Sophomore releases new single ‘Vertigo’

Willis Gohman strives to expand music career

Elena Ortiz-Fishman

What is your background as a musician? 

My dad is a producer, so I have a bunch of instruments around my house. I started playing drums when I was  three and then I got into guitar a few years ago, songwriting and piano lessons for a few years. I play all the instruments on the song, but my background is just mostly drums.

What has been the inspiration behind your single “Vertigo?” 

I wanted to post more things on Spotify. I posted one in 2020, but that was on a different account and I was also a middle schooler, so it sounded very different. But, I wanted to come back to a fresh, new start with it since I have a bunch of songs archived that I already recorded. “Vertigo” is just one that I thought would be a good first song — I’m planning on making it an album. The lyrics in the song are about the constant struggle of circular motion in my life, getting up and then falling down over and over again. 

How does your songwriting process usually go? 

I have a notebook where I write all my lyrics, just endless notes of different little things throughout the day when I think of something. On guitar, I have a pretty good memory when it comes to that. If I know I’m not going to remember something, then I record it into the Voice Memos app on my phone. Otherwise, I have all these ideas and then when I need to make it, I just piece them together like a puzzle and find the lyrics and riffs that go together. I wrote (“Vertigo”) when I was lying in bed really late at night, and I already had the guitar and the bass line down — it sounded a little bit trippy. I had some lyrics that go with that, so I just wrote that down. Everyone kind of has their own thing,  I did my thing and I’ve been doing it for a long time. This is my passion — I’ve got to show that to the world and to the people.

Who has helped you throughout this process?

My brother produces for me afterwards, so I record everything and then he mixes and masters it, which means you adjust the volume levels of each track. He gives me creative feedback because he’s also probably even better than me. I have a bunch of stuff recorded and I’m trying to get more artwork from the guy that did the cover — my friend Hawkins Moore is really good at art and has this whole view on how to make it look, and I’m excited about that.

What are your goals going forward with your music?

The main thing will be playing live shows, because I want to be a musician as my job so that’s what I’m pushing for. Since I started off now, I want to eventually achieve 1,000 true fans, which means people that will eventually go to all the shows. That’ll take a long time to build up, but (I’m) starting the journey of just getting enough, so one-by-one adding them. Eventually I can make a living off of shows and stuff locally, because Minneapolis has a great local (music) scene. I’m just going to record as much as I can and get it produced. Then,  pitch it to all the Spotify algorithms and playlists and hopefully start playing live. I’m trying to do one song a month for now, release-wise. Keep your eyes open for the album, it’s probably coming out in the summer — just keep listening.