Posts Tagged ‘Will Van Dyke’

Sometimes the smallest action can alter an entire existence. That certainly has been the case in the creative life of singer/songwriter WILL VAN DYKE. An established musician in the theatrical world of New York City, VAN DYKE was looking for collaborators when an email from lyricist and playwright Jeff Talbott appeared in his inbox. Like Elton John finding Bernie Taupin at the right moment, these two paths crossing would launch a strong and lasting songwriting partnership that culminates in the release of VAN DYKE’s debut solo EP, THE MAYOR.

Billed as a collection of songs that combine personal stories with folklore-like fables, THE MAYOR accentuates the creative chemistry that VAN DYKE and Talbott have been building for the past eight years. From the first line of “You’ll Never Hear the Sound,” the story of a chance encounter that helps a man take control of his own destiny, you can feel the power of VAN DYKE as an artist finally lending his voice to his music.

In talking about the song VAN DYKE explains, “I really wanted to start the EP off with a musical journey as much as an emotional one. So, this song starts very acoustic, but gradually builds in the power-pop flare that this whole collection really embodies.” The songwriting duo knew the song was the perfect way to start the record off. “A sung story about a person finding the strength of their own voice is the ideal introduction for a singer/songwriter doing the exact same thing,” continues Talbott.

Talbott’s email was not the first such missive to change VAN DYKE’s creative career. Born in Atlanta, GA and moving to Boston around high school (with a very brief stop in Rochester, NY between), VAN DYKE was 18 when he moved to New York to attend NYU. He grew up studying classical piano, but loved theater as well as rock and roll, and was confused and unfocused upon his arrival in the city. “Being gay, and dealing with all the things that come with that, it was not until I got to New York that I realized how the things I loved could intersect,” says VAN DYKE. Then he wrote an email of his own that would change his whole life and help define the path he would take.

He reached out to established composer Andrew Lippa, who, through an internship, shepherded VAN DYKE into the theater industry and gave him the push he needed to start writing. At 22, he hit the road with the first National Tour of Wicked playing the piano. After a brief stint on a National Tour of Grease starring Taylor Hicks, he landed his first Broadway gig, The Addams Family. Jumping from The Addams Family to Rent led him to  Kinky Boots, where he was part of the music team with Cyndi Lauper. The relationships built on Kinky Boots led to the musical version of Pretty Woman and working with Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. Currently, VAN DYKE is the music supervisor of Little Shop of Horrors, for which he also served as orchestrator and arranger. He was nominated for a  Grammy® Award in 2020 for his work on the Little Shop of Horrors cast recording…

Quite an adventure that continues to unfold!

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