Eastbourne singer-songwriter Will Hopkins releases debut single
Meanwhile he is securing a place to pursue his studies. He has already got two places in the bag, including one at the prestigious Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Will, aged 18, is wanting to explore all his options before making his decision.
The one certainty is that he wants to follow his passion which, as he says, has always been to be a performer and singer.
Will started off his journey at Bede’s school prep and senior: “I joined the choir there and they said to me ‘You have got a good voice’ and I started having singing lessons.
“I got an agent and I got a recall for some West End shows. I haven’t got any parts for the West End yet, but I am almost glad that I haven’t because I might not have been able to take the steps to go for drama school. It’s a solid training that will last for the rest of your life.
“I started off just singing and I wanted to do classical singing when I first started, but I got into some musicals and realised that being on stage and holding an audience’s attention is challenging, but it is just the best feeling – better than anything. Nothing comes close to being on stage and trying to entertain.
“Being on stage, you are not you. You become a character and you embody that character. You spend months and months preparing for it, and once you are on stage you lose all sense of the person you were before you stepped on the stage – and you become someone completely else. You switch off and you lock into the flow. It is like an out-of-body experience.”
As for the debut single, Will wrote it himself: “It has just been listened to by BBC Intro. They have said that they like the sound of it. It is pop rock.
“My big influences are quite a bunch – Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Billy Joel and Stevie Wonder.
“It’s Sinatra’s story-telling that really does it for me. When you listen to a Frank Sinatra song, you don’t just listen.
“He invites you into his story and the world that he is trying to show you. And you can hear every single word. The diction is so clear. He is acting. He is performing. His voice is so smooth and soothing.
“For me, with Michael Jackson, it’s his stage presence. His being on stage is just the pinnacle of how to hold an audience.
“With Stevie Wonder, it is the musicality, the rhythm and also the message that he puts across. He has big religious ideas, and I am also a Christian. And they are lovely lyrics. He has got such a good positive message that he puts across.
“And Billy Joel… he has got his influences from Genesis-type rock and also folk, and with the ballads, it is all about the story which brings me into musical theatre. His songs have a full story. He takes you on a journey, just as musical theatre does.”
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