Q&A: The Ballad of William Beckmann

James Robertson

William Beckmann’s songwriting style is definitely what some people would call “old school” — he writes his songs on a typewriter.

Beckmann is reminiscent of an older generation of songwriters. He types out songs on a typewriter and carries the finished work around in a leather suitcase. Beckmann has captured country artists and audiences alike through the power and authenticity of his songs.

Singer-songwriter Beckmann recently signed with Randy Rogers’ management company Big Blind Management. The Daily Texan caught up with Beckmann to talk about his journey as a musician.

The Daily Texan: How would you describe the types of songs you write?

William Beckmann: I sort of teeter between doing old-school country and singer-songwriter, lyrically driven songs. An authentic song is a story, and it’s got a genuine feeling. So that’s kind of what I think I encompass as a songwriter.

DT: What song off of your album Outskirts of Town (2018) was the most personal for you to write?

WB: The most honest and authentic song is the last one on the album, “Leavin’ Town.” It talks about the idea of taking a chance and finding something better for yourself. I could have stayed in Del Rio and then done what my dad does, the cattle business, or I could have gone out and pursued a career in music. I think either way you’re going to run into problems, so you might as well go. The highway can be dangerous, but it can be just as deadly to settle down.

DT: Since moving from Austin to Nashville and back to Texas, how have your songwriting themes changed? Have you kind of taken on different kinds of subject matter?

WB: Oh, absolutely. I think there’s always going to be a certain element of (Del Rio) and the way I was raised. But the subject matter is always changing, and I think that’s a good thing because it keeps me interested in what I’m doing. The one thing that I really enjoy doing as a songwriter is also coming up with stories that aren’t necessarily my own personal stories, but are stories that I’ve heard. I wanted to be an actor long before I ever knew how to play guitar. And so I think subconsciously, when I started writing songs, I was using a certain level of method acting. I approached it in a way that I was able to leave my own identity at the door and take on someone else’s identity in order to achieve what I wanted to.

DT: How did you meet Randy Rogers and get connected with his management company?

WB: I was playing at an award show in Arlington. I had won the new faces music competition, which got me the opportunity to sing at the actual award show. After the show, Randy Rogers came up to me and asked me to come hang out with him on the tour bus. I did, and we drank beer and sang some songs in Spanish. And a few days later, Randy called me about signing with him.