Armed with a smooth baritone, music business degree from Nashville’s Belmont University, and a publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music, William Beckmann will be releasing his new EP, Faded Memories, on April 29. The bilingual border town native from Del Rio, Texas, seamlessly blends the sounds of Texas country and Norteño music on the six-song offering. Produced by Oran Thornton (Angaleena Presley, Logan Brill), Faded Memories will feature previously released tracks “In the Dark” and “Bourbon Whiskey,” as well as the brand-new single, “Follow,” which William is premiering today (below).
William has some big shoes to fill following in the musical footsteps of his Del Rio, Texas, predecessor Radney Foster. But with Radney’s mentorship—not to mention Randy Rogers’ guidance—26-year-old William is well on his way.
Outsider caught up to William to ask him 5 Questions about his Texas roots, upcoming EP, new single, and more.
1. Del Rio, Texas, is a true border town. What were some of your early musical influences?
William Beckmann: I remember listening to the radio, and most of the stations in Del Rio were Spanish stations. And there were a couple different radio stations in English. But mariachi and Mexican music, specifically, had a huge impact on me when I was growing up, as well as country and a lot of George Strait and what I consider “prime” country from the ’80s and early ’90s. So it was a combination between those two genres of music that really helped me define my musical palette.
And, of course, Radney Foster has been a longtime mentor of mine. He’s a fellow Del Rioian and he’s the guy that really got me into songwriting. So between listening to the radio when I was growing up, and having an incredible songwriting teacher like Radney, I was able to sort of learn how to put my own spin on it.
2. What kind of mentorship has Radney provided over the years?
William Beckmann: Yeah, it started when I was in high school. I think he was visiting Del Rio for something, or doing a benefit of some sort. And one of my teachers, who grew up with Radney, knew that I had an interest in music. And so he kind of set us up to meet each other. I must have been 16 years old at the time. And he was just asking me questions about what I wanted to do with my life, my career. At that time, I remember just singing cover songs. I really didn’t have any original music that I’d written.
And I told him, I essentially wanted to do what he did. I was like, “Man, I love you, your records. And I want to do what you do.” And he said, “Well, do you have any songs that you’ve written?” And I said, “No, not really. Kind of a couple.” And he’s like, “Well, you need to get to work and start coming up with your own songs, because that’s what it takes to make records and to be a songwriter.” And so I took his advice, and started learning how to write songs. It took me quite a while to get any good at it. But that’s really where that came from.
3. Another fellow Texan, Randy Rogers, has also helped champion you?
William Beckmann: Randy Rogers really helped me kind of set myself up to tour and to do this for a living. And helped me kind of on the business side of things, get a booking deal, and get a band together. I never had a band. I was always playing acoustic shows. And so he really believed in me enough to help me build what I have today. Which is a band, and get to open up for him and Parker McCollum, and a bunch of other incredible artists.
And so he really kind of took me from the level I was at and helped me kind of get to the next level. And Randy continues to be the one to really help coach me. I mean, it’s almost like he’s the guy on the sidelines, really kind of cheering me on, and making sure I’m doing the best I can. So Radney and Randy are both great mentors, but in different ways.
4. What can you tell us about the upcoming EP?
William Beckmann: We’re excited about Faded Memories. There’s six songs right now. We might go in and cut one more to make it seven. But Oran Thornton, who’s an incredible producer out of Springfield, Missouri, he’s the guy that’s been behind the console the whole time. And we’re really excited to have these songs finally out there. We had a great time recording it. The songs, there’s some songs on there that are old, some of them are new. And I can’t wait to put them out there. Two of the songs off of the record have already been released: “Bourbon Whiskey” and “In the Dark.”
“Follow” is the new single. And that’s a song that I cut that was written by Marc Beeson and Eric Paslay. And we’re excited to put that one out there. It’s an uptempo song, and it’s a feel-good song. And we’re hoping the people enjoy it.
5. What’s coming down the pike for you in 2022?
William Beckmann: We’ve got a tour run that we’re doing with Flatland Cavalry, which I’m really excited about. And of course, we’re really excited about the show at [Nashville’s] Ascend Amphitheater with Randy Rogers Band and Parker McCollum in May. Majority of the shows that we’re playing right now are still in Texas, but we’re looking into branching out a little bit in surrounding states, and trying to reach as many people as possible, honestly. So if anybody’s seeing that we’re coming to a town near them, I’d really like for them to come out and catch us play a set.