A new album from a band whose frontman says he has endured poverty and drug addiction on South London’s streets will be released in October.
London Country – the newest album by Wills & The Willing to be released on October 9 – has been called the defining album for frontman Ian Wills whose life story can scarcely be believed.
From biting poverty and abuse on the grimmest London council estates of the 1970s to the top-flight of British business, battles with politicians and his own demons, and finally to his much longed-for career as a writer and performer, Ian says he has had to fight for everything he has achieved.
The fact that ex-footballers Petr Cech, on drums, and Vinnie Jones, backing vocals, feature on the album is a minor event in the extraordinary journey of the lead singer.
Ian says he grew up in South London in the most impoverished circumstances imaginable – his dad was incredibly violent and gave out regular severe beatings and his mother was distant.
By the age of 13, Ian was a heroin addict and would inject straight into a vein in his ankle so his school socks would hide the evidence, resulting in damage to his legs which continues to this day.
He says he managed to kick the habit following an attempted suicide when he was just 15 years old.
But after living in the USA in the mid-1980s, he built a pharmaceutical company in Libya before forming Wills & The Willing in 2004, who have since released four albums.
The first single from the latest album, Iceberg, is already enjoying chart success and radio play across Europe and USA.
The new songs are layered with blends of Americana, Country and Folk with personal lyrics that Ian says reveal his vulnerabilities.
With the autumn release of his new album and second single, Ian will be taking The Willing on tour with him in the coming months to perform the new songs, with dates to be announced soon.
Ian Wills said: “There is always some part of me in the songs. “The good and bad come out in equal measures. I seem to never forget my failings only my victories as a poet and lyricist.
“That helps keep me searching and I do write most days always looking for an answer to a question yet to be asked.
“We all find ways to let light into others if we see that the dark is greater than the light.”
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