By Kristi Kates
A small twist of fate, singer Will Readys press kit explains, is
what pulled the former 200 pound, 6-foot-4-inch basketball player from
the sports world and into the music world.
Now a dedicated musician, Ready is already on his fifth album - which
hell be celebrating at a release party at Traverse Citys Loading
Dock this Saturday -
and he has barely looked back at a basketball since.
I was playing for Dyersburg State near Memphis, Tennessee, when I
suffered a knee injury during a game, Ready explains. While
recovering, I had a lot of time to think, and reality set in. As a kid
growing up playing basketball, my dreams were to make it to the NBA.
But while I was in college, I got into a dance group - break dancing,
pop locking, all the old dances - and I was pretty good. I loved the
attention, the excitement that was generated from performing.
While convalescing, Ready decided that instead of pushing his knee any
further, he wanted to take his musical talents to another level.
I was always told I had a nice speaking voice, so I said hey, why
not try singing? he says, I never took a lesson, I was just very
determined. I started listening to my favorite singers, the hit songs
playing on the radio, the format they used to write them, and I began
But the first song Ready ever wrote - dubbed Elysa after his
girlfriend at the time - would have a rough time getting attention. No
one would give Ready a shot at performing live, because, he says, he
was a complete music biz newbie.
I had a lot to learn, and some lessons were more costly than others, he says.
ICONS AND TEAMWORK
Before too long, though, Readys persistence paid off. His dues, so to
speak, began to get paid, and he soon started recording his own tunes
and got opportunities to open for such acclaimed performers as The
Temptations and Chaka Khan.
Working with the legends is a blessing and an honor, Ready says.
The knowledge, the stories, their professionalism, the way they treat
people, and the love they truly have for their craft. When I listened
to some of the things that they had to go through, I knew I would
never complain or make excuses again.
Two musicians in particular inspire Ready most as songwriters - one a
Motown legend, the other a Midwestern New Jack Swing/R&B/pop producer.
There are two individuals that inspire me the most, Ready says,
Smokey Robinson, for all the hits he had at Motown, and Babyface. I
love their writing subjects, structure, and the class of performers
that they are.
Ready, who relies on his faith to help him through the tough times,
also says that in climbing his own musical ladder, hes learned the
importance of teamwork.
No one becomes a success on any level by oneself, he says.
Understanding that it is a business is something to take seriously
above all else. I learned that people will knock you when they think
youre down, and love you if you have any kind of success.
ROMANCE AND LOCALS
Readys current success includes that aforementioned fifth CD, which
hes titled Seduction and which carries a theme of romance (and that
chivalry is alive and well, Ready says.)
The music video for the albums title track was actually shot in
Traverse City, and included a plethora of local talent and support.
Locations for the video included a schooner on West Bay, the
bayfront, the Boardman River downtown, and the airport, Ready
Produced and directed by J. Mark Eiden and Megan Curtis of 45th
Parallel Productions of Traverse City, Traverse City/Los Angeles
cinematographer Duke Knight was also involved, along with local
We were supported by local businesses, Ready continues, including
Air Services, Inc., T.C. Carriage, and the Maritime Heritage Alliance.
And we used all locals in the video starting with the leading lady,
Meg Howard, plus extras including Brooke Bambusch and Justine Hock. We
had great support from a lot of people, so thanks to everyone who was
supportive and showed us love.
Ready is actually a big supporter of Michigan performers, and utilizes
his own Ready Music Group to offer music and video production,
marketing, and distribution in addition to publicizing his own musical
We feel that theres a lot of talent in the state of Michigan yet to
be discovered, he says, we know the climb wont be easy and it will
not happen overnight, but were determined to showcase the talent that
Michigan has to offer.
Including his own.
Will Readys new CD, Seduction, will be released in 2011, but can be
advance-purchased via download for $9.99 at
www.willready.com. Readys CD release event will take place on
Saturday, September 25 at 10 p.m. at The Loading Dock in Traverse
City, $5 cover, 21 and over only.