INTERVIEW: Georgia ‘Idol’ country artist Will Moseley was a late bloomer

He is in the top 20 and ‘Idol’ judges love him.
AMERICAN IDOL Ð "Episode TBD" (Disney/Eric McCandless)

Credit: Disney

Credit: Disney

AMERICAN IDOL Ð "Episode TBD" (Disney/Eric McCandless) WILL MOSELEY

If watching Georgia’s lone “American Idol” contestant this season Will Moseley reminds you of Chris Stapleton, it’s no accident. He has found a natural pocket in that throaty, old-school country sound.

Moseley, a 23-year-old resident of Hazelhurst, graduated from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro last May with a biology degree but decided to pursue music full time. He said he gave himself a year to make progress and it’s gone even better than he had ever imagined. He is in a reasonable position to win “American Idol.”

“It’s been crazy, man, just getting to experience all this in such a short time,” Moseley told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution via Zoom before the top 20 performances Sunday night on ABC.

When it comes to music, Moseley is a relative late bloomer.

He didn’t pick up a guitar until college while playing football at Maryville College in Knoxville, Tennessee.

“I was on YouTube learning how to play the guitar and someone said if you sing, it will help your rhythm playing guitar,” he said. Once his friends heard him sing, they made it clear to him that he had a knack for music. Once he transferred to Georgia Southern, he began focusing on performing and writing songs.

When he graduated, he honed his craft, releasing his first original song, “Coming Down,” last January on social media. He held a release party a week after the song came out, an event that made him realize he wanted to do this for living.

“It was shoulder-to-shoulder, standing-room only,” Moseley said. “I played that song and everyone in the room sung it back to me. I just remember feeling that when that happened, I was like, ‘If I can do this every night for the rest of my life, I’d be happy.’ That’s been my mindset since that night.”

So far, his path to the top 20 has been smooth with plenty of praise from the judges.

After Moseley performed the mid-tempo 2016 country song “Makin’ Me Look Good Again” by Drake White on Sunday night, judge Luke Bryan said: “You’re spoiling us because you are always just solid, right on the money. I think you’ll be in the finale.”

“The stuff you gave at the end was really good,” Katy Perry said. “I want a little more of that.”

The feedback, he said, has been validating and gratifying.

“There’s nothing better than sitting down somewhere and pulling out an instrument and starting to play a song and seeing a smile come over someone’s face,” Moseley said.

He admires both Stapleton and Luke Combs.

“Luke has the same kind of storyline like me,” he said. “He started in college and is now traveling the world selling out arenas.”

And Moseley would love to collaborate with Stapleton.

“He’s the best songwriter of my generation for sure,” Moseley said. “He’s an absolute freak of nature in that sense. Stapleton is also a great performer and to be able to have a conversation much less work with the guy would be amazing.”

Tonight, the top 20 will be pared down to the top 14 for the first live “Idol” show of the season. Moseley appears to have the support to make the cut. Viewers who took a poll on MJsBigBlog, which tracks “Idol,” ranked Moseley sixth out of 20 based on his performance Sunday.


“American Idol” top 14 will perform 8 p.m. Monday, ABC with the broadcast available the next day on Hulu. (Performances will also be available on YouTube.)