What motivates you to pursue your dreams? Is it the constant 9 to 5 cycle or the feeling that nothing is updated? Whatever anxiety you may feel, take a deep breath and remember the phrase “What does not kill you only makes you stronger”. Not only am I a living testimony and thrive by this ideology, others who are prominent figures in the industry swear by this lifestyle too. Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with one of the finest producers in the rap game and not to mention he is just as cool as a tall glass of sweet tea. Atlanta native Will-A-Fool can be found producing platinum hits for Future, K-Camp, Gucci Mane and other artist whose following is insane. Not only is he humble, funny, and spiritual, he is not afraid to admit that with all his success he has yet to reach his zenith.
Jarius Tommillson: Before we start this interview for TUC, I want to say that I am a big fan of your music and production skills. What was your first introduction to music?
Will-A-Fool: Thanks man and I appreciate the support! My grandmother introduced me to the piano at the age of 6 and I really did not like it. It was very boring during that time. I wanted to be a normal kid playing and having fun with my friends. It didn’t come natural and I had to work hard at it every day to perfect my craft. Growing up I was very active in my school orchestra and I grew to love the cello.
Jarius Tommillson: When did you realize that you made it as a producer and you was a force to be reckoned with in the rap industry?
Will-A-Fool: To be honest, I feel like I have not made it yet, but Tony Montana by Future opened a lot of doors for me as a producer. When I got the check for “Cut Her Off” by K-Camp I knew that it was real! That single is now overseas and K-Camp is touring promoting the song and his new EP.
Jarius Tommillson: Being a producer in the industry, how important is it to have your “own sound”?
Will-A-Fool: It’s very important because branding is essential for your survival as a producer. You have to separate from the trend because only 5 Rap albums come out a year and the competition is tough. What makes you different from the next producer? You have to create your own wave and the best way to do that is working with new artist and evolving their sound.
Jarius Tommillson: What is your publishing company and how long have you been operating it?
Will-A-Fool: My publishing company is called Will-A-Fool Muzik and its been operating for 6 years. Just like business it has its good and bad days. Overall I love it because I enjoy being in the studio with different artists and ability to create new experiences.
Jarius Tommillson: If the music industry was not your career, what do you think your career would be and why?
Will-A-Fool: If I had another career, I would be self employed. I don’t have to deal with the pressure of a boss and I have the freedom to do anything I want.
Jarius Tommillson: Speaking about being your own boss, what are your thoughts on this coming election?
Will-A-Fool: When the Republicans are in the White House, I make more money. Democrats are focused on social services and other programs that can help the community. Republicans are more strict and feel as though certain expenses should be handled by the people. If Hilary is elected, I feel like it would be another Clinton era.
Jarius Tommillson: Speaking about money, can you give me some clarity on how publishing deals work and why or maybe why they are not good to have?
Will-A-Fool: Publishing deals can get real tricky. For example, let’s say you get an 8 song deal for 150,000. You may get half the money up front and the publishing company owns half of your material. I was in a deal situation before and I remained independent. Its not the label job to make you famous its their job to make money and stay in business. Sometimes a label may give you money and offer no help. It is important just to make the right decision for what is best for your career.
Jarius Tommillson: What are some of your upcoming projects that we can look forward to hearing soon?
Will-A-Fool: I am working on Gucci Mane’s new album “WopTober” that will be released in October and I am working on projects with K-Camp, Riff Raff, Cap 1, Shy Glizzy, and Young Dolph.
Jarius Tommillson: How important is it to give back to the community?
Will-A-Fool: Its very important because I am a product of my environment and that is a reason why I go so hard. I know how it feels to go with out the necessities for life and knowledge is the way out of poverty. I want to open a center for kids where they can have a place to go instead of the streets. I give advice all the time to other producers but I advise in a way where I am not telling them what to do.
Even though Will-A-Fool is a monster from the production stand point, he is still a music artist with a great message. Check out his recent project, “Will Power” below. Not only did he produced most of the work, it was an overall good mixtape to listen too!