Twitter: @WillisEarlBeal
From: Chicago
Pros: An amazing voice, a story and outlook unlike anyone else, and a deal with XL Recordings that could put him on the path to major success.
Cons: He was once quoted as saying that he only wants to do music until he makes enough money to disappear, so there's the possibility that his career will be a short one.

Willis Earl Beal "Evening's Kiss"

Willis Earl Beal is not a band. Conceptually, he may be the furthest thing from a band. The music he's made so far is undeniably that of an individual. If you have heard about Willis Earl Beal so far, then you've most likely heard pieces of his saga.

With a life story as unique as his (he's been in the army, been homeless, never performed live before last year, and promoted his music mostly via personal phone calls and hand-drawn pictures scattered around Chicago), it's impossible not to talk about it. But when the allure of an intriguing outsider starts to fade, the focus is going to be on the music.

So far, Willis' music is lo-fi, self-made, and conceived with no intention of sharing on a large scale. With his signing to XL Recordings, his situation has changed drastically, but his live performances are proof that he's more than an interesting guy with a captivating story. He's got stage presence, he's got passion, and that voice of his is timeless.