Who is D’ William?
William Pagán Díaz, artistically known as D’ William, is a talented producer, composer and singer with extensive experience in various tropical genres. He was part of the Oro Negro Orchestra and the Tañón Band before starting his solo career. We were fortunate to talk to him and learn a little more about his history and career.
How his career began
The Oro Negro Orchestra represented his first musical experience and he was about 17 years old at the time. In fact, his mother had to sign a contract for him to be part of the group because he was underage. He stayed there for a year until he got asked to audition for the Tañón Band, a group that Olga Tañón was creating at the time.
After auditioning with 300 or 400 candidates, I was chosen as the last missing member for the group because it required four and there were only three. D’ William told us that he felt he had the world in his hands due to work with Olga Tañón, but unfortunately she decided to broke up the band because she had other plans. At that time, Pagan did not know what to do with his life because he thought he had already pursued the ultimate in his career, so he decided to turn his life around, enlist in the army and forget all music.
These years of his life contributed a lot to strengthen his discipline, but he also realized that he did not want to dedicate himself to military life forever. After he retired, he moved to Japan and lived there for about seven years, during that time he was introduced to Puerto Rican salsa thanks to some friends. He started singing salsa, but always saw music as sort of a hobby and not as something he wanted to do professionally.
He toured all over Japan with the Conquistando Orchestra and composed for other artists and various franchises, but nothing for himself. In 2010, he decided that he wanted to change that situation and recorded six salsa songs with the idea of moving to Puerto Rico thinking he was going to find the same country in the musical field. Then, all the songs recorded by him stayed on the hard drive of his computer and he could not do anything with them.
Unable to get a job, he decides to use his veteran’s benefits to complete his education, which leads him to study criminal justice and law. In 2018, a job opportunity as a lawyer for the federal government in Washington DC arose, so he moves there and meets some people who reconnect him with music thanks to his career in Japan.
When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, he finally made the decision to start his solo career and choose a stage name that referred to his real name, which led him to use D’ William. In September 2020, he recorded his first song titled “24 horas enteras” giving start to his solo career.
Why use merengue as a base for his music?
Although merengue has not had such a boom in recent years, D’ William is passionate about this genre that he never wanted to leave aside and even said that “a party without merengue is not a party”. The artist wanted to do something that included a tropical genre handled very well by him and he knows he was right about deciding on merengue, since he has observed a renaissance in the popularity of this set of rhythms with the help of artists such as Elvis Crespo, who was again seen in awards recently.
Music for millennial ears
D’ William points out that the most important elements of merengue will always be present in his work, but in his own words, ”the years and generations make the music evolve”. Since the performer did not want to stignate in the same thing, he tries to experiment with a new style of singing merengue and writes some of his lyrics with other genres in mind, such as dembow. He also incorporates kicks, snares, synthesizers and other sounds to reach millenial ears.
This combination of the above elements has made the reception to the artist’s music great.
Experience in Guatemala
D’ William also told us about the Estela Awards in Guatemala, which he did not knew nothing about until he was invited to attend. Once there, he noticed the importance of these awards for Central America, as they recognize the talent of Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico and many more.
He had the honor of being in its sixth edition and seeing how artists who did not have the opportunity to be in bigger events such as Billboard, Tu Música, Latin Grammy, among others, were awarded. Something very special about this year was the participation of a Puerto Rican delegation of for the first time in its history, in which D’ William was with several of his compatriots.
The reception of the public and press towards this group was great and they really enjoyed the show. They were so well received that they plan to return soon in December to continue delighting Guatemalans with their talent.
What did D’ William do during the pandemic?
D’ William told us that he did a lot of things for himself and other colleagues during the pandemic. He did a great collaboration on a track with Dominique Patrick Noel, a French percussionist with whom we had the pleasure to talk beforehand. They have done several songs together in which the Puerto Rican sings and does some arrangements with Noel.
He also sang with Eduardo Padua, who is a very famous Puerto Rican conguero in Virginia and Peruvian Andy Caseda.