Will Linley: More Than Your Average TikTok Artist


Photo from Will Linley’s website

Emma Dinnan

In September 2021, an artist from Capetown, South Africa Will Linley posted a TikTok that would grow to gain a total of 3 million views. This was the first of many viral TikToks Linley would come to post. This video in particular was promoting his first-ever single “miss me (when you’re gone),” and is what would come to put his name on the map. This single went No. 1 on the radio in South Africa and granted him gold status.

Following this single Linley released his first EP in 2022 titled kill all my feelings. On top of this, his most recent single “Last Call” has over 8 million streams on Spotify and went viral on Tik Tok with his teaser videos both having over 1 million views.

I recently had the chance to ask the new and upcoming artist some burning questions.

The young artist grew up singing with his brothers and studied classical singing throughout his high school years. But, his peers were what got him into making music of his own, “My friend Jess told me I should start writing songs, so I gave it a try!” Linley says. His music combines the sounds of artists such as Aiden Bisset, Zach Hood, and BANNERS, but he says his biggest musical inspiration is singer Jon Bellion, best known for his song “All Time Low.”

When creating music Linley says that his ideal environment is, “Working with people that have a zest and excitement for creating music. I love having a fun energy around people who genuinely want to create something awesome!”

Linley loves to make what has been called “happy-sad” music, also known as, upbeat songs about sad things. When working on his most recent single Linley says his idea behind the teen anthem was, “Trying to create a song that encapsulated the feelings of falling in love for the first time and everything that comes with it!”

This song covers the ups and downs of a teen romance. With lyrics such as “I got the feeling of you kissing me. Stuck in my head.” The hit walks through the story of a guy meeting a girl at a bar. From the guy’s point of view, he does not want the night to end, the two dance to ABBA and share a kiss. Then the lights turn back on and the last call begins, finally, the two must depart. He hopes to see her again and offers the words, “I’d let you break my heart. If I can see you. Can I see you again?”

The song went viral for its relatable lyrics and Linley truly speaks to the younger generation making a personal connection with his listeners. Personally, I love the production of the song, I think it is the perfect tune to drive down the highway and scream along to.

Linley says if he could say one thing to his younger self, it would be, “It will all be okay, just live in the moment and have fun asking questions.” Linley still has lots to come, he says, “I can’t say anything just yet, but I am writing a lot and hopefully I can get the music out as soon as possible.” Linley has been doing shows around the world, he toured Europe opening for Matthew Mole and opened for One Republic on their South African tour dates. He dreams one day of touring Japan. Soon, the artist will be coming to New York at Rockwood Music Hall on Feb. 23.

The young singer leaves one piece of advice for others trying to make it in the industry,

 “Just don’t stop writing music. Your best songs are ahead of you!”