WiL performs at the Dinghy Dock Pub Saturday (Dec. 5) at 7 p.m.

WiL performs at the Dinghy Dock Pub Saturday (Dec. 5) at 7 p.m.

Songwriter chronicles life

NANAIMO - WiL performs at the Dinghy Dock Pub Dec. 5 at 7 p.m.

It’s been a volatile ride for singer-songwriter WiL.

He’s ascended to musical accolades, winning three Western Canadian Music Awards for his album Both Hands. He descended back to a new chapter, a place where he had to start over again, after being dropped from his record label in 2007 due to company downsizing. The situation didn’t stop the musician from travelling onwards and producing independent albums and touring the country.

His perseverance paid off after his song Roam was used in a Travel Alberta advertising campaign. The song also won the Diamond Award for Best Overall Entry at ITB Berlin.

In 2013, he decided to produce his own album.

In this album, WiL’s summed up the road so far. He named his new record El Paseo, which means The Ride in Spanish. The album was nominated for a Solo Roots Album of The Year award at the Western Canadian Music Awards.

Initially he lacked the money to create the recording. So his wife, also his manager, Caroline Lambert-Mimnaugh, started a crowd-funding campaign to raise $8,000. When the four-week campaign ended, people had donated nearly $11,000.

“I was totally blown away,” said WiL.

The experience made him realize the impact his work had on people and that fans cared about his music.

“The main reason I do it. I laughingly call myself a moving company, because you can move people with music,” said WiL.

Other artists also have a big impact on WiL’s music. He is continually listening to new artists. This helps him write songs.

“I’ve never had a problem with storytelling. I just have to come up with one short melody and a couple of words,” said WiL.

The singer-songwriter doesn’t restrict himself to any genre. Nor does he limit what kinds of instruments he adds to a track.

“Even in the process of cutting a record I look around and go ‘that’s a neat instrument’ and pick it up and go with it. I think that’s a great freedom as opposed to going with one specific genre of music,” he said.

For example, while he was sitting in his studio one day he decided to add cello playing in his song and decided he liked it.

He said the Dinghy Dock is a quieter, smaller venue that allows for a more intimate connection with the audience. His show is going to be “super dynamic.”

“The show goes from very quiet whispering and lilting things to a loud, passionate, aggressive performance and everything in between,” said WiL.

Lena Birtwistle, who performs under the name Emerald Specks, opens for WiL. The artist, who hails from Ladysmith, recently released her debut solo album, No Sound.

WiL performs with drummer Keith Gallant at the Dinghy Dock Pub Dec. 5, 7 p.m.

Tickets cost $23 in advance from Lucid, The Dog’s Ear, Desire Tattoo, the pub or www.ticketzone.com.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com