There are moments in an artist's journey that transcend the usual cadence of creation, moments that hold a mirror to the soul and refract back the multihued complexities of existence. My collaboration with Los Angeles-based singer and songwriter Wils, for his album "Don't Leave Too Soon," was such a defining moment. This transcontinental adventure was a symphony of contrasts, played out in the canvas of human experiences.
In the heart of this bustling city, we discovered our shared space in quiet, dimly lit corners—over bowls of protein-rich Chipotle, chilled Starbucks americanos, and under the convivial glow of casual pizza dinners. Shielded from the city's relentless distractions, we found ourselves gravitating towards introspective dialogues, ruminating on life, death, and the intricate choreography between beginnings and endings—the essence of his album.
His songs, brimming with unbridled emotion, articulated an intimate narrative. The crafting of the album enabled Wils to navigate his spiritual odyssey, transforming personal experiences into powerful echoes—his reflections on love, the grappling with a friend's sudden passing ("Have to Let You Go"), his celebrations of life and a courageous embrace of the dichotomy of existence ("Back to Life”).
Embarking on this album's creation led him on a profound exploration of his internal cosmos, a place where darkness and light dance an eternal tango—an echo to the voyage we all undertake. Wils wears his emotions in his songs, painting auditory masterpieces that resonate with the cadence of his heart. As I listened to the intricate weave of lyrics, tempo, and beats, I was struck by the invitation to fully embrace the ebb and flow of our emotions. The music challenged our obsession with feigned normalcy, beckoning instead towards a deeper understanding, one that acknowledges the interplay between beginnings and endings, while patiently allowing things to settle into their predestined places.
In our collaboration for the album art, I sought to mirror the sincerity that pulses through this album. At the threshold of his internal dichotomy, Wils peers into the depths of self-examination. The captured image echoes this moment poignantly, where light and darkness intersect, etching constellations in the shadows. A face materializes—perhaps a guardian, an inner child, or a celestial mirror, offering silent affirmation that even in our loneliest hours, we are not alone.
Life's symphony engulfs us—delicate petals swirling in a meticulous dance, the elegy of a departed life, or the testament to an intricate design woven into the essence of existence. It prompts contemplation—a reckoning with the dichotomy of life and death—a call to embrace the wisdom embedded deep within our experiences.
Every shadow harbors the promise of starlight, every silence a song waiting to be sung. In our solitude, we discover a comforting presence, one that looks out for us, protects, supports, and nudges us towards a reconciliation to the dichotomies of our existence. In a realm where seeing without sight becomes our guiding principle, faith, like a lighthouse, guides us home.
This album art, a homage to the profound odyssey that inspired the album, bears witness to the visceral and transformative resonance of Wils's music. It captures a serene interlude in his journey, beautifully mirroring the shared human experience of love, loss, celebration, and the courage to embrace it all.
Remember, even our darkest moments are studded with stars, if only we remember to look. 🌟
Rediscover the journey: Don't Leave Too Soon is available on Spotify.