The 20-year-old South African songwriter and musician Will Linley is making a big impact with his debut single ‘miss me (when you’re gone)’. The song has already reached 1.5 million streams and picked up 5 million views on TikTok, while extensive playlist support has included 5 international New Music Fridays at Spotify and 21 Today’s Hits at Apple Music.KFM DJ Darren Simpson has already described Will Linley as South Africa’s answer to Justin Bieber or The Kid LAROI.
Will Linley now introduces himself to UK audiences for the first time as he shares the official lyric video for ‘miss me (when you’re gone)’. Setting Will’s bright pop vocal to an immediately addictive melody, the song is both emotionally wrought and instantly memorable. No wonder, then, that the song’s teaser videos made such a big impact on TikTok and provided Will with a grassroots fanbase before he had even released an official single.
Will says, “‘miss me (when you’re gone)’ is a very personal song for me. I had met someone who I felt brought out the best part of me. The song is about me realising that I’m going to miss the person that I am when I am around her, when we can no longer be together.”
A growing audience is discovering Will’s charms, and connecting with his engaging blend of raw, universally relatable lyrics and direct pop hooks.
He adds, “I put my own feelings into my songs, but I know that so many of those feelings are universal and true for others. It’s my hope that listeners can find some form of connection with the lyrics. If someone feels seen or heard from listening to one of my songs, that’s incredible. For me, it’s about being open and honest and if I can impact someone’s life in a positive way that’s amazing. I think that’s the most beautiful gift that could come from all of this.”
Watch the lyric video for ‘miss me (when you’re gone)’ - BELOW:
A career in music was once a distant dream for the artist from Cape Town. Will grew up singing with his three brothers and his mum, and studied classical singing in high school. But after finishing high school, he didn’t imagine that his passion could translate into a career. Instead, chose a more traditional path and enrolled at university to study business.
Then the pandemic hit. Stuck at home during lockdown and feeling isolated, Will spent hours writing and recording music in his bedroom with his guitar. He uploaded a few songs to SoundCloud, just for fun, and thought nothing more of it. However, after being introduced to producer David Balshaw by a mutual friend, Will was inspired to believe that he could make something special from his music. Will worked with David and his production partner Bubele Booi (the pair collaborate under the name Noble) throughout the pandemic, both virtually and in David’s studio in Cape Town.
Although Will has found a growing global following via TikTok, he is particularly excited about the South African connections that he has made on this project, and he plans to continue to collaborate with Noble and the ‘miss me (when you’re gone)’ video director Abongwe Booi.
“A phrase commonly used amongst South Africans is ‘We’re stronger together’ and that is something I want to bring through in my music,” Will notes. “It’s exciting to have the place I call home on display through my art. After all, my story is a South African story.”
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