Artists to Watch: William Beckett

The former frontman of rock band The Academy Is… never stopped making music, releasing three self-produced EPs and a full-length debut album since the band’s demise in October 2011. That’s dedication.

The quirky lyrics and catchy beats of Genuine & Counterfeit, William Beckett’s first full-length CD since leaving the band, have consistently made their way to my top-played songs since the album’s release on Equal Vision Records at the close of this past summer.

These carefully constructed releases brilliantly defy genre boundaries, blending 80s-esque synths with modern pop on some songs, while the guitar-heavy rock influence is prominent in others, ensuring there’s at least one song to get stuck in everyone’s heads. Lighter tunes like “By Your Side” and “Benny & Joon” are guaranteed pick-me-ups, whereas “One in the Same” and “Caught in the Middle” are more heart-wrenching “ballads” with a twist.

Maybe the most unique thing to note is William Beckett’s genuine appreciation of his dedicated fanbase, an admirable quality in artists these days. Beckett remains available to his fans through every form of social media, even engaging in online fan chatrooms and StageIt virtual concerts where you can pay as little as 10 cents per ticket to watch a stream of him performing live.

Fresh off his recent tour, William Beckett wasted no time in releasing a lyric video for his newest single “By Your Side” and planning his annual holiday concert in Chicago, complete with a “Movie & Mingle” session in place of your average meet and greet. Seriously. Listen for him this winter on the Pop Goes Christmas compilation album – you’ll be happy you did.

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