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Heard on CultureShift

Remembering Allee Willis: Detroit Artist Apropos On Friendship, Songwriting

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Image credit: Apropos Entertainment

following the sudden passing of singer-songwriter Allee Willis, her protégé shares fond memories of their fast connection

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Apropos Entertainment
Apropos Entertainment

Allee Willis, the uniquely talented artist and songwriter behind hits like Earth, Wind and Fire’s ‘September’ and ‘Boogie Wonderland’, died recently.

But, her influence, musical contributions and gems continue to nourish the careers of emerging talent, like Detroit singer-songwriter, Apropos – Willis’ latest protégé. The two connected at a Motown Party, where they performed a duet, singing “September.” 

She invited me to lunch after that, two days later,” Apropos tells CultureShift’s Amanda LeClaire. “I remember her saying, ‘You passed the test, kid. You can come out to L.A.’” 

Willis was taken by the artists’ vocal performance and stage presence. From that a friendship – rooted in music but sprouted on respect and vision – grew. 

We had a very special bonding time when we went out to lunch and she got to tell me a lot of her stories and a lot of her story. That was the beautiful thing. She opened up and I opened up.”

During songwriting sessions, you have to listen to her. She knows what she’s doing and I was blessed and thankful.” - Apropos, musician

The pair went on to create two songs with Allee’s voice making a guest appearance. 

During songwriting sessions, you have to listen to her. She knows what she’s doing and I was blessed and thankful enough … she taught me a lot of secrets. A lot of things songwriters, especially my age, are searching for, she knew all of that. I’m so blessed she taught me a lot of tips and tricks. She really believed and saw the vision in me. She was excited.”

Click the player for CultureShift’s Amanda LeClaire’s full conversation with Apropos and memories of the talented Allee Willis. 

Audio Feature by Amanda LeClaire 

Post Written by LaToya Cross


Amanda LeClaire, Host, CultureShift

Amanda LeClaire is host of CultureShift. She spent a few years in the southwest for Arizona Public Media.

amanda.leclaire@wdet.org Follow @amandalee_lec

LaToya Cross, Producer, CultureShift

LaToya Cross is a Producer with CultureShift, where she produces in-depth content that spotlights creatives and individuals using their platform to examine, cultivate, shape and shift culture.

Latoya.cross@wdet.org Follow @ToizStory

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