdest most quirky record buying memory?
“Shopping in the market in Dakar, Senegal. Strangely, there was a small stash of Fania records at the back of a stall. Some great finds but sadly the sleeves around the records had been eaten away by rats and most were pretty scratched. I still took a few home.”