For some, music is something that is ingrained in them from an early age. For country singer Bobby Wills, he wouldn’t discover music was such a large part of him until age 20. Being reunited with his birth family would send him on a path towards music, stardom, and a lot of new songs to sing.
Wills was at the Boots and Hearts music festival, where he played the main stage and OrilliaMatters got a chance to talk about how Bobby Wills came to be where he is today in the music industry.
Wills recalls that it was a bet from his friends to sing at an open mic night in Australia that really ignited a passion for music. He performed Garth Brooks’s “The Dance” after accepting the bet. The crowd’s joy and events to come would seal Wills’s fate to pursue his passion for country music.
Country 105.3 featured Wills’s adoption journey on their web page, noting that he did not meet his birth family until age 20. Wills had attempted to find his birth family at age 18 and had joined an adoption registry to find them. Two years later, the registry contacted him, shocking him with the news that his birth mother had also registered and wanted to meet. Wills quickly agreed.
It was through meeting his birth family that he found out how deep his music roots grew, Wills told Country 105, “My dad was a huge country music fan, so that’s where I get my love of it from, but no one ever played music in my family when I was growing up. When I met my first two biological siblings and discovered we shared a talent for music, I thought, ‘That’s kinda cool—it must be a genetic connection’ but I didn’t think much else about it at the time.”
Shortly after this biological musical connection was discovered, Wills began to pursue music even more fervently, touring Canada and playing multiple open mics. During this tour, Wills’s biological mother contacted him to let him know she had tracked down his father. Wills quickly made plans to meet.
While touring in Toronto, Wills took time to meet with his dad, whom with he quickly bonded with over their love of music. Wills recalled, “The first night I was there, we sat up all night listening to records. We both shared an affinity for a great lyric, and it was then that I realized ‘This is real; this is in my blood. This isn’t just a crazy dream I had; this is part of who I am.’ It really crystallized for me then.”
As music tends to reflect an artist’s life story, it is no surprise that Wills took the time to put his adoption journey to music. The song “Ceilings and Floors” off his album If It Was That Easy is a passionate story of meeting his birth family and also meeting his children for the first time when they were born. Will reflects on the song saying, “I’ve wanted to write a song for my children, and I’ve wanted a song that spoke to the adoption thing for me, but I didn’t want it to be literal. I’ve always wanted to write about my experience, but it’s so deeply personal that I haven’t yet been successful at it. Somehow Mike and Walt struck the absolute right note with this song, and I knew I had to record it.”
He also notes the importance of the song’s impact stating, “I’m an Ambassador for the Adoption Council of Canada. It’s obviously very important to me. It is such a great organization that does such fantastic work for adopted kids. ”
Wills has been on the music scene for eight years now. He has found himself in the top 40, worked with some of the biggest names in music, and has become a well-known name in the country music industry. Yet, he likes to keep things simple and get back to the roots of what country used to be.
Wills sums up his journey of his musical identity by saying, “Today, my favorite place to be is behind a microphone, singing one of my songs. To be very candid, more than anything else I love it when it’s just me and my guitar I love that medium; it’s the purest. The songs get heard; they’re understood, and it’s easy to articulate. When you get those nights when a crowd is just in your hands, and they’re really into it, there’s nothing like that.”
Your first step in your search and reunion journey is to register in Adoption.com’s Reunion Registry.