The Color Grey Interview

Claudia Crovato

10 May
Music

Interview: TheColorGrey Opens Up About Next Project, Festival Season and more

TheColorGrey, who goes by his given name Will Michiels (23), is a young and promising artist with more than one talent. Being an MC, a producer, making his own beats and writing his own songs is what he’s been doing from the beginning. The music he makes speaks to multiple generations and just like his fanbase, TheColorGrey is growing by experimenting with different music genres. We sat down with the Warner Music signed artist and had a long chat about his musical voyage, next projects, festival season and more.

You’ve just finished the ‘For What It’s Worth EP Release Tour’ – tell us, how was it?

Amazing! It’s actually the first time I’m playing with a full band and it feels much more dynamic. The band was giving me so much energy. I have to admit though, we were all a bit nervous at our first show in Antwerp. Eventually, it turned out well. We kept on getting better every show and I’m very pleased to say four out of five shows were completely sold out.

Did you have a favorite city, in particular, to perform in?

I’d have to say Amsterdam. The vibe is really different over there. People there are more likely to embrace your music because they’re a bit more open-minded. Leuven was definitely great too. It was the busiest show with close to 900 people showing up. To see that many people singing your songs, that’s insane.

Now that your tour is done and summer is in sight, which festivals are you looking forward to?

I’m really excited for Couleur Café. Last year I performed there already with the hip-hop collective Niveau4. I wonder how it’ll be like to perform there as a solo artist. Besides that, I’ll also be doing my very first festival in the Netherlands, Festival Mundial. I’d really love to play at Coachella one day, but for now, I only visit Coachella online… on YouTube. A man can dream though.

Considering your success lately, Coachella might come around sooner than you’d expect! You’ve been featured in international playlists. How does that feel?

I mean, I love receiving all these messages on my Facebook and Instagram from fans abroad. However, I’m not where I want to be yet. To me, this is just the very beginning. I want to keep on making new stuff and really reinvent myself. I’m only 23 so there’s a lot of time left for me to experiment with genres I haven’t covered before. There’s a lot more to learn for me to get better as an artist.

The Color Grey Interview
The Color Grey Interview

Speaking of which, what would TheColorGrey be doing right now if it weren’t making music?

I’d probably finish my studies or maybe I would’ve pushed harder to become a professional soccer player. I was studying Journalism at the time, finished my first semester and passed all my exams. But despite those great results I constantly had the feeling something was missing. Because I spent so much time in class, there was no time left to make music. One day I was like “fuck it” and I quit. I made a small EP, released a video and decided to see what would happen from there.

Well, you’ve definitely chosen the right path. The future is looking bright, so do you have any future plans or collabs you’d love to see happening?

Of course, it would be a dream to work with idols such as Kendrick Lamar or D’Angelo. But chances of that ever happening are rather low. There are some other artists, though, that I can reach more easily, so I’m trying to make that happen. I won’t tell you which ones yet because then I’ll just make a fool out of myself if my plans don’t work out.

We’ll be keeping our eyes open for that. So do you plan on working all summer or is there some time to relax?

I’d like to visit some nice cities in Europe, hopefully, get a change of air and some inspiration for the next project. So yes, I’ll continue on working. I’ve already started recording some demos with the band because we plan on playing some new songs during festival season. That way we can see if the audience likes it or not and take it from there. They will recognize the typical, smooth TheColorGrey-style, but soundwise there’s going to be a lot of stuff I’ve never done before.

And does that typical TheColorGrey-style reflect your own playlist? Tell us, what are you listening to right now?

Except for the latest J.Cole album, I don’t really check out new stuff that much. I’ve been listening to Prince and Led Zeppelin a lot. Also, I try not to restrict myself by only listening to hip-hop. I’d rather keep an open mind to different genres in order to improve my own music. I take elements from every genre and blend it with my own sound. Listening to old bands also inspires me for my next EP. I’d like to record everything with my band, using nothing but live instruments so I’m trying to figure out how other bands did that in the past.

Last but not least, since you’ve mentioned going back to the roots? What would your ideal sample material be?

To be honest, I have no idea. At this point, I don’t want to sample because, as I said, I’d like to record everything live with the band. Even if I had to choose a sample, it would be quite hard. There are so many good songs but the thing is – not every song has samplable material.

The Color Grey Interview
The Color Grey Interview

Check out TheColorGrey’s musical updates on SpotifyYouTube, Twitter, Instagram and SoundCloud.

Photo credits: Julia Dubois for Enfnts Terribles

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