Will Downing is an R&B Recording Artist who, over his 27-year career, has worked with the likes of Jennifer Holiday, Kool & The Gang, and Billy Ocean. In 1988 he released his first solo album, Will Downing. Since then, he’s released over 20 albums, with his recent project, Chocolate Drops, relesed this year. When he’s off-the-road, however, Downing’s other passion is being a loving husband and father.
“When you're growing up, your parents say all kinds of things; some of which you retain, and some of it you disregard. I remember thinking that I'm never going to be that way with my kids, but now I find myself quoting my parents often and trying to raise my kids as they raised me!”
Although all children are different, and what works for some may not work for others, Downing believes that fathers should instill the importance of love, respect, honor, and family in our children; and ultimately, letting them know that they are loved.
What Downing enjoys most about being a father is “watching the development of the extension of you. Being that person they come to in time of need or advice. Parenting is one of the hardest things to do. The job doesn't come with a Manual so you're really on your own.”
Downing believes that fatherhood is so important in the black community because of the large amount of single-parent homes. It’s not impossible for single-parents to raise children, but it’s definitely a lot easier when the responsibility is shared, especially when it comes to young men. “These young men won’t become men unless they see men!”
Although his oldest child is 30, Downing says he remembers his son’s birth like it was yesterday. “I remember staring through the window as he was being born from behind a curtain, and them showing me the baby (she had a C-section and I couldn't go in). I just stood there in tears. We had discussed many names but from the moment I saw him, I said he would be Jr.”