Not everyone can say they’ve released an album, but Will Herridge can.
The freshman advertising and public relations major from Abilene published his album to both Spotify and iTunes earlier this month, complete with seven original songs, after using a website that distributes music files to popular music-streaming sites. His style is, in his own words, “singer-songwriter stuff, like what you’d typically hear in a coffee house.”
According to Herridge, musical talent runs in his family. His mother was a vocal performance major at ACU, his father joined bands in high school – including a cover band for the iconic 80’s rock band Van Halen – and his sister can sing even better than him, he said. So it’s no surprise that he also picked up on the musical genes.
One of his songs is particularly special to both the ACU and Abilene communities – Herridge penned “Nerves (For Hudson Wade)” about 11-year-old Hudson Wade after he died from leukemia in February. Hudson’s father, Kirk, is the president of Abilene Christian Schools, and his mother, Laura, is a nursing instructor in the School of Nursing. The Wade family are close friends with the Herridges, so Hudson’s death hit very close to home and prompted Herridge to write about it.
“‘Nerves’ specifically came about with me needing to be blunt about what happened,” he said. “I needed to say exactly what was on my heart. I was at [Abilene Christian School] at the time and kind of the message they were giving off was, ‘Everything’s fine, everything’s okay, he’s happy, he’s out of pain,’ and I was just like, it’s okay to feel like crap about this. We just lie to ourselves with this plastic sense of security. Life’s sucks, there’s no getting around that, and that song came about for me needing to just say, ‘Newsflash: this sucks and that’s okay.'”
He was originally going to have Hudson’s siblings, Grant and Halle, sing on the track with him but schedule conflicts made it too difficult for the three to meet up and record the song, but it still turned out as a beautiful tribute.
Though he just got into the advertising and public relations field this week when classes began on Monday, Herridge plans to eventually merge his major and his passion for music to make a career, because half of the music business is public relations, like connecting with listeners through social media and promoting your own work, he said. But really, all he wants to do is make music, and he wants people to know that.
“This is the only thing I know how to do,” he said. “I have no other gifts or talents whatsoever, I just know music. I was pretty crap in school all throughout, and this is the only thing that makes me feel alive. I’ve been playing in hardcore bands for several years and that just – I don’t know, it made me feel like I could do something with myself.”
In addition to his digital album, he’s also going to have physical copies available soon, once the shipment comes in. But in the meantime, if you want to check out his sound, you can listen to his whole album online.
“If you have listened to the EP, thank you,” Will said, before adding, “and if you have not, please go listen to it.”