Avery Wilson Talks ‘Growing Up’ in the Music Industry, Clive Davis’ Tutelage
Name: Avery Wilson
Hometown: Hamden, CT
Notable mention(s): Former The Voice contestant; signing to Sean Garrett, and RCA via Clive Davis.
If you don't know who Avery Wilson is, you will. He may just seem like another young kid from Connecticut to some, but his go-getter persona and multi-range vocals should prove he's far from ordinary. In fact, the New England native is the first burgeoning talent Sony Music executive Clive Davis has taken under his wing in years. And if that name alone isn't ringing a bell, then just think about the artists he's developed over the years, you know, Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys, Aretha Franklin, TLC - you get the drift. But before making his way into the clandestine walls of Clive's office, Wilson stumbled into the studio with hit maker Sean Garrett, which happened after a then 16-year-old Avery took home a talent show title and was rewarded with a studio session with the songwriter/producer. And before that, Wilson sang for #TeamCeeLo on the set of NBC's The Voice earlier that year.
As a 20 year old from Connecticut, Avery isn't doing too bad, but he admits he had a lot of growing to do. And Garrett agreed.
After winning his 2012 talent show, Garret pulled Avery to the side and said, “There’re a lot of things that I want you to get better at. You have a lot of great attributes...as an artist, but you...gotta lose a little weight [and] you gotta get some people to talk to so you can get a fan base," says Wilson with a smirk on his face. "There were a lot of things that I thought I was ready for that I wasn’t, but [Sean] helped mold me and still is to this day."
With a mere four years under his [music industry] belt, and Sean Garrett as his manager, the Constitution State's curly-haired kid sits with a recording contract with RCA via Sony Music Entertainment and some of music's biggest songwriters and producers rooting for him to win. Slated to release his currently untitled debut album later this year, Avery Wilson sat down with The Boombox on an early Friday afternoon and reveled on industry experiences, specifically the growth he's endured through the process, and what life is like when Clive Davis is in your corner.
The Boombox: When you first sat in a room with Clive Davis were you freaking out, or were you able to hold yourself together?
Avery Wilson: Maybe on the outside I was cool, but on the inside I was like, What the hell! This is Clive Davis! When I walked into the room, I was like, This is really Clive Davis’ office. I never thought I would be in that room...with Clive Davis or Sean Garrett...I’m like, I’m really in the room with two of the greatest. That’s a moment that people just don’t get, and the fact that I got it at such a young age and I still have the opportunity to work with them while Clive is still alive and well and kicking and doing what he does - and Sean being at the top of his game - is just incredible to me.
Now that you have them on your team, what does your day-to-day or week-to-week process look as they help to develop you as an artist?
Honestly, the day-to-day is just making sure that I hit every aspect of what it is I do as an artist. I play keys; I play guitar; [I'm] in the studio working on records; me and Sean go to different events; and [I'm] just learning the different ropes of the industry. It’s always important to know exactly what you wanna be, but you have to know how to conduct yourself when you get to exactly where you wanna be.
You have a debut project on the way, and you’re releasing a lot of music in the process. Do you feel like you're where you need to be, and are you trying to tell a specific story with your debut album?
Absolutely! I feel I’m taking the time to get what I really feel out. I think a lot of people don’t know exactly how Avery Wilson feels, and I need that time. I’m growing; I’m changing; I’m getting better; I’m learning about myself, and I want to put that in the music. I want people to know exactly who Avery Wilson is when they hear my first album. You can only shoot one time, and I want to lay everybody out. I don’t want to just play and put one person down; I want to take [them] all out so everybody’s f-ckin’ with my music!
Since you said it, the question fans probably have is who is Avery Wilson?
Avery Wilson is … loving, edgy and spontaneous. I love love, and definitely want to give the realest feeling I can give on my records. I feel like a lot of people connect with me because of how they feel my emotion comes across. I don’t want that to die. When people first meet me or they hear my online, the only thing they really can connect with at the moment is my emotion, and I want that to be honest. When I talk about how I love and how I’ve been hurt and how I see my perspective on getting with a girl or how I see myself in the future or whatever it is that I wanna talk about, I want it to be real. I wanna talk about something. I don’t wanna just be putting out music, and people saying, “Oh yeah, he’s cool” - I want it to be some fire sh-t.
From The Voice to auditioning for Epic to joining RCA's roster, what’s been the hardest feat in your journey?
I think the hardest feat in my journey is me maturing and growing up through the process. When I started out … I was learning myself, and I think being thrown into the industry…it forces to grow up and it forces to you to learn yourself in many different ways – sometimes the hard way; sometimes the easy way – but for me, I’m just glad I got the opportunity to grow up. The hardest thing is changing to better yourself. I can’t wait for people to see the growth in who Avery Wilson is and who he was.
You're upcoming LP is said to really open fans up to who you are as a person and an artist. How long has this album been in the works?
I’ve been signed with Clive [Davis] for about almost two years now. I read something Michael Jackson said about the [recording] process. He said, “We’re never officially done. We just run out of time.” For me, one thing I learned working with [Sean and Clive] is that you work until the work is done. With [them], it’s the best or it’s nothing. It’s not about rushing to get something out. We’re in the kitchen cooking, and when we come out with this plate of food, which is music, I promise you’ll enjoy every bit of it.
Your dad got you into music when you were young, but you've made sure to dabble in so much more. Did your other interests emerge when you discovered music?
My dad always kept me around different things. I feel like when I wanted to start singing when I was younger, and my dad started to push me towards that, I was like, I already dance, so what else can do because I wanna be different and I wanna make sure I stand out from the rest when I [make it]. So I just started doing different things - trying the whole acting world and also doing the whole modeling thing. So I think it just came up pretty early and organic[ally]. I just wanted to be who I am: somebody that stands out.
If you had to choose one right – acting, modeling or singing – which one would it be and why?
To be honest, I would have to say it’s the singing. And not even just the singing, but more so being an artist and performing. That’s something I feel that people need. They need that energy. When I was really, really young, I remember being inspired seeing Michael Jackson get on stage, and seeing him light up the world. I remember seeing him in magazines and things like that, but it never was the same. I feel like there’s nothing like a live performance. I just saw Beyonce in concert, and to be quite honest, I don’t think I’ve ever felt a feeling or a presence like that. Seeing the band and hearing her vocals just blaring, I think it was a feeling that was uncontainable and nothing else can really give you that.