By Wynn McDonald, Features Editor
Instead of heading to a morning class, Bellarmine senior Guy Williams performed an original song on WHAS-11’s Great Day Live morning show March 13.
For Williams, this level of local celebrity is nothing new. But for G-Willi, the talented rapper-singer-songwriter who recently released his first studio album, it meant much more.
“It felt more rewarding,” Williams said. “Last time, I was on the show for something—honestly for what a raccoon did… But for (it to be) my content, stuff that I came up with, it was really rewarding to see people are appreciating that on a scale of live television, in front of thousands of people.”
Three years ago, Williams became famous on campus as the “Raccoon Guy” after a video of a raccoon named Stanley stealing his phone went viral on Twitter. This resulted in a string of media appearances that included a stop by the Great Day Live set back in October 2016. What people may not know is that Williams has had a passion for music since long before then.
“I’ve been making music since I was a junior (in high school), like actually recording and making beats,” he said. “I didn’t start getting serious about it until college.”
When he’s not in the studio, Williams is busy pursuing a five-year master’s degree in communication. He’s also a member of Bellarmine’s track and field team, competing primarily in jump events and training year-round. Between these commitments, he found himself unable to record new music for over a year going into the fall 2018 semester.
“I would always tell myself, ‘It’s gonna come to me, I’m gonna make an album,’” Williams said. “I had like six songs written going into winter break, then I wrote four more over (the) break, and I just recorded them all. I was just in the studio every single day, hours and hours, just working on it, and it turned out well.”
The album, titled “Simmer Down,” is available for streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play and Amazon Unlimited. It features G-Willi’s unique style, blending rap and pop lyrics with a synthesized, slow-tempo sound.
“Honestly, I think I sing more than I rap,” he said, describing his music. “Right now, it’s just kind of like whatever sounds good I’m going with. I’m not in a box yet. But if I had to define it, I’d probably say ‘Pop-Hop’—like pop and hip hop.”
As for the TV appearance, he said he’s just glad to have the experience under his belt.
“I’ve had a lot of people telling me, like, ‘Hey, you did great,’ and people saying ‘I didn’t know you made music!’ who want to listen to it, because now the link’s going around on Facebook and stuff. So all of that, it’s just awareness,” said Williams.
The Bellarmine undergraduate experience for the “Raccoon Guy” may be coming to an end, but G-Willi is just getting started. He’s hoping that his live musical debut is just the first of many.
“I want to be here next year and look back at this album and think, ‘That was not very good,’” Williams said, “because I want to be that much better. That’s the goal.”