William Mimnaugh (stage name wiL) is a Canadian singer songwriter known for penning catchy roots inspired rock songs and delivering them live on stage with a dichotomous mixture of delicate beauty and fierce fiery vengeance. Although his first five albums stayed fairly true to a traditional roots rock format his sound of late has expanded to include a range of musical styles. “There was a time when I fought to try and stay within the parameters of the genre, says Mimnaugh, but I have felt a burning desire to simply make music that inspires me whether it be an acoustic folk style ballad or a synth driven pop song. The unifying thread will always be my voice but I refuse at this point in my career to make music for others. As the captain of my own ship, so to speak, I am simply able to write what I feel, regardless of any one ‘sound’. I want to be able to listen to any song I write in the future and say “yep, I wrote that and I’m damn proud I did.”
Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s in Calgary Alberta, Mimnaugh credits his penchant for diversity to his musical parents and to his father specifically for laying, at 13, a Yamaki acoustic under the Christmas tree; a gift that many would say has paid off in spades. One music review even states “while you were out partying this guy holed himself up in his room practicing… hands down, he is The Best, Acoustic. Guitar. Player. Ever”. No Joke.” Of course, wiL is the very first to maintain that is simply not true; but he will concede to possessing a very particular style cultivated through years of experience both on and off the road. As such he has earned himself the honour of sharing floorboards with a host of music heavyweights including Ray LaMontagne, Mavis Staples, Feist, Jann Arden and Bryan Adams to name just a few. But it isn’t just his guitar chops that he is known for. After releasing three studio albums, including his debut release ‘Both Hands’ which earned him four WCMA nods including Best Live Act, Mimnaugh spent a chunk of time honing his craft. His efforts would begin to pay off when, in 2011, his song ‘Roam’ was chosen to represent Travel Alberta’s award winning media campaign called ‘Remember to Breathe’. A combination of the campaign’s stunning imagery coupled with his inspiring lyrics and their delivery was a match made in heaven. The 3 minute Youtube video called ‘Alberta’ went viral upon release (currently 7 million views) affording him the opportunity to contribute a further six compositions to the award winning campaign.
Subsequently, the moderate success of his self produced album, 2014’s 'El Paseo’, an album which yielded two singles; the foot stomper, ‘A Whoo Hoo’ and the unequivocally fun ‘Make Make’ which made CBC’s list for best song of 2014, coupled with the fact that the entire record was funded by fans cemented his belief that he was on the right path.
And so, for the past three years, while juggling work as an agricultural fencer near his home on Vancouver Island, touring and keeping fit with a regime of Goju Riu karate and biking, countless hours have been spent writing and recording new music while releasing the occasional cover song; perhaps an homage to his early days and simply for the sheer joy of the process.