“Most of my songs are pretty abstract, and are not always based off of a full experience of mine. ” – @TheWilliamNight
December 2 1pm:
Episode #278 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax
GETTING TO KNOW WILLIAM NIGHT
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
My real name is William Preston Manuel…
I got William Night, because my sister’s initials are AM for April Manuel and mine PM for Preston Manuel, so PM and night kind of go together, and William Night was born.
I began playing drums and singing in church at a young age with my family…
We had a Gospel Group, and this lasted until I was probably twelve. So I had played and performed for years with them. I dove into rap music from sixth grade on into high school. I started writing premature songs, and parodies, that admittedly weren’t very good, however my spoken word and poetry was always good. I then transitioned to free styling and rapping in high school. I was a choir geek. I was in show choir, choir and musicals in High School, but did not really get to showcase myself until my senior year. I ended up writing a song about the unrequited love of a girl I use to think I loved in high school called Regardless of Her Name, which is on the second part of my EP set to be released Spring of 2016. I wrote the song, practiced, and performed it with two other guys in show choir in about a week before the show. After that I was not sure of the fine details, but I knew I wanted to write, sing, compose, and perform because it was the only thing I truly loved doing.
This particular song is about cheating. Most of my songs are pretty abstract, and are not always based off of a full experience of mine. A friend of mine had been cheated on by his girlfriend, and I was with a group of guys talking about it, and one guy was adamant he would kill his girlfriend and the guy she cheated with. I sort of tried to reason with him about it, but that’s otherwise. So I thought hey let me write a song about when someone cheated on me. So the song tells a story a made up in my head. This guy, me as William Night, gets cheated on, gets a gun, and threatens to kill his wife, who cheated on him. They get into a car, her at gun point, and he is debating whether or not to kill her. Before he can decide she grabs the wheel and the Cadillac they are driving, my favorite car brand by the way, crashes and she dies, but the guy does not. It a karma payback song. It is similar to the events of the music video of What Goes Around by Justin Timberlake.
I just released part one of my EP Live from the Second Floor…
Which is essentially a free album broken into two parts. I call it an EP because it is not a complete concept like an album, or a compilation, but instead it’s got a story, and a flow of ideas. Part one which is available on sound cloud for free and Spotify, focuses on my journey thus far in music. It is a little abstract until I tie it together with the spoken work on my outro. Along with my musical journey part one also tells the underlying story of my quest for finding music in love, and how I failed and got my heart broke leading me back to my room evaluating my life. The title of the EP plays into this because it’s Live from the Second Floor. Or live From the Second Floor of my home, where I have written and performed many times, and find myself back here again evaluating everything. My room is sort of the alpha and omega of my journey in music. The beginning and end. This leads into Part two of the Live from the Second Floor EP, which picks up after my genesis with music and love. Part two showcases the songs I wrote, most of which were about a girl, and tell the story of my love and eventual broken heart. The second part also ends with an outro similar to the first, which elaborates on how after writing and performing these songs in my room, I am ready to take the real life stage. I try to tell stories like this in every song. Its like a puzzle. You get a piece and you put it in, then get another and put it in. With each piece of my music however different, it broadens the picture, making it more vivid and beautiful each time. Its art. In its highest form expression, a piece of my life, my soul given to people. That is what is so magical about it all. And people can relate to what I say in the songs.
I was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee…
I have been here my whole life, and the music scene is pretty nice. Yes there is a ton of people trying to make it out here, so there is a lot to see and they are all pretty good! It’s funny because my parents are from Wytheville and Galax Virginia, and I still call that home, but they always said they moved to Nashville and now there is so much to do. Yet I and my friends growing up felt like there was nothing to do. One of my favorite thing though about Nashville is the food! There are so many amazing restaurants here! I love just going around eating! There’s so many awesome places. Also going to concerts is always great, and pretty easy to do because almost everyone comes here, but honestly if we are not talking music or food, the best thing to do is fish. I love fishing, it’s like yoga or meditation, but for a whole day. I love it.
I like the business. It provides lots of jobs. People say it is too competitive, and I understand that, but I also think it’s big enough for everyone to have a place if they actually work hard, and are good at what they do. People are just kind of lazy, and like to complain a lot. I don’t know if I am a fan of how digital everything is becoming with all the streaming services. I think that streaming may be the best alternative however to combat music piracy. It’s tough when you are paying for college, studio, equipment, and promo and making nothing in return so you have to have a job in order to pay for these expenses. That is the boat I am still in. However because I made these initial sacrifices and investments, and kept with it. I am now reaping some rewards, I mean, I made it on here right? It’s all about Persistence, Perseverance, and Patience for me.
I like social media because you can reach the entire world on the same playing field. I do not like it however because it is a little cramped, and fast paced at times. So it is more difficult to communicate and explain full meanings of things, especially for a very descriptive guy like me. However, I do think it is very beneficial. The real challenge is getting started with it, because the bigger you get the less you have to work on social media, you just keep gaining fans and likes all you got to do is post. If you are starting out though it is tough getting followers! But great people such as yourself help out with that! I had a small following from middle school and high school acquaintances, and help from my boy Anderson Chris, who is a killer country artist to check out, so I didn’t have too much issue gaining fans. It’s just about perseverance, persistence, and most important of all, patience.
