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Wilson Good: Queer Indie Artist Bringing Memphis Soul to LA

Wilson Good, a queer indie artist from Memphis, uses their music to convey messages of self-acceptance and liberation. With roots deeply embedded in the Bluff City, Wilson’s journey in music and artistry is as inspiring as it is authentic.

A man with tattoos wearing a white shirt, blue cowboy hat, and headphones stands against a wall with graffiti, holding the hat and smiling. Wilson Good's name is tagged on the wall behind him, adding an extra layer of urban charm to the scene.

Early Beginnings and Passion for Art

Wilson Good, who uses they/he pronouns, was born and raised in Memphis. Their journey into the world of music and performance began at the age of five, with a role in “A Christmas Carol” at Theatre Memphis. Wilson’s early passion was fueled by their mother’s decision to enroll them in piano lessons, setting the stage for a lifelong dedication to music and performance. 

"Something about the spotlight and making crowds of people feel strong emotions really resonated with my young soul, so I knew back then that I wanted to do this forever."

Growing up, Wilson was influenced by pop icons like Britney Spears and Mariah Carey, finding solace and inspiration in their music.  

"As a young queer kid struggling with their identity, I found God in pop music."

This passion continued through high school, where Wilson performed original music at various local events and venues. 

"The writing continued, and I spent my fondest memories in high school performing original music at writer's nights, open mics, the Mid-South Fair, anywhere around the 901 that would give me an audience."

A shirtless person wearing camouflage pants and headphones poses dramatically in front of a metal fence, channeling the bold energy of Wilson Good.

The Inspiration Behind "Secrets"

Wilson’s latest song, “Secrets,” set to release on June 12th, is a synth-pop hit that was co-created with producer Noah Hernandez, a fellow Memphis native. The song embodies the themes of freedom, vulnerability, and radical self-acceptance. Wilson explains that the lyrics and melodies flowed naturally, representing a culmination of their lifelong journey toward authenticity and self-expression. Here’s what Wilson has to say about the song:

"The song represents freedom in vulnerability and authenticity. Ultimately, it's about liberation and radical self-acceptance, even if there are things you don't necessarily like about yourself."

A man wearing a flannel shirt, white tank top, and brown pants sits on a concrete ledge listening to headphones. Palm trees sway gently behind him as the sun casts long shadows on the chain-link fence. It’s a calm afternoon in Wilson Good Park.

Memphis Influence on Music and Style

Memphis has played a significant role in shaping Wilson’s musical style. Their early music was heavily influenced by the city’s rich R&B heritage, inspired by artists like Justin Timberlake and the legendary Stax Records. Wilson credits Memphis with instilling in them a sense of authenticity and determination, values that continue to influence their work even after moving to Los Angeles. 

"Memphis inherently lives in me. It gave me momentum to strive for what I want. Taking the history of the city into account, it taught me how to show up as my authentic self in every room I'm invited to, without ever compromising my ideals or self-respect."

Queer Identity and Artistic Expression

Wilson’s identity as a queer artist is central to their music. Growing up in a religious community where being “out” was challenging, Wilson turned to songwriting as a form of self-expression and liberation. Their music serves as a safe space for queer youth, offering representation and encouragement. 

"Queer stories are so important, especially in this day-and-age with legislation still attacking our beautiful communities. All I want is for my art to exist as a safe space for anyone who needs it."

Three people sit together on a bed; the shirtless person in the center holds a camcorder, while two others wearing blue ski masks cuddle beside him. A vintage tape recorder labeled "Secrets" is on the bed, reminiscent of Wilson Good's enigmatic recordings.

Collaboration with Kelechi

Wilson’s collaboration with queer LA artist Kelechi on the “Secrets” remix was a dream come true. The two artists had been mutual fans for years, and Kelechi’s contribution added new dimensions to the song.  The remix, accompanied by a music video shot in Burbank, captures the essence of their combined artistic talents and queer identity.

"It's so beautiful, y'all, his voice is stunning, and the runs and ad-lib flourishes he contributed truly take the song to new heights."

Upcoming Music Video for "Secrets"

The upcoming music video for “Secrets,” promises to be a visual feast. Wilson describes the video as a celebration of liberation, featuring scenes of them dancing in various settings, including a church and a skatepark. The video, directed and produced by Wilson, captures their authentic self and artistic vision.

Impact and Aspirations

Wilson sees their role in the Memphis and LA queer communities as a guardian of hearts and souls. Through their music, they aim to provide solace and understanding to those who feel alone or different. 

"Music is so important and has saved my life countless times that all I've ever wanted is to be that for someone else."

Looking ahead, Wilson has ambitious dreams of winning Grammys, performing at major festivals, and connecting with audiences worldwide. Despite their growing success in LA, Wilson remains deeply connected to Memphis, with plans for a major hometown show and continuous support for Memphis Pride events.

Wilson Good’s journey from Memphis to LA is a testament to the power of authenticity, resilience, and the enduring influence of one’s roots. As Wilson continues to grow as an artist, their music will undoubtedly inspire and uplift many, both within and beyond the queer community.

Listen to Wilson's music

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