From sneaking into bars at the age of 12 to play his songs, to sleeping in his car with crying babies as a young dad and touring musician, to living off of tip jar money, and Mickey D’s, to performing for 17,000, and placing his original songs in TV, and movies, Will has been living the ebb and flow life of a musician for two decades. Admitting, he’s quit the music business a million times, and every time concluding “you can’t quit who you are.”
Will began his love for music listening to his father playing blues records. “I remember hearing BB King’s The Thrill Is Gone, and as oxymoronic as it was, that song thoroughly thrilled me.” Will’s father recognized a growing love for music and bought Will his first guitar when he was 9, and from that time on Will was set on making himself a musician.
His first break came in the late 1990’s when he received heavy rotation on Clear Channel’s Y92.5 radio station in Sacramento, CA. It was at this same time that Will began touring the U.S. with his trio alternative blues band, “Will Derryberry Band.” Will admits, “It was a rollercoaster ride. We would play to audiences of ten one night, and a few thousand the next… this kind of ride shows you what you're made of- or not made of.”
After touring for 7 years, coincidently, Will was right in the middle of writing and recording songs for the album “Seven.” and received calls from a couple different music publishers, Imagem/Rescue Records was one of those calls. They expressed that they were fans and wanted to push Will’s songs for placement in TV and movies. They went on to help Will get his songs in multiple TV spots with NBC, and Warner Brothers, as well as movie placements. Within a few months Will’s music spread globally. “It’s mind blowing when you get an email from someone across the world and they just want you to know how much your music has impacted them.”
Partnering his faith with his music, Will has created a ministry called “Wells.” A missional endeavor to meet people where they’re at: the down-and-out , the rejected, as well as the successful, but lost soul. Will relates, “Throughout the Gospels, you find that Jesus hung out at wells. He was accused of hanging out with the wrong people in the wrong places. Finding Jesus at a party, hanging with a tax collector, or having a conversation with a Samaritan woman at a well where a Jewish man was not ought to be was what Jesus did.” Will continues, “In this self-focused culture we live in today Jesus shows us a beautiful alternative to the way we might live.” Be it at the local homeless shelter, bar, or showcase event, Will’s set on bringing light, and love to people.
Expressing that from the bar room preaching blues man Jimmy Johnson, to the influential global Hymns of U2, Will’s aim is living out the convergence of faith and music like these musicians- encapsulating a rock n roll revival of music and of the soul. “There’s a beautiful niche in the music world for my songs.” Will determined, “I’m intent on discovering all the folks who will fall in love with my songs of joy and lament, love and fear… and my hope is that they will all discover that we’re in this together and we’re not alone.”