Spree Wilson

Spree Wilson

BandR&BPop

Discovered by the one and only Q-Tip, Spree Wilson is proving to be a truly singular artist in his own right. Presented by Converse, his debut album The Never Ending Now is a voyage through genre and style that shows off Spree Wilson's many skills: singing, rapping, producing and the guitar. His follow-up EP, Life In Technicolor, will be released this spring and produced by The Flush. Inspired by youthful summers at the peak of Atlanta's bass music movement of the '90s, Life In Technicolor is si

Biography

He has the type of sound that makes even the most seasoned music purists struggle to cook meaningful words together to describe their ear’s experience. He has the type of look that makes audiences in venues all across the country scramble to put their finger on it. But Spree Wilson is used to being an anomaly. He, as well as his ever-increasing fanbase— ranging from alternative rock-influenced college kids, to Dead Prez’s M-1 and legendary director Spike Jonze— knows that his career is at the cusp of fame showering breakthrough that’s nothing short of unstoppable.

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Spree (born Joseph Young) was an only child raised in a single parent household. “My dad wasn’t a fixture in my house at all,” Spree says, adding that he and his father (who sang in a doo-wop group called The Blue Shirts) were and are friends till this day regardless of his absence. Spree’s love for music came early thanks to his mother, who kept artists like Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, Minnie Riperton, and Whitney Houston in constant rotation. By the age of six, Spree decided that he too wanted to become a musician. In high school he experimented with making beats on a Casio keyboard, before graduating to an MPC. Much of his motivation stemmed from the one record Spree says changed his life: Outkast’s platinum-selling 1998 otherworldly album Aquemini. “Everyone has that one record that changed his life,” Spree says. “I didn’t even know hip hop could sound like that. It gave me the courage to start musically blending, genre-wise.”

While attending Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia, Spree began to learn the ins and outs of the music industry, and wound up meeting one of his future music mentors, Dallas Austin. Impressed by Spree’s guitar skills, Dallas offered the multi-talented upstart an internship at his famous studio Dart, and later a recording contract, which Spree ended up turning down- “I had kind of exhausted all possibilities in Atlanta,” Spree says. “So I sold my car and I bought myself a one-way train ticket to New York City.”

With a peculiar and dynamic live show, it didn’t take long for Spree Wilson to become the talk of the town, eventually finding himself being covered by major pop publications like NME and VIBE, and making appearances on MTV. In 2010 he signed a recording contract with Jive Records, home to artists such as Miguel, Justin Timberlake, R. Kelly, Tool and Usher, and dropped his critically acclaimed mixtape The Never Ending Now (presented by Converse). He’s now back in the studio preparing for the release of his official debut album The Spark, which will feature production from the trio behind the sound of his favorite group and label-mates’ Outkast, Organized Noise. His concept for the record is simple. “I really believe wholeheartedly that this will be the record that—not to sound cliché— will spark everything off,” he says. “Like, gets me to where I see myself and where I know I’m supposed to be and where my path is headed.”