Michelle Willis plays the Jack London Review
Michelle Willis is a Canadian singer, songwriter and keyboard player based in New York City.
As a kid growing up, singing and playing was a way of communication; a pathway to self expression. “I grew up in the 90s, when the hits on the radio were women like Shawn Colvin, Lauryn Hill, Amanda Marshall, Jann Arden, Whitney Houston, Alanis Morissette, Janet Jackson and Sarah McLachlan. These women dominated my emo-brain. They said how they felt; their songs felt deep, harmonically and lyrically. Their music was a place where all my teenage emotion could live and be perfectly expressed. Around the same time, I was singing Brahms, Mozart and Bach in the choir I sang in with my family, so all that music was circling around in my brain.”
She later grew to learn the vocabulary of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s songwriters, a sound she has grown quite close to given her fixed position in two bands led by David Crosby. After studying jazz in college, she began taking inspiration from heavyweights Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Donny Hathaway, CSNY, Ray Charles, Paul Simon, Jimmy Webb and The Beatles.