Name: William Sissons
Campaign: Gender Equality
Areas of specialism: Bass Guitar, Music Technology, Events
What made you apply to Change Creators: The XLR Collective? I wanted to challenge myself, confront the issues that I care about head on, and learn skills that will have a positive influence in my daily life.
What are you up to when you’re not campaign developing with Change Creators? I like to gig a lot, playing bass in several bands and at regular jam nights, while teaching on the side. I’m also a serial live music fan and sometimes put on my own events. I have a part time job at a small business selling edible cake toppers and I’m addicted to travelling and watching films.
What aspect of Change Creators are you most looking forward to? I’m looking forward to meeting really interesting people that challenge or re-enforce my own beliefs and learning practical skills that will help my professional development.
Favourite song? Impossible question, but Maggot Brain by Funkadelic always floors me every time I listen to it.
Favourite music genre? Also impossible to answer, but lately I’ve been listening to a lot of bands that straddle both Jazz and underground EDM (e.g. Thundercat, Comet Is Coming). I’m also a big fan of Neo-Soul, Folk and Mathrock.
An artist which inspires me is Hiatus Kaiyote because of several reasons. Firstly, their music is pushing boundaries with use of both technology and technical skill, while retaining the original ethos of jazz and soul music. The band have found a sound unlike any other and the rhythm section is incredibly tight and play off each other, which appeals to me as a bass player. Finally, the front-woman emanates individuality, originality and artistry.
Best live performance/event (either attended or performed at / and why?) I grew up listening to Heavy Metal, so as soon as I was old enough I started going to see Metal shows at big venues and stadiums. I always found a certain type of euphoric energy at Heavy Metal shows that I never quite got from other genres. The one band that stands out was Lamb Of God at Bristol’s O2 Academy in 2009. The energy in the room was palpable and they had the audience in the palm of their hands. It’s been a source of inspiration ever since.
Where do you see yourself / want to see yourself at the end of the programme? I see myself having more confidence in expressing my opinions and ideas in a constructive and inclusive manner. I’d also like to use the practical skills we develop from the programme to enable my other musical projects to flourish. My biggest ambition is to start a DIY label in the jazz/electronic scene, which thrives off collaboration and challenges the status quo!