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Check Out Willow Crest’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Willow Crest.

Hi Willow, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
What was supposed to be causal writing meet-ups ended up becoming weekly songwriting therapy sessions towards each other, which would form the foundation of what the music of Willow Crest is all about. Having come out of a divorce for one and a long-term relationship for the other, we wanted to write songs rooted from the unconventional situations in relationships, which love puts us through. Not just the heartbreaks, but the moments in love where we must stand strong and support our self courage and moving further in the pursuit of happiness. We took a chance on each other, our music, and our vulnerability to one another. Willow Crest’s musical identity is a sonic landscape of the journey it takes to become the person you’ve always envisioned to be; courageous, brave, self-loving, and never afraid in embracing the flaws that make us human.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Having formed in April 2020; the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic, we had no idea that we would be in lockdown for the amount of time that we were in. We clearly remember asking ourselves if we just wanted to lock ourselves in and just write as much music as the lockdown would allow us to. Little did we know, we’re still dealing with the Pandemic and the hardship it has brought upon all musicians, especially Independent ones and not being able to accomplish as much as you would before the limitations were set in place. But, with desperation comes aspiration, and so we’ve teamed up with High Plateau Productions, which has allowed us to do live stream concerts via their platform, and through it, have made us feel somewhat normal during these uncertain times. We also released our single “Look At Me” in January 2021, and having to adapt to a 100% online marketing approach, has been both a challenging yet rewarding experience. We know that the Pandemic has permanently changed the way a lot of businesses operate, and it would be foolish to think that the indie music community would be exempt. We are definitely adapting with the times and hoping that this new wave of change will help us.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
We each have accomplished a lot with Iran being a film composer and Reina, a singer/songwriter. Willow Crest became an extension of us both. We love hearing songs stripped down to its rawest form so you can primarily hear all the lyrics and melody. Iran’s upbringing with classical guitar performance and inspiration from 60s & 70s Folk really are a recognizable palette within the intended Willow Crest sound. Reina’s attention to lyrics and songwriting structure helps create a storytelling that reflects what we both feel. Because of our prior involvement and comfort in song production, we like to be completely hands on every step of the way, from the initial songwriting session to production, and mixing/mastering, which is why we wanted to create a unique experience in 2021. Because of the pandemic, we feel music fans want to connect even more with the music they consume. Reina and I decided that since we have such a fondness in listening to other artists’ raw demos, we wanted to do just the same with our music. This is why we’ve started our Bandcamp Demo Initiative; where we write one song a week and choose our favorite to release at the 1st of every month. The catch is, each demo will only stay up for 30 days before it is replaced with the next month’s demo. We went with Bandcamp because out of all the music platforms out there, we feel they are the leading ones in supporting Artists and Songwriters when it comes to selling their music. The cool thing about the initiative is that for the fans that buy the demo, if the song becomes a produced single, everyone who bought it will automatically get it for free. We are extremely proud of how we’ve been able to interact with our listeners directly and to hear how the songs touch them in any small way.

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
Reina’s biggest piece of advice, no matter how cliche it might sound, is to “Be yourself- Everyone else is taken” and people love authentic music. When we write we draw from personal experience most which helps us share our story with the world through our artistry. Iran’s advice is to not turn away from your inspirations but to acknowledge them within your art. The present is a result of the past, and what we create is a combination from what inspired us in the past to make something out of nothing. As long as you stay true to yourselves, your intentions and don’t cave in to “what you must do in order to make it”, you will always have a story to tell. Something that we both wish we knew at the start of our careers is that “a closed mouth does not get fed”, and asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness but a sign of strength. Since we’ve allowed others to help us, it has created a strong, caring and like-minded team that now helps us achieve more than we thought possible.

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Image Credits:

Photos by Edward Hernandez and Kari Lawson

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