Openly Gay Artist Will Sheridan Breaks Down His New EP 'LexIcon'
Brooklyn's Will Sheridan, who also goes by GIANT, is a jack of all trades when it comes to being a life-sized version of what the word "fabulous" really is.
The 33-year-old was originally a major college basketball player at Villanova University in 2003-2007 before shifting gears and immersing himself in the entertainment world. During these years, he came out publicly at the age of 26 after retiring from basketball, which eventually became a must-see interview on ESPN's Outside The Lines.
Music has been his focal area for several years now, where he has released two critically-acclaimed efforts: his first full-length album called G.I.A.N.T. back in 2012 and an EP called Ngoma in 2010. Both of which highlighted his beautiful lyricism, great beats and persona that matches who he is in real life.
Now he's back with his latest effort entitled LexIcon, which is a breath of fresh air in the boring world we live in today when it comes to what the music industry puts out. I spoke with Will exclusively about Lexicon, why he would love to work with Nicki Minaj, and so much more. Take a look.
What inspired you to get into the music industry in the first place?
I always loved to freestyle rap in my free time in college. I also have an undying passion for writing. When I first moved to NYC, I wrote for Source Magazine. While covering artists such as Kid Cudi, Wale and Drake, I thought to myself I can do this too. I never thought of getting into the music industry. I thought I want to make music that represented my journey and my narrative. Ten years later, here I am.
How would you describe your overall sound?
Eclectic, Energetic, based in Hip Hop with House influence.
Do you have anyone in your life that you consider to be your biggest musical role model?
I never had a role model beyond my mom. I’ve always felt like there’s no blue print for my success or happiness in my life. So, I’ve just followed my heart and did it.
Tell us about your EP LexIcon and how it came to be.
LexIcon is a result of me constantly asking DJ Lorant, my friend, tour DJ, producer and label exec for beats. He sent me mystic Data and I knew upon first listen that it was special. Then I asked him if we could revisit Fundamentals, a record from my first EP, NGOMA. He agreed to rework the song and I wrote all new lyrics with all new flows and it turned out to be amazing. Then we decided to package it with an eclectic group of remixes from some amazing producers and Boop- we had an EP. The title comes from my love for words and is a play on #GIANT being an Iconic word user.
Do you have a preference over which of the two songs you like more?
I love them all equally. “Do You Have Any” and “Mystic Data” are high level art!
Is this EP part of something bigger in the works?
All of my work, when looking back, is cohesive and fits together even the unofficial records that are SoundCloud exclusives. I’m was working on a full LP about the struggles on my life journey since late 2016 til now, but really wanted to put out something more fun and upbeat to showcase my rhyming talents while also reminding people that I’m chasing legendary iconic status. Right now, LexIcon is the most important project of my life because through adversity, I’m still here, still queer and still making next level music while getting better and perfecting my craft.
Picture you are on stage and a surprise guest comes out to perform with you. Who would it be and why? They can be dead or alive.
Hands down Nicki Minaj. Nicki Minaj is my favorite. She has so many different styles and hands the best female rapper of All Time! I wish She would sign me- I’d love to even be her hype man because I know all the words to all her songs and if we did a song together I know it would be larger than life, actually it would be #GIANT and that’s FACTS!
I really love Jay Z, Kanye, Beyoncé, Busta Rhymes, Lauryn Hill and Missy Elliott. I honestly wish queer rappers would collaborate more, but I’ve realized who I want to work with does not want to work with me for whatever reason. So I push forward.
What are your biggest hopes in your career?
I just want to tour. I’d love to have people really embrace my music and my brand. I really feel that when I pop through people will look back and discover all the musical gems I’ve cooked up and appreciate the artist I am.