Wilson Harwood launched his solo career in 2015. Not afraid to bend genres, Wilson has been drawing on a diverse array of influences including bluegrass and old-time banjo, blues, soul, funk, Afro-pop and Americana. Wilson’s latest work incorporates banjo, guitar, ukulele and voice, making use of live looping, instrument changes, and layered vocal harmonies to create the rich sound of a full band with just one person, even when performing live solo shows.
Wilson’s accomplishments as a solo artist include his single “Saturated in Sunshine,” to be released in October 2015, and an EP to be released in 2016. His music was featured in the trailer for the independent film Persephone: Pictures at the End of the World.”
Wilson Harwood’s first formal exposure to music was with violin lessons at age 5, but his career as a musician really began when he picked up a guitar at age 10. By age 13 he was performing with a ska band in his hometown of Bethesda, Maryland. Since then, he has continued to build his musical arsenal, mastering the ukulele and banjo as well as voice. Wilson moved to Boulder, Colorado in 2006 to study music at the University of Colorado. While at CU, Wilson studied afro-pop, and also traveled to Cuba where he studied Tres (a traditional three-stringed Cuban guitar). In 2010 he received a Bachelor of Arts in Music with an emphasis on World Music.
In 2010, Wilson became a founding member of Rocktin, an Americana/rock band that played and toured nationally for five years and was the Rocky Mountain Battle of the Bands Rock winner in 2014. Rocktin produced an EP, single and LP, and also scored music for the documentary film Life, Liberty and Resilience by Stephen Tubbs, which won Best Documentary Short at the SLO Film Festival in 2014. Rocktin has played alongside groups including American Authors, Marshall Tucker Band, Collective Soul, and Particle.
In addition to Rocktin, Wilson’s other projects include the afro-grass ensemble Mbanza (formed in 2014) and the bluegrass group Hilltop Harvest (formed in 2012).