Willy Washington (Vocals/Rec)

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“I want people to feel something from my music. That’s why I make music.” Sitting in
his East Village walk-up studio/apartment, chart topping hit maker/producer and
singer/songwriter Willy Washington is finishing his morning bowl of fruit with his cat
Marlo. (Whose name he borrowed as a nomme de plume for several of his biggest dance

Willy started playing the trumpet at the age of 4, piano at 6 and then became his church
organist at 15. “I learned early on that music was a way for people to release—to
experience emotions and identify their feelings.” Honing his instrumental skills in church
on Sundays and his dance sensibility in the local Gay nightclub scene on Fridays and
Saturdays, Washington observed that music was a way to move emotional mountains and
demolish cultural barriers.

“I remember the first time I walked into the Paradise Garage in New York. It blew my
mind—there were straight people, gay people, black people and white people all getting
down.” With that Washington was born again. He moved to NYC, graduating shortly
thereafter with a degree and the title of “Recording Engineer.”

He began to articulate what would become his signature blend of quirky “electro-soul
euro dance-pop” hanging out and learning dance music production from house legends
Kerri Chandler and Tony Humphries. “I wanted to be the Quincy Jones of dance music—
big strings, big horns big production on a small budget. I did the best I could with what I
had.” Washington’s brown eyes are starting to glow.

His first big dance hit “Trouble” was a happy accident, written with Joi Cardwell in 2
hours based on a drum track he had lying around his Brooklyn apartment. The song was
released on 8-Ball Records and became the biggest record the label ever released
garnering remixes from House icon Junior Vasquez, Deep Dish and many more.
Washington’s follow-up single “You got to pray” shot to #1 on the Billboard Dance
Charts and received international acclaim. A star was born.

“Ain’t no runnin’ away” Willy’s debut track for UK label Esterio Records was yet
another dance floor bombshell. It was licensed extensively leading to a six single run for
Esterio and establishing him as a Top Line writing Leviathan.

More important than the success of his tracks, Willy discovered that his greatest gift was
not his ability to simply write and produce world-class dance hits—his real talent was in
his ability to work with singers to draw out performances that even they didn’t know they
had in them.

What separates Willy Washington from the herd of great producers and writers is his
unique ability to separate his head from his soul and use the latter to drive his creative
process. “Most singers come into the studio with their thing—you know, their little vocal
tricks that everybody knows. I have a singer come in and I always tune in to one part of
their voice—a part they are not often aware that they have, and that is what I like to work
with.” He is emphasizing every other word with a solid rap of his knuckles on the table
like a conductor.

Willy’s proprietary approach to mining for creative diamonds extends to his Top Line
writing as well. “When I write Top Line I don’t listen to the track immediately. I take my
time and then I let the music speak to me. I go in to record, the mic is on and the first
thing that pops into my head when I hear the track is what goes down. That way my head
doesn’t get in the way.”

Washington’s track record as a world class hit maker makes him an obvious choice for
labels and artists looking for the next ass shaking feel good hit of the year, but it’s easy to
miss the finer point of his gift—the subtle secret to his success. At the center of every
artist is a motivation. Willy finds the soul of that motivation in a way that sets him apart
as a Master Craftsman. Pushing his empty bowl away and stretching out his arms, he
smiles matter-of-factly.

“I push singers, and I bring out things in singers that they never knew they had. I take
singers to places they’ve never been. I pull things out of singers that they never knew.