Check out our interview with South Africa’s singer-songwriter Will Linley who just released his third single “i don’t wanna be yours.”

Will’s November 2021 debut single “miss me (when you’re gone)” has garnered 11.4M+ global streams, over a million YouTube views, 5M+ TikTok views, and has been used over 5K times on the platform. To date, Linley has earned over 12M global streams since his November debut and is quickly building his fanbase around the world.

Hailing from Cape Town, South Africa, 20-year-old South African songwriter and musician, Will Linley cannot remember a time in his life without music. He grew up singing as a hobby but never imagined that his passion could translate into a career. Once the pandemic hit, Will found himself stuck at home writing music as a way to feel less isolated. He soon found a global connection with fans thanks to TikTok and his raw, relatable and now radio hit lyrics.

Follow Will on IG @willlinleyy & TikTok @williamlinleymusic

Will Linley - i don't wanna be yours (Official Visualizer)

Hi Will, please tell us a little about you?

I am a singer-songwriter from Cape Town, South Africa.

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Energetic, interested, chaotic

We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?

I was introduced to one of my producers David Balshaw through a mutual friend and we just started hanging out a lot and making music. Then everything slowly started to snowball as we got more comfortable writing together.

How has this changed your life?

My life has changed dramatically since I committed to doing music last year. I was studying a degree that I did not enjoy at all, and now I’m playing shows and doing what I love and it’s just so life-giving.

Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?

I listened to a lot of Ed Sheeran growing up. I love his writing and the way he puts his words together. I also have loved listening to Jon Bellion and Chelsea Cutler.

Do you play any instrument?

I play the piano and guitar very averagely!

Do you ever get nervous?

I get soooo nervous! But it’s a good thing. The moment I don’t get nervous is the moment I’ve stopped caring about the craft and that’s when I will need to stop doing music. Nerves are a good thing!

Tell us your new single “i don’t wanna be yours?” What’s the story behind the song?

“i don’t wanna be yours” was the first song I ever wrote with David and Bubele. It was written almost 2 years ago and is about not wanting to get into a relationship with someone because you see it ending before it’s even begun.

What is the most rewarding part of your work?

I love the live shows. I love connecting with my fans and playing my songs for them.

What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?

It is valuable to make mistakes! That helps you learn and grow as an artist.

What advice would you give to your younger self and why?

Take the journey slow, and don’t rush into anything! I think there were points where I wanted to rush the journey and not trust the process and I always came off second best. It’s important to allow things to happen organically and not force something to happen sooner than it should.

How would your best friend describe you?

Chaotic, out-going, caring

What’s next for Will Linley in 2022?

Lots of live shows and more music coming soon!

What is your favorite healthy and cheat food?

Healthy food – smoothie bowl & cheat food – Pizza!

How would you explain your fashion style?

Confused, but with lots of potential haha

What is your own definition of happiness?

Spending quality time with my friends

If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?

I would love to meet Nelson Mandela. It’s hard to put into words what he means to so many South Africans. But what I can say is that what he represents as a leader and as a human is something I look up to every single day..

What would be the dream holiday, and who would you go with?

Any place by the beach with my friends and family. Or maybe Japan!

Best advice ever given?

“This too shall pass” Whether everything is going incredibly well or incredibly badly, this moment shall pass, so don’t get too invested in the present moment! Focus on building longevity rather than virality.

Do you support any charity?

My friend has this drive called Support a Saffa which started during the first Covid lockdown. That is an awesome initiative that I like to support.

Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?

Hopefully touring and playing my music for people around the world!

Favorite song? Why?

It always changes, but right now, Stupid Deep by Jon Bellion. I’m going through a lot right now and that song just hits home every single time.

What do you think of Social Media?

I don’t love it too much, but it does allow me to connect with my fans in different ways and that connection is so important to me because then we can chat and talk about lots of things together and so I guess I like that aspect of Social Media.

Where we can follow you?

On IG: @willlinleyy on TikTok: @williamlinleymusic

+ Favorites

Favorite Book: The emperor series is really dope!

Favorite Quote: What a time to be alive!

Favorite Movie: Notting Hill or About Time

Favorite TV Series: The Office

Favorite Food: Pizza

Favorite Travel Destination: Literally anywhere with a beach!

Favorite Sports Team: Arsenal Football Club



Photo Credit: Andi Elloway