German born. Colorado raised. Having grown up in a single-parent household in Pueblo and Colorado Springs, A.Will had to learn from a young age that only hard work and perseverance will get you where you want to be.

German born. Colorado raised. But don’t call him a transplant. A.Will has more of the Centennial State in him than a nugget of Boulder bud or a bottle of Golden beer. Having grown up in a single-parent household in Colorado’s southern cities of Pueblo West and Colorado Springs, A.Will had to learn from a young age that only hard work and perseverance will get you where you want to be. But these weren’t the only things he learned. After all, when you have to juggle athletics and academics with the responsibility of looking after your younger brother, sometimes things get difficult.

It was from these moments that A.Will gathered his understanding of and appreciation for failure, a word that most people try to avoid and a space not many wish to inhabit, but it is within the realm of failure that A.Will has found his strength, for, as he says, it is only by failing that we learn about ourselves; it is only by failing that we grow. And there have definitely been those moments for him in his life, but because of them, he has discovered the deeper meanings of his passion for music.

Before the thought of recording entered his mind, A.Will was an avid listener of all different genres, but it was in his first encounter with the deep-voiced DMX and his attempt to emulate the artist’s raspy barking that he found his true love for hip hop. Years after this first encounter, while a sophomore in high school, A.Will was introduced to freestyle rap, and this introduction was the spark that soon grew into the flame that ignited his passion for making music. However, it wouldn’t be until several years later with his move to Ft. Collins and his introduction to G-Rel (by friend and fellow artist S-Word) that A.Will would record for the first time. “I wrote a verse on the spot, recorded it, and impressed G-Rel enough that he had me back to record more…I have to admit, it was a very rough track.”

Regardless of whether the track was rough or not, it was in this moment that music changed for A.Will, and ever since that night with S-Word and G-Rel at the small recording studio with the freshly-written verse, he has continued on his path to success—two mixtapes (Smoke Sessions, 2011 and Lifestyle of the Young & Restless, 2012), one EP (Mental Workout, 2014), numerous shows. That’s not to say he hasn’t had his setbacks—losing in the first round of a rap battle in 2012 after coming in underprepared. But, just like he did in the past and continues to do today, A.Will used this failure as motivation, and a year after losing, he found himself on that same stage with The Fly Doctors, listening to the sounds of applause from their supporters and boos from their haters as they stood this time as victors of the cypher battle at “Clash of the Titans.”

His years of hard work and his ability to overcome adversity have given A.Will much to be proud of, including his biggest, most memorable show as a member of Thin Air Crew opening for Wacka Flocka Flame at a sold-out show at the Aggie Theater in Ft. Collins. But this is just the beginning. Using the inspiration he finds both in music and in his family and using as fuel the negative comments from those who say he’ll never make it, A.Will continues to grow as an artist daily. He is currently working on his latest project,Mental Workout Vol. 2, and is the first hip-hop artist to sign with Cardinelli Records. Keep your ears tuned in. For this progressive young artist, the end is nowhere in sight. As A.Will himself says, “I plan on being around for years to come.”

-Written by Cameron Markway

A.Will is signed with Cardinelli Records: