With 25 years logged in, the singer is marking the achievement with his 16th album, “Silver.” While fans can expect “classic Will Downing,” EUR’s Lee Bailey discovered that new sounds will be present to round out the singer’s latest offering.
“This project basically is a combination of the three independent things that I’ve released over the year,” Downing admitted while alluding to his self-released “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” trilogy of four-song EPs. “I took songs from that and then recorded four other songs that are brand new. And then I took a live rehearsal, a very good sounding live rehearsal and put it on there. So I think you get the combination of some classic Will Downing and you get some brand, brand, brand new Will Downing.”
The arrival of “Silver” comes a quarter century since Downing arrived on the scene with his self-titled debut solo album. With “Silver,” the Brooklyn, NY native brings hand-picked selections from “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” Although die hard fans are familiar with the collection and its tune “One Step Closer,” Downing’s inclusion of the song opens a new avenue for those who may not have been aware of the song and trilogy’s initial release.
“They were collector’s items and just something to keep the name out there, let you know I’m still alive,” the entertainer stated. “I thought of releasing those when I didn’t sign the deal with my former label and I said ‘well, I gotta do something. I can’t just sit here.’ So we just started doing songs in increments. That [“One Step Closer”] was one of the songs and a lot of people didn’t get a chance to hear it. So it’s a brand new song.”
“One Step Closer” isn’t the only highlight on “Silver.” Downing’s lead single from the project, the up-tempo “Stuff That I Like,” has garnered a positive reaction among listeners as well as new place for the singer on radio.
“It sort of gave me the platform that I needed because radio is so accustomed to playing what I do in the late night hour. The quiet storm hour, if you want to use the phrase,” Downing shared. “This is probably the first opportunity in a long time where…I’m actually getting daytime play. It’s not ridiculously young. It’s not old school. So it’s right in my lane. It’s a little slight departure from what I normally do, but it’s still quality. It gave me an opportunity to sing and it’s still got a nice little beat to it. So it’s a combination of everything and it’s workin’ out.”
Known as much for his live shows as his duets, Downing decided to recreate that vibe with three live recorded rehearsals for “Silver.” As a result, the vocalist and his band made sure to go the extra mile towards injecting the same heart and quality into the recordings.
“As opposed to having let’s fake whatever happens, happens,’ I said ‘hey let’s do a rehearsal and we’ll record the rehearsal and we’ll make it real quality. But whatever happens, happens,” he said. “So we just took a performance of three songs that we all liked or loved and we went with it in a controlled atmosphere as opposed to the drunk person jumping up on the stage or the person that can’t sing in the background singing and you hearing it through my microphone.”
Will Downing’s “Silver” is available now in stores and on Amazon.com, CD Baby and iTunes.
Look for part 2 of this story later this week.