Slowly, but surely, Will Prince is becoming a royal name in the Hip-Hop monarchy. Although barely into his adult years, the 20-year-old Cumbria native is making noise [silent, screen-bound noise at that] in the industry with his undeniable talent for visual art.
He’s produced CD covers for the likes of Chase N. Cashe and Diggy Simmons, and designed the artwork for your favourite mixtape [and cover] of 2011, Asher Roth‘s Pabst & Jazz. That’s the prize so far.
“That’s definitely the trophy piece at the minute,” Will says. “Ash had seen my work before and I had been talking with Brain [Bangley] a little bit, through mutual friends I guess. Ash had seen the piece and hit me up asking if he could use it for the cover. Being a huge fan, I was honoured and it went from there.”
Modest? Yes. Talented? You betchurass. But like many success stories these days, those skills weren’t developed through some fancy education system; but Will’s raw talent.
“I’m not very knowledgeable when it comes to Photoshop and Illustrator, I know what I know and I do that,” he admits. But don’t be mistaken, Trill Prince is more than confident in his product. “I’d like to think my work is expressive, very loose and free. I see a lot of vectored Hip-Hop covers, I guess I differ because I’m actually drawing these pieces.”
Since forging strong connections with fellow designers, bloggers and musicians ["Kid Cudi used my illustration as his MySpace picture back in the day and hit me up... Cudder is a legend!" he rightfully boasts], Will has managed to breathe life into his artwork, so to speak, having warranted his own showcase at this year’s South By South West music festival in Austin, Texas.
“Corey [Kamenoff] hit me up about showcasing my work, I’d never even showcased my work in England let alone the United States. It’s pretty cool thinking the first time showing my work was half way across the world,” he reflects. “I made some great connections and it was cool to see people react to my work in person rather than on a social network. It was a big motivation.”
Motivation that drives him to bigger things and brighter lights. While securing College placement in the United States this September is top priority for the burgeoning artist, you can bet Will has some cool gigs in place for the near future. Travi$ Scott, World’s Fair and Tony Williams, in addition to existing clientele Asher Roth and Chase N. Cashe, are all in line for a slick visual piece, while New York City may have to prepare itself for a showcase of Will Prince art should his plans come to fruition.
It ain’t just the short-term in Will’s vision however – he’s setting his lofty ambition on sound, long-term goals, too. “Down the line I want to be an art director or freelance illustrator/graphic designer. I definitely won’t just stick to music,” he says. “I’ve already done some very erotic pop art pieces and I want to get into trying film, animated music video, that sort of stuff.”
With both the talent and attitude in place, Will is poised to succeed. Concluding that he’s “gotta work with Kanye one day,” don’t be surprised if his seemingly wild wish is realised. At which point, we’ll be referring to this artistic talent as Will King.
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