Wil Key is, in every sense, a truly complete musician. Songwriter, performer, producer, multi-instrumentalist - he successfully works in just about every aspect of the music industry. After years working with some of the very best in the biz, the veteran soul and R 'n' B singer's love and passion for music certainly hasn't diminished over time.
With regard to his role as both performer and producer, "I have as much enthusiasm for both," he says. "They're different jobs, but I love them both. I couldn't put one down and just do the other. Each one of them brings a certain, you know, satisfaction. With producing, I'd say the satisfaction there is taking something from nothing. You may have a lyric or you may have a very basic idea and taking that all the way to the finished product, that's the satisfaction. Performing is more instant. Whatever's in the moment - the audience like that song, you know it, you know it's a moment in time and it's instant and you know the satisfaction comes immediately."
As well as being a gifted songwriter and performer in his own rights and having produced and worked with a number of well-known musicians including Def Jam artists, Wil has also managed to obtain a number of university degrees in music as well. With this wide scope of musical knowledge, Wil agrees that while working on one particular project his vast skill set in other areas certainly benefit and complement his overall work. "It's fun to put on the songwriters hat first and just write the song and then put on the producers hat," he explains. "While I'm writing a song sometimes the producer's hat will just come on. I can hear what I want to do with the bass line or I can hear what I want to do with the chord progression and I'll switch hats. Yeah, I think it helps to be a producer and a songwriter. I think it helps the song writing process because I know what I can do, but I don't think they conflict with each other; I think they actually help each other."
With so many musical achievements over his career, some of which would surely be the envy of one or two of his contemporaries, I had to ask, is there one that stands out above all others? "I don't think I have one thing that I'm extra proud of. Actually, I feel like I'm just getting started. People see that list and they go 'Wow you've done a lot,' and I go 'No, no I'm just getting started!" he laughs.
The enthusiasm for his music is infectious and the good news is that the Kentucky native will be shortly making his first ever trip to Australia as part of the Scorcher Festival which will be running around the country from late March. "I am excited about that. This will be my first time to the country," he says.
The festival, whose Melbourne leg hits the Cornish Arms on April 3, will be hosting a huge variety of bands form all different genres. For these performances Wil is bringing down a special stripped back live show for his Australian audience. "Well this will be a scaled down set - this will be a chance to see my acoustic side," he promises. "I'm hoping to discover some different musical artists there, I'm exited to see what's going on with the music in Australia."
WIL KEY is touring Australia as part of the SCoRCHeR FeST, which will be hitting Meloburne when it lands at the Cornish Arms Hotel on Sunday April 3. See scorcherfest.com.au for more information.