We’ve been hooked on Erick Willis since we came across his 2014 album, “Please”. We were captivated by his vibrant voice, and originality. Between the radio success and the industry recognition, he had a great 2015, and is now looking to make the next step with the release of his 8 track album, “Flood Gate”. We see a lot of growth between the previous record and this one and are excited for what this year will hold for the North Texas native!
We had the opportunity to chat with this rising star about his new album, and what he has on the horizon and here’s what he had to say:
Texas Music Pickers: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Erick Willis: I was born in Wichita Falls, TX and raised in Henrietta. Music has played a big role from a young age. From vocal lessons and church solos, to opry shows and talent competitions; music has always been there.
TMP: Who would you describe as musical influences?
EW: It ranges from Fleetwood Mac to ACDC, and George Jones to Sam Cooke.
TMP: Your records are certainty packed with originality and versatility. How would you describe your style of music?
EW: I like to think of it as ‘Easy Listening’. It’s difficult to throw it into a hard category, so I let people call it what they will, as long as they enjoy it.
TMP: Tell us about the new album, “Flood Gate”.
EW: This new project is 8 original songs written by myself and fellow Henrietta native, Ben Atkins. Recorded in Austin, TX by Patrick Herzfeld, it features Eric Martin on Bass, Randy Burch on Drums, Matt Hubbard on Keys, and Haley Cole on Harmonies, as well as a duet on the album. The songs range from old school rockers (Flood Gate) to the blues (Julianne), to gospel influenced folk (Before Too Long).
TMP: I don’t think anyone had any questions about your vocal ability after the first album, so besides vocals, in what areas do you think you’ve grown the most of since your debut effort?
EW: I definitely think the songwriting has grown over the past few years, and on this project specifically with the help of Ben Atkins.
TMP: If you had to pick just one song from the album, which song are you the most proud of?
EW: It’s pretty hard to narrow it down, but I think my favorite on the record is the duet with Haley, ‘Before Too Long’
TMP: I keep coming back to “I Can’t Stop” when I play the record. Can you give me some background on that song?
EW: It wouldn’t be a complete Erick Willis record without a love song.hahaha. This song was an attempt to have a fresh take on that idea.
TMP: Do you have plans to release a lead single from the record yet?
EW: The title track ‘Flood Gate’ went out to radio February 1st.
TMP: What do you have planned for the album release tour?
EW: We have CD release shows booked all through the month of February at some of our more popular markets including, Wichita Falls, Fort Worth, Dallas, Stephenville, San Angelo, and Lubbock. A full list can be found at www.erickwillismusic.com
TMP: Last year, was a big year for you. What was your most memorable moment of 2015 for you?
EW: With the release of the first full length album, there were lots of “firsts” throughout the year. To wrap up the year, we did an early CD release for our hometown on Christmas night 2015 and sold out the Iron Horse Pub; a first for me since I started playing that room over 7 years ago.
TMP: What is your favorite thing to eat while out on the road?
EW: I’m definitely a sucker for convenient store snack and candy and good Mexican food always hits the spot.
TMP: How can your fans keep up with you guys?
EW: You can follow the band on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to keep up with us on the road!
TMP: What is on the horizon for Erick Willis?
EW: 2016 is already jam-packed with shows and lots of promotion for the new record. We’re shooting a music video in the spring and also have plans for a broke down EP later in the year!
Love and War (CD RELEASE)
Iron Horse Pub (CD RELEASE)
w/ Matthew Mcneal
Wichita Falls, TX
Magnolia Motor Lounge (CD RELEASE) w/ Matthew Mcneal
Fort Worth, TX
City Limits (CD RELEASE)
w/ Red Shahan and Grady Spencer
Blaine’s Pub (CD RELEASE)
San Angelo, TX
Bluelight Live (CD RELEASE)
For more info on Erick Willis:
Music addict, a sucker for heartbreak songs, and avid Houston sports fan! I’am also the Editor-in-Chief of Texas Music Pickers.