From the Franklin County Times:

02-18-04 Singing and sharing
Mike Prince
FCT Staff Writer

WACO — Motivated to inspire and encourage others through his music, Will Pearson said he discovered his sound of hope on the rolling hills of Franklin County.

And Pearson’s positive, spiritual message may soon make its way to a Shoals recording studio for his first album.

“I’m very optimistic that the album is going to be made soon,” said Pearson, 35, who lives on a 40-acre farm near Waco. “I’ve met with some established song writers who are interested in my music, and they want to help me make an album. We begin pre-production next week.

“We’ll select about 12 of my songs and put a demo album together,” he said. “We’ll use those recordings to hopefully sell a studio on the idea. I really believe it’s going to happen.”

Also a visual artist, Pearson said he began working seriously on his music three years ago.

“I took a five-year break from music,” said Pearson, who played in a band with his brother, Gary, for eight years. “When I started again, the songs just came to me. I’ve been working hard ever since, and it keeps getting easier.”

Pearson said his song “Waves” is being considered for the soundtrack of the movie “When I Find The Ocean.”

If funding is secured, shooting for the film will begin in April, according to the film’s producer, Tonya S. Holly. Holly, president of Cypress Moon Productions in Florence, said she plans to shoot most of the movie in Franklin County.

“A lot of exciting things are happening for me right now,” said Pearson, who is originally from Arkansas. “I truly believe that I’m in this area for a reason, and I want to share a positive message with every person that I can. Music is a good way for me to do that.”

During the writing process, Pearson said the lyrics to his songs usually follow the music.

“When I write a song, I just go to this place in my mind and something happens,” said Pearson, who has written 35 songs in the last year. “I don’t really know how it works. It just comes. The melody arrives, then the words.

“It usually takes me anywhere from 10 minutes to a week to write a song,” he said. “But lately, it’s been flowing really well. I’m very grateful.”

Pearson said most of the songs he writes are about being happy with yourself and life. He also said that nature and love are “huge” in his work.

“I feel closer to God when I’m in nature,” said Pearson, who said he enjoys hiking in nearby Bankhead National Forest. “There’s something incredibly beautiful about being in nature. That’s where it’s all at, I believe. It’s my thing, anyway.”

Pearson recently performed at Pilot House Restaurant in Tuscumbia, one of his first solo public performances.

“It went well,” he said, “and I hope to do much more, all over the area. At first, I experienced a little stage fright being up there by myself, but I got over it. Now, it’s a lot of fun to play in front of people. There’s a lot of energy in that.”

Pearson said there are similarities between painting pictures and writing music. In fact, he said similarities could be found in the processes used to make any type of art.

“I get lost in time,” he said. “I’ll be at it for a while and think that 10 minutes have passed, when in reality, three or four hours have gone by. It’s amazing. And I love it.”

Pearson said he couldn’t really put his music into any one category.

“It’s a combination of many things,” he said. “There are many influences in my music. It’s really hard to pinpoint. But it seems like a variety of people, young and old, are enjoying the sound. I’m happy about that.”

There’s a philosophical perspective in Pearson’s songs that he said many listeners appreciate.

“Part of the trick in life is to not let the demons in your mind get the best of you,” he said. “We make things the way we want them to be. Life is a big test.

“I don’t want to get too deep in my songs,” Pearson said, “but I think there’s a lot of hope in looking forward and reaching for more in life. All we have to do is believe in ourselves. We can make things better.”