Singles vs an album…
I love albums personally because I enjoy showcasing a full story, or full body of work. A single is like one episode of your favorite tv show, like one episode of Game of thrones, compared to a whole season. However talking marketing, Singles are much better and easier to market. I find it much easier to get people to listen to one song, rather than one album. It is hard to retain attention on an album compared to a single. Anybody can spare thirty seconds to four minutes to listen to a single for a bit. Not everyone wants to take thirty minutes plus to listen to an album. Social media and promo is fast, its I look for five seconds and if I do not like it I move to the next one. So you have to grab attention, and retain it. Our society in this digital age is very fast paced. So singles are naturally going to fit this society better.
I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
Dead or alive? There is truly too many people for me to list on this. Not even going to lie. However if I had to pick one, it would most likely be Emilia Clarke. I just think she seems like the most beautiful person of all time, and not just because she is gorgeous, and she has a heart fluttering accent; but because she seems like really good person. I mean have you seen her face, her eyebrows are beautiful! Most importantly however Good people are hard to fine, and every interview I have seen of her, her smile is day brightening, and it’s a rare thing these days seeing anyone smile, but especially a true smile from a celebrity. I would love to see if she is this beautiful all the time, and to just meet her and have a conversation. Like getting tea, or coffee. Yes I am essentially just revealing my celebrity crush. No I am not asking her to get tea or coffee. Unless of course she wanted to. Plus I was a fan way before she was voted world’s sexiest woman. Lol Honorable mentions of alive people though would be John Mayer, Eric Clapton, Drake, Natalie Dormer, Buddy Guy, George RR Martin, Ed Sheeran, and the President, or Vladimir Putin.
I live by my music. I do not try to be a particular genre. I relate myself a lot to people like Dave Mathews, Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, and the like. I do not fit a particular genre, in my opinion. I just write a song, and some are more country, some are more pop, some are hip hop. I let my own expression through my music speak for me. Too many artist try to be trendy, or current, and I think what’s current? What’s Trendy? At one time what is now trendy and current was underground, unloved and under appreciated. However if you are genuine, and the right person you can make yourself the trend, and current. Look at Ed Sheeran for example. He was making music for years, does not really have a genre per say, but stuck to his songs, and now he is what is Trendy and Current. So I don’t take it into consideration at all really. I simply just listen to myself, and my song, and the right thing comes out.
I am most afraid of…
Demons, and my family dying. I know it’s really weird and funny but I am a little superstitious. Fear stems from what we do not understand. I am not afraid of me dying, because I know where I am headed, and even if I am wrong, how bad can it be! However being on earth without my family or friends, I cannot fathom and understand it, although I have been to over 30 funerals in my lifetime that is still something I do not like the thought of. I would gladly give my life for any of my real friends and family.
My personal definition of success is..
Well I set goals that are small and work my way up the chain, and each of these goals I achieve is a success. My goals I set last November or December, I had said what is the minimum I can do with my music and die saying I was successful, I wanted to make Part one of my EP, which I achieved. I wanted to make money from my music, or get them on the radio, which I did. I wanted to be able to solo on guitar, which I learned just a year and three months ago, which I did. Lastly, I asked myself what venue could I have played and be content dying just having played there as my largest venue. I thought about it, there is a lot of venues in the world, and I decided on BB Kings Blues Bar, which I am playing December 20th. So I hate to say it, but even if I died December 21 of 2015, I would be a success in my mind. Sure it would be cool to win awards for my music, or have a platinum or gold record, and tour the world, but if I died before that, then I would have to say I was still a success.
My over all goal for my life & career is…
To be happy, and help as many people as possible. I do not want to work a nine to five, I just want to be able to make a living off my music, and help people. I would also love to get married to a phenomenal woman. That is it. Sure I would love to be a billionaire, and have multiple platinum plaques, and chill with models all day in my aquarium tank Jacuzzi, (they do make those by the way), but if I died never having any of those things as long as I was happy and was able to help people, than I would be good.
3 Ways that I challenge myself…
1) I set realistic goals that keep elevating every time I reach them, so I can define my success. This keeps me on track, and lets me define success. Because if you never define success for yourself, then how will you know you, “made it”. Everyone wants to, “Make it”, but they never defined what that is. So they are stuck in an abyss of never being happy, because you never defined success and what, “making it”, was.
2) Each day I just try to smile and help as many people as possible. It has been proven that if you smile you will actually be happy. So you can be happy through any situation. You can help others in any situation. Victor Frankl survived Nazi internment camps and said that laughter was one of the things that kept them alive. So if Viktor Frankl could laugh in a concentration camp, then you have no reason not to be happy and smile each day. I try to tell myself this all the time. I also try to help people no matter my situation. It’s not mine to judge or say things about another person’s situation, I am just here to smile, be a bright spot, and try to help them any way reasonably in my power.
3) I try to stop and recollect everything. I try to be extremely open hearted and open minded, which is not always easy. I always try to take the time to stop, and ask myself, was there better options, did I do the right thing. If someone does something I initially do not like, I try to put myself in their shoes, and not judge. I just generally try to be a better person by having the right mind, by contemplation, meditation, working out, yoga, and Praying to God and Jesus each day.
William Night is a singer/songwriter from Nashville, Tennessee. His unique sound, and style, integrates many different genres including: country, gospel, blues, bluegrass, R&B, hip-hop, pop, and rock. His passion for music started at the age of four playing drums with his family’s band. He also began singing in churches at a very early age, and moved to rapping with friends and free styling in school with hip hop, country, classic rock, and Motown being some of his other early inspirations. He now writes and performs his own songs, and plays guitar. William Night began songwriting as a way to cope with everyday life, and as an outlet of expression. In just over a year, his accomplished portfolio has grown to over two hundred songs, despite his young age.