Many NSU students go on to achieve impressive accomplishments. Some become professional athletes, some start their own successful franchises and some go on to become decorated musicians. The ladder has recently been accomplished by NSU’s own, Kyle “Willyecho” Williams. On July 2, Williams competed on an NBC singing competition television show “Songland” and was crowned champion. While on the show, upcoming songwriters compete to have their songs chosen by a special guest artist to be the winner. The song is then released on the same night the show is aired. In Williams’ case, his song “Getting Started” was chosen by music artist, Aloe Blacc, to be featured in the new movie "Hobbs & Shaw,” a spin-off of the “Fast & Furious”franchise.
While a student at NSU, Williams studied the trumpet, among other aspects of music. He accreddits much of his success in his career to his time spent at NSU.
“There were many skills I picked up while attending NSU,” said Williams. “Some of those being melodic and harmonic theory, rhythmic values in jazz and just the overall experience of performing.”
Williams has no intention of coasting off the success he has found, but using it to further his journey.
“I am going to be doing the same thing I have been doing,” said Williams. “A majority of musicians and writers do not get opportunities like this their first week in music, I have been working my whole life for moments like this. I have had other successes in music, film and TV but none of this magnitude.”
The NSU Department of Music is very proud of Williams and his accomplishments.
“He has gone on to achieve success as a songwriter and vocalist, collaborating with some great artists.” said Dr. Jeff Wall, Department of Music chair. “I watched with the same enthusiasm as everyone else as he won ‘Songland’ on NBC. Kyle's success represents the multiple ways one can enter the music industry with music training and the NSU Department of Music is proud to have had a small part of his backstory.”
Others outside of NSU also have very pleasant and positive things to say about their experiences working with Williams.
“I’ve written with him once a few years ago,” said Lexi Lindsey, Nashville musician. “He’s very talented and a really great guy.”
Williams is not the only NSU alumnus to have success in television singing competitions. He is following a similar path as another NSU alumnus, Carrie Underwood. On the fourth season of the hit television show “American Idol”, Underwood competed against thousands of aspiring musicians and was crowned the champion at the seasons conclusion.
Williams believes that college is for more than just getting a degree and having fun, but a great time for students to discover and improve their passions.
“I would recommend using that time in college to perfect your craft,” said Williams. “Also, if you know it’s not your passion, don’t waste four or more years studying and paying the money.”
For more information, follow Williams on Twitter at @Willyecho or on Instagram at @Willyechomusic.