Rewind to 1988, CDs outsold vinyl for the first time while a little known singer from Brooklyn released a self-titled debut on Island Records called Will Downing. Fast-forward to 2013, CDs have taken a backseat to MP3s but that singer from Brooklyn has withstood the test of time. Today, Will Downing, the Grammy ® nominated reigning “Prince of Sophisticated Soul”, celebrates an incredible 25 years of recording excellence with his 16th album, “Silver”.
Silver is not a “Best of” or “Greatest Hits” collection. Silver is a personal invitation from Will Downing to his fans to jointly celebrate a quarter-century of giving his heart and soul through every song, concert and note. For loyalists that have been there from day one, it’s their Silver Anniversary.
Fittingly, Silver is a sweet combination of something “old”, something “new” and something “borrowed” – nothing “blue.” Starting with the “new,” this collection includes four fresh tracks, written by Downing and Chris “Big Dog” Davis with additional contributions from Tony Tolbert (Prof-T from LoKey?) and Gary Taylor (Anita Baker, The Whispers).
The lead single, “Stuff That I Like” – full of fun and flirty food metaphors and a beat that Steppers will find irresistible – has already been serviced to radio to great support and reviews. “What Would You Do?” rides a bouncy Caribbean feel to ask a pretty heavy question: “If you knew today was your last day…what would you do with it?” “You Were Meant Just For Me” is a sizzling duet of undeniably powerful musical chemistry with rising star Avery Sunshine, lamenting the mutual discov- ery of a perfect partner at a not so perfect time. “Never Find Another Love” has Downing singing through the footsteps of a man whose inner struggles force him to walk painfully yet mercifully away from an otherwise perfect relationship. Unlike 1988, songs these days rarely come from such emotional places…
Something “borrowed” comes from Downing’s self-released trilogy of 4-song EPs Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Today’s challenge for classic artists releasing albums independently is employing a marketing and distribution strategy that keeps your message and product in front of fans. Will hand-picked seven of those songs for Silver including “The Michael Baisden Show” – driven hit “One Step Closer” and “The Blessing” – voted Song of the Year in the Soul Tracks 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards.
Something “old” (i.e. classic) on Silver is an exclusive “live” rehearsal recording of Will and his band performing a medley of his cover classic hits “I Go Crazy” / “Wishing on a Star” / “I Try”. Capriciously offering up playful banter and hidden flubs on this one, Will still audibly derives great pleasure from his craft.
Dreams have been fulfilled…so Happy Silver Anniversary to the “Prince of Sophisticated Soul” ““ WILL DOWNING!
Check out Will’s new radio single – “Stuff That I Like!” http://snd.sc/Wc7ejd