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Songtrust Spotlight: Will Paquin

Will Paquin is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, and singer-songwriter based in Boston, MA. His sound is controlled chaos – unique and energetic guitar playing with classic folk vocal delivery via abstract lyrics. 


WHAT OR WHO INSPIRED YOU TO GET INTO MUSIC?

I’d say my dad has been the biggest factor in getting me into music. He was a guitar player himself, and I used to play drums for him back when I was around 8. It was that same time that I started playing guitar. It amazes me how something I’ve been doing for so long can continue to be exciting every day.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PHILOSOPHY AND STYLE AS AN ARTIST?

I wouldn’t say I have much of a philosophy. I am still pretty new to songwriting, so I am still figuring out what works for me. I think I'm definitely in the alternative/indie world, but want to start pivoting a little bit with the next few releases. I pretty much try to record what I hear in my head (usually with little success), but that's ok because it takes on a new life which is most of the time better than what I had planned.

WHAT DRIVES YOU TO CREATE, AND HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS FOR YOURSELF IN MUSIC?

During the time I've been writing songs, I can see a clear line of evolution in my sound, and I am always looking to push that line as much as I can. I see a future and sound for myself that I haven’t achieved yet, and that’s what drives me most. Having my first song be a success was awesome, but also a bit confusing because it set my personal bar so high. It is easy to get lost in chasing streams/views, but now I am just trying to make music I like. 

THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREER, WHO HAS HELPED YOU THE MOST WITH DEVELOPMENT AND SUPPORT?

My friend Kyle has been a mentor for me throughout this whole process. I went through some hard times and he was always there for support. I’m a pretty introverted person and being in school made me feel a bit isolated from the music world. My family and friends were there to help as well, but I could count on Kyle to empathize with and understand how I was feeling. 

SOMETIMES BEING IN THIS BUSINESS CAN BE OVERWHELMING. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR MAINTAINING PERSPECTIVE AND NOT SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF?

Still workin on it, lol. Definitely don't take my advice on this one.

THE WORLD IS SEEMINGLY AN OYSTER FOR SO MANY ARTISTS THESE DAYS IN THAT THE OPPORTUNITY TO GET YOUR MUSIC IN FRONT OF YOUR FANS AND THE COMMUNITY YOU'VE BUILT IS SO MUCH EASIER THAN DECADES AGO. WITH SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS POPPING UP LEFT AND RIGHT, A QUARANTINE THAT REINVIGORATED THE WORLD OF LIVE STREAMING, WHILE SLOWLY RETURNING TO IN-PERSON EVENTS, THE POSSIBILITIES CAN ALSO SEEM DAUNTING TO SOME CREATORS. HOW HAVE YOU LEVERAGED THE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR THE BENEFIT OF YOUR MUSIC, IF AT ALL, AND WHAT, IF ANYTHING, HAS CHANGED ABOUT THE WAY YOU APPROACH RELEASING NEW MUSIC?

I can thank social media for my entire career thus far. It is an excellent platform to make a name for yourself. It doesn't cost money and opens up so many doors if you use it correctly. I have personally found that following the common trends and doing covers is the least helpful in getting real fans. There is a place for the trends, but showing yourself and your own music is ultimately the most important thing to prioritize on social media. 

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR YOUNG MUSICIANS JUST STARTING THEIR CAREERS, BASED ON WHAT YOU’VE EXPERIENCED?

Just put your damn songs out there. Took me about 8 years to get the guts to start showing music to people. Super intimidating and scary at first, but it can lead to some crazy stuff if you believe in it. Fuck it even if you don't believe in it, just put it out anyway. I wasn’t gonna put out that original “chandelier” guitar video because I thought it was too weird and people wouldn’t like it. But I did, and now I have a whole ass career just because I made that decision. 

WHAT MOTTO, AFFIRMATION, OR QUOTE EMPOWERS, INSPIRES, OR MOTIVATES YOU?

“Just show up.” I know that’s lame but it's the best I got. 

FOR FUN, IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON AN ISLAND AND COULD ONLY HAVE (3) ITEMS WITH YOU, WHAT WOULD YOU BRING?

Some sort of tool kit with knives so I could make fun little statues. Probably a book and then a guitar obviously.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE COMING UP NEXT?

Playing a couple of shows in NYC, San Fran, and LA in the next few months. I have an album in the works and will hopefully be good to go by fall. 

WHAT HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH SONGTRUST BEEN LIKE SO FAR?

My time with Songtrust has been smooth sailing thus far. The world of publishing, licensing, and distribution can be a dark and scary place. But Songtrust has been very transparent and informative about what they do. 

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