Douglas Willett

by Terry Watson | March 12th, 2016
Douglas Willett (Photo by Mykel Media Company}

Douglas Willett (Photo by Mykel Media Company}

Douglas Willett is a man of God, husband, father, mentor, singer, songwriter and musician who is optimistic about life. He describes his life and latest musical project as a journey. At the young age of two, he was separated from him eight siblings and placed in the foster care of the Brasher family in Providence, Ky. As a child, he struggled with stuttering. He also had a short temper and would fight anyone at any given moment. His battles often were carried out with his brother who was also raised in the same foster home that was overcrowded with several other children.

Growing up as a foster child was not something that came easy for Willett. When he first saw the movie, “The Antwone Fisher Story,” he says it hit him like a ton of bricks. “I cried like a baby in the theatre and couldn’t stop, so I left. I had to go back the next day to finish watching it,” he says. As a child, he faced similar challenges that he would later learn to overcome. “I remember always going into my room and closing the door. While I was there, I would grit my teeth and just think to myself — ‘why do I stutter and why am I in foster care?” That’s something he has never shared but hopes that his candidness reaches others who may be going through what he experienced.

Not really understanding what was going on with his life, Willett began to seek outlets to release his emotions. The church offered him a place to do so. “We had to sit on the front row at church every Sunday morning, but for some odd reason I didn’t mind. My mother sang in the choir faithfully. I could hear her voice over everyone else, I can still hear it today,” he says.

His mother’s affiliation with the church choir had an impact on him. At the age of 15, he says he was forced to join the a cappella choir. He would soon lead his first song, “Because He Lives” which is still his favorite hymn. It was during that performance that Willett realized he had embarked on another form of communication that diverted his stuttering. He also realized his gift for singing and leading songs. “There is a gift between singing and leading songs” he says. As he got older he says he noticed music was sticking with him. It pulled him into places that were out of his comfort zone. His temper calmed down and the stuttering wasn’t as noticeable.

While in high school his foster mother, Mary Brasher passed away. Along with his brother Robert, Willett says they didn’t know what was going to happen next. There were questions of where he would be placed; in the home of another foster parent or at his biological mother’s home. The system had him and his sisters scattered everywhere. To God be the glory, they stayed at the same house and his older foster brother, Lyron “Buddy” Brasher became their legal guardian.
Willett says his heart softened when his foster mother passed. She had a lasting impression on him which caused him to do a complete turnaround. His behavior improved. He was superintendent at Sunday school, directed choirs and taught parts.

Today, Willett regards himself as an accomplished musical artist and he believes none of this would be possible without the support of his wife, Sheila and daughter, June aka “Baby J.” His latest musical project titled, “My Journey” is a compilation of songs that tells the story of his life. He writes and sings about life’s experiences and about how he perceives life and also what he feels. He is the first regional/local indie artist to have their project featured at Barnes & Noble, and to also perform there. He will perform live and conduct a CD signing session there in the month of March.

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