Featured Image by Brad Heaton (at SoWhat! Fest in Texas)
This year’s Fashion Meets Music Festival, held in Columbus’ North Bank Park and McFearson Commons, kicked off Saturday with a variety of music from artists like BØRNS, Matt & Kim, Captiva, DJ Khaled and more.
Despite a decrease in attendance in comparison to last year’s festival, artists made the most of their performances and left everything on the stage.
Local musician Will Deely, backed by his recently developed backing band, took the iHeartRadio stage to perform a few songs off of his debut EP What Keeps You Warm. The songs took on a different light, showcasing Deely and his band’s ability to give a grittier and more energetic side of some of his acoustic ballads.
The Indie Sound had the opportunity to follow-up with the singer-songwriter after a conversation in February. Deely has recently been in the studio working on a full-length LP.
The Indie Sound: Going into the studio and recording those six songs … what was the process like?
Will Deely: It was really good. I didn’t really know what to expect just because we did a lot of creating things as we were recording and I was working with Nick Ingram and Oshie Bichar. I did two songs with Oshie and I learned a ton just about songwriting in general and basically how to put together a decent song. That was cool.
“We were anticipating finishing the album in those two weeks, but we just ended up wanting to slow down and really focus in on each song individually to make sure that they’re as good as they could possibly be.”
TIS: Would you say your songwriting process has changed a little bit?
WD: It’s still kind of like that, It’s just more focused. I’ll still make up the beginning of the song on my acoustic guitar in my bedroom, but instead of just writing something that’s permanently it and not changing it, I’ll write the verse then I’ll go sit around and listen to it again and try something else. What I’ve learned in the last six months, including that session, is just going back and revising. Listening to it [song] on different speakers, listening to it a day after you write it and having a different perspective … you get the best versions of things that way.
“I feel like it’s still the same passion in songs, but it’s chiseled a little differently so it can be where I want it to be.”
TIS: With that shift, I know you played with a full band on stage today and in the studio you’re going in with a full band … is that a shift for you from when you were playing solo?
WD: The guys in my band are great, they’re incredible players. I started off acoustic because I could do it by myself anytime I wanted and I still do, I still play acoustic all the time. The sound with the full band is a little bit more energized and it kind of expands on the sound I was previously doing … like the sound I was putting out on the EP last year.
“It brings in another side of my musical background. I really enjoy it because I feel like it covers more aspects of what I enjoy rather than just me playing the acoustic guitar.”
TIS: This is your second music festival … what do you love the most about playing these kinds of events?
WD: I love seeing all of the other great artists, and then it’s such a professional atmosphere. I’ve played shows in basements, I’ve played shows in bars, I’ve played shows where I’m doing sound and I’ve played shows where I’m just sitting on the couch. This is more next-level in terms of professionalism as far as the setup and all the acts are very big, established acts. The event is cool.
“I played early, and not everyone that’s going to come to the festival saw me today, but to bring the full band out, to play with really good sound, to play outside … now I just get to hang out and watch good music the rest of the day. It’s really fun, and I feel like I make a lot of new friends and fans at events like this.”
TIS: Do you ever get nervous before playing a show?
WD: I try not to overthink so much. I feel like I used to do that growing up playing shows, especially when I’m playing for other artists I’m like, “Ahh everything is such a big deal,” now I put that all behind me and I go, “well, all right here it goes.”
“If it’s bad, it’s bad. If it’s good, it’s good.”
TIS: Anyone else you’re aiming to see this weekend?
WD: I want to see Minus the Bear, if possible. Matt and Kim will be good … all the headliners are great. Like, DJ Khaled will be an experience and I’m really excited for Passion Pit. I haven’t seen Passion Pit before so I bet it’s going to be great. I’m excited for that.