Putting ghosts to rest and turning the page — William Poyer’s Forgiven

You are a British artist, born in Wales, what drew you to the Americana style of music?

I’m not too sure, it certainly wasn’t a conscious decision to play this style of music. Americana music lends itself to landscapes and Wales isn’t short of them. There are some comparisons like, sparse spaces, a history of folk music and a large working class population. My parents also listened to the likes of America, The Eagles, Neil Young and Otis Redding when I was younger, so I’m sure I learned via osmosis.

Who are some of the artists you look up to within the Americana genre?

Ray Lamontagen, Jackson Browne, Shovels & Rope, Marcus King, Jason Isbel, Brandi Carlile. These songwriters who put the song first but also manage to make it sound interesting. That blend between melody, storytelling and intrigue.

How do you think the perception of UK based artists within the Americana genre has changed in recent years?

There seems to have been a genuine shift in appreciation of Americana musicians from outside of the US. UK artists are getting great opportunities and long may it continue. It’s great to see so many touring the US and getting the opportunity to showcase their music globally.

The time you spent living in Mexico really influenced your style. Can you tell us a little bit about that time, and the way it impacted you musically?

Sure. Mexico was amazing. I was there for three years and my life was built around music. I played for hours and hours every day and collaborated with some amazing artists. Mexico City in particular is a real melting pot, and I had friends from all over the world. We would write and record together and that was an amazing experience. Mexico also has a rich history of folk music and of course Mariachi music. So being surrounded by those rhythms and techniques certainly influenced my style over time.

Your time in Mexico was the main inspiration behind your debut album Born Lucky, what influenced your new EP Forgiven?

That’s right, Born Lucky was very much about that transition in my life. Forgiven is about Family. Growing up, becoming a husband and father and looking forward. Putting ghosts to rest and turning the page.

You’ve released two tracks from the upcoming EP; “The Eagle” and “Lightning,” what made you choose these tracks as an introduction point for fans to this EP?

I always felt like “The Eagle” should be the first single. I’m so proud of it and how it came out. It felt like a new style of songwriting for me and I was incredibly excited to share it. I was split between choosing “Lightning,” or another track from the EP as the second single, but “Lightning” had such a raucous energy I had to use it.

What track are you most looking forward to seeing the fans’ reactions to?

“Vincent’s Song.” It’s a song written for my son, and I don’t play it live very often. Sonically, It is very different to the rest of the record and I’m really excited to see people’s reaction to it.

Do you have a favorite track on the album?

At the moment “The Eagle” is my favourite track. I am enjoying playing it so much! I love the production of the track, and I love playing it live too. Whether I am playing it solo, stripped back or full band, it translates to any environment and I love seeing people’s reactions to it.

Forgiven was produced by Archie Sylvester of Ferris & Sylvester. What was it like working with Archie?

Great! Archie and I had a lot of fun in the studio but he really pushed me too. We worked hard and made sure we were doing the songs justice. Archie is a great motivator and his work ethic is second to none. He is appreciative that he gets to do this for a living and he doesn’t take that for granted. He has high expectations and that brought out the best in me. It was an amazing experience and I’d like to work with him again.

Who are some other producers, songwriters or fellow artists you would like to work with in the future?

I’m a huge Dave Cobb fan, I love his records! He works with the likes of Jason Isbell, Brent Cobb, Brandie Carlile, Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson. All of whom I love. I’d also like to work with Ethan Johns, he has made some of my favourite records for people like Ryan Adams and Ray LaMontagne. It would be amazing to feed off of some of his experiences.

And finally; other than the brand new EP, what can fans expect to see from you this year? Do you currently have any live shows or festival appearances booked?

Yes. We have a headline show March 17th at The Slaughtered Lamb in London. Followed by the 100 Club April 17th. Those are both full band shows and I’m about to release a bunch of solo gigs over the next few weeks, so definitely keep an eye out on my socials.

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