Student musician prepares to pursue a law degree post-graduation


  From the young age of eight, senior Will Craft began dabbling in the musical arts. Being something he had been around often, it was not hard for him to pursue his musical journey so early on. Craft recalls that music has been around him ever since he can remember. “I remember sitting on the floor listening to The Beatles and James Taylor when I was a really little kid,” said Craft. “My family plays a lot of music, so it was just always happening around me.” Craft began playing the guitar in second grade, and his love for the art sprouted rapidly from there.

   Craft describes his first “gig” that occurred in his fifth-grade year with his friends Tommy Clift, 2017 Sheridan High School graduate, and Jake Jahiel, 2016 Sheridan High School graduate. The three were invited to an event at the Wyo Theatre, where several local bands came to play their music. They played a mix of “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” by Green Day, “Hallelujah,” by Leonard Cohen, “Wonderwall,” by Oasis, and “Ho Hey,” by the Lumineers, a true sign of the times. “We were all pretty small, and our voices were cracking,” said Craft. “We tried to get the crowd involved with the ho’s and the hey’s, but there were like eight people there. Looking back on videos, it was pretty terrible.” The lessons he learned as a child helped him get through many situations similar to these and allowed him to power through any mistakes, emotions, and fear he had on stage.

 When Craft was young, he began taking guitar lessons and learned quickly that the hardest things in life do not always come as easily as one hopes. “Specifically, I became acquainted with the idea of diligence, but also the power of desire, if you want something bad enough and you’re willing to work hard enough to get it, then you can do whatever,” said Craft.

  As Craft inches nearer to graduation, these two life-long lessons he has obtained have stuck with him and helped him through the many hardships of growing up. When Craft was in eighth grade, he began playing with The Craft Brothers, a family band including his father and his two uncles. Being so young, he sometimes found it hard to keep up and stay inspired, but his knowledge of perseverance among other lessons he had learned during his life allowed him to move past such predicaments.

  Craft has found his inspiration in many local artists and believes that music, in many ways, can be used as a tool for expression, storytelling and invoking happiness in himself and his audience. “Music has helped me in expressing myself,” said Craft. “It’s helped me find confidence, and it helped me realize that we make mistakes and you have to deal with them with grace and just move on.” He enjoys expressing himself through his own style of music, which he describes as a mix of folk and blues. Craft’s main style inspirations are folk and funk. “I think funk is really cool because it shows how truly free music can be, if you know ‘the rules,’” said Craft. “All of these people who are playing the music know the rules so well that they know how and when to break them.” Craft believes that to be a musician, one does not have to be playing the music; there is a musician in everyone who enjoys music.
  Throughout Craft’s educational career, he has continually excelled in his academics. Craft is in several AP classes and has been in accelerated classes for many years of his life. Also, Craft received a National Merit Scholar Award. With graduation just around the corner, Craft is looking towards a bright future at Alabama State University, where he plans to go after graduation in May. “Graduation, I feel real, real good about that,” said Craft. “Sheridan High School specifically as an institution is really strong, and I think Sheridan is the same way…but I am very excited to be almost done with it.” Though he does not plan on seriously pursuing a musically based career, he will continue playing music and improving his skills. “After undergrad, my plan is to go to law school at the University of Alabama (Roll Tide), and then after that, I don’t really know what I am going to do with a law degree,” said Craft. “One would think that I am going to be a lawyer which might very well be what ends up happening, but I might end up changing direction completely.”

  Craft is the son of Mitchell and Jenny Craft.