Jun 12, 2017
Ushering in New Style, Innovating on Familiar Sounds
Born in Nashville, Tennessee to a doo-wop singing father, and a mother who played the likes of Minnie Riperton, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac and Whitney Houston, Spree Wilson earned an early and eclectic education in music. Spree has been cruising under the radar for years as a quadruple-threat - singer/songwriter/rapper/musician. However, lovers of breezy Hip Hop and R&B consistently look forward to Wilson’s soulful sonic blips.
While attending Clark Atlanta University, Spree Wilson met legendary producer and studio owner Dallas Austin. Austin, impressed with Wilson’s prowess on the guitar, offered the young musician a coveted internship at his music studio, Dart. His hard work and diligence turned into a recording contract offer from Austin. It would be thrilling to boast that Austin’s offer shot Wilson from novice musician to global superstar. However, Wilson ultimately declined the contract, opting instead to follow his own path to New York City.
But, New York has a way of carelessly manifesting its own plans for young artists.
Weathering a difficult transition (no doubt, an understatement), Wilson found himself sleeping in Penn Station before finally landing on a friend’s couch.
Eventually, a mutual friend connected Wilson to music producer and lyricist Q-Tip, and through that relationship, Wilson signed a contract with Jive Records in 2010. A short-lived victory, his contract ended when Jive folded before his debut could be released.
Rightfully disillusioned with record labels, Wilson forged his own path.
"When you do a lot of different things, it's just a harder road and you have to understand that," he shared with Billboard.
But in the long run, you'd rather do things [your] way because you'll be happier with yourself rather than taking the path that everyone else is on.
In the wake of personal and professional woes, Wilson decided to move once again, this time to Los Angeles, California. In LA, Wilson found inspiration in a familiar sound.
I just needed a break so my friend took me out to a club in L.A. and they had this Atlanta bass music playing.
Born from this inspiration in 2013, was “Life in Technicolor," an ode to (and innovation upon) 90s bass-heavy party music. The album propelled Wilson into minor controversy - a producer on Ciara’s single “Body Party” stole his production idea - but ultimately jumpstarted Wilson's career, earning the respect of his peers and mentors.
Through a publishing deal with Universal Music Group, Wilson has gone on to write songs for other artists, record his own music, and collaborate with artists in multiple genres. His largest collaboration to date has been with DJ and producer Afrojack. Their song, “Spark,” released in 2013, went on to be a hit. The video has over 36 million video views on Youtube to date.
Presently, Wilson is posed to re-introduce himself to the music world with his new single “Counterfeit.” Produced by frequent Frank Ocean producer Malay, “Counterfeit” continues to establish Spree’s signature mix of smooth Hip Hop, pop, and R&B. But it’s the “Addicted to Love”-inspired video that caused a wave of conversation when released earlier this year.
“... Where Mr. Palmer uses a white, European beauty standard, I decided to counter it with a strong cast of beautiful black women," Wilson told The FADER. “With 'Counterfeit,' I want to push the boundaries of society's current beauty standards by celebrating the beauty of dark skin without the hypersexualization."
Spree continues to broaden his musical horizons and with no word on an upcoming project, we anxiously await his next musical adventure.