Balancing high-intensity raps with considered spoken word, Willzee electrifies audiences with his fast flows and relentless social commentary. Willzee is part of a musical movement that brings his hometown Limerick to the top of the Irish rap scene, side by side with his pack members Dyrt, Frantic Ant!x, Size and MCB.
In collaboration with singer song-writer and producer delush, Willzee has released a powerful single “Dear Friend II”.
Willzee first collaborated with delush via the Berlin based label Welcome to the New World, where he starred as an actor in the “It’s Alright” music video. Appreciating his raw talent and energy, they signed him to the label. Willzee also channels his talents into spoken word and script writing. He won the 2019 Virgin Media Discovers Short Film Competition with his story of a young deaf Traveller boy’s love of his horse and the freedom he feels riding him unsaddled. This stands in stark contrast to the world he knows when he turns on his hearing aid, a world of toxic masculinity, bullies, and his deep insecurities with the people he loves, who see him as different, a poor “auld innocent boy”. The film premiered last weekend (February 29th 2020) at the Dublin International Film Festival.
His new video Dear Friend II, plots a different potential course for Limerick, but moreover, for communities in need of care all over the world. He urges us to “let the past be the past, but take it further.” The music is written and produced by his collaborator and fellow Welcome to the New World artist delush. The short film, directed by Dave O’Carroll, is a beautiful call to rise as a community from the shackles and pain of a difficult past.
The story of Willzee is the story of rising from adversity, struggle and hardship.
He grew up in a family divided and affected by alcoholism and domestic violence. In the travelling community, one is expected to harden oneself to endure such difficulties rather than seek help for them, and harden he did. He had to face losing both his father and his beloved mother as a child. He experienced losing a brother to accidental death, and yet another to one of the violence that once overshadowed Limerick. He waded through a tumultuous run of foster homes and was discriminated against for his traveller background before finding the family with whom he lives and calls his own today.
As a young man, Willzee was angry at the world. With a contempt for authority and an inner turmoil he found himself lost in drugs, crimes, and bad places. A series of moments shed light on another way to live. Willzee discovered music as a way to express his true self freely. He began to dream about turning everything that shaped him into something good that could help the next man or woman. He found rap and spoken word and film and immersed himself in it.
Inspired by the raw and expressive UK rappers such as Mic Righteous, with whom he just finished writing a track and by local artists in the Limerick scene, he set out to work to inspire others and shed light on the different sides of life, the harsher sides that one doesn’t see too often. Even or perhaps especially those sides can show us that despite anything we can be okay.