For Willis Earl Beal, an outsider bursting into the inside, the journey for him thus far has not exactly being an easy ride. From a tough upbringing (Willis still lives with his Grandmother), appearing on the US version of The X Factor (seriously!) and beginning to ride the surf of the internet wave, life is ever-changing.

On his site, a number is present, with the message stating that if you call he will sing a song. That’s what we did. Playing what sounded like on old soul classic, something that I could not recognize. After this we had a small chat.

From his releases, his artwork, you can tell that Willis Earl Beal is not your run of the mill artist. As seen in his first video, for debut single 'Evening’s Kisses' the singer/songwriter is quite eccentric, using hand-drawn pictures in his video. This eccentricity was present when we spoke to him. On answering, Willis said "yes." Things did lighten up, however.

Something which I found intriguing was the way in which he has promoted his music. Rather that playing endless amount of gigs, plugging away on the social network, he decided to give people the option to hear him in person. Willis told us that "I didn’t have any money, I didn’t have any friends, I didn’t know where the library was so I just used what I had, pretty much."

From these humble beginnings, as you’ve probably noticed, things picked up for Willis. Something which I describe as the “Lana Del Rey effect” happened, with the “bloggosphere” catching onto uploads on YouTube. This not only gave people awareness of his music but brought him to the attention of XL recordings, who later signed him onto their subsidiary label, Hot Charity Recordings. Willis himself, is not the fondest of the internet.

"The internet is like a disease man and because it’s so exciting that these things are happening to me, considering where I came from, I google myself on the internet and when people say something bad, it changes the way I feel about my art."

The affect personally, is something I feel that people involved on the internet, forget, when commenting upon a new artist, without the backing and support and I think something Willis highlights perfectly.

On his debut album, Acousmatic Sorcery, due for release on 2nd April, Willis states that "I finished that thing a long time ago, all it is is 11 songs which I recorded out of a bunch of songs, they’ve just mastered it." This sure should a breath of fresh air to the music industry, about the story of the boy who had nothing. His debut single 'Evening Kisses' is out now (full UK tour details here).

www.willisearlbeal.com