Michael Willett's new music is here -- and it's so good


You may know Michael Willett from his extensive television roles, including Lionel in "United States of Tara" and the MTV series "Faking It." Or you might recognize him from his starring role as Tanner in the 2013 comedy "G.B.F." And while his impressive acting resume may lead you to believe he's just focused on the big screen, he has another, more personal project he's ready to share with the world.

Enter "Regeneration," a three-phase EP that showcases Willett's incredible musical chops alongside his introspective original lyrics. Recorded under the name WILLETT, the collections of songs blend together styles of dance music, synth-pop and classic 70s rock for a soundscape that feels wholly unique. "Regeneration" in its complete form takes listeners on a personal journey that rollercoasters them through the human condition, journeying thorough past failures to future enlightenment and then back through the cycle again. It's one of the most honest portrayals of the young performer so if you're ever wanted an authentic look into Michael Willett's psyche, this is as close as you'll ever get.

"Regeneration: Phase 2" is available starting today and is already proving to be a album that is destined for your playlists. On the heels of his latest release, we sat down with Michael Willett to talk about what went into the creation and narrative of "Regeneration," what each phase or chapter of the album means to him, and more!

YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases up-and-coming social stars. To see more of past interviews, click here. And head over to AOL.com at 12 p.m. ET for more exclusives on Michael Willett!

Take us behind the scenes of "Regeneration." What really went into your creative process for this album?
It started several years ago. I feel like I've always been creating this album. And I wanted to record a bunch of my songs and I met this producer Jef Joslin and we really bonded. He was able to take the sound that was in my head and really produce it and make it something we could actually listen to. It was no longer just an idea. I've been fascinated by universal themes -- things that everyone can relate to. And I feel like music is one of those things; everyone can relate to music. I don't even like to put it in one genre because I want to be accessible to as many people as possible. This is about the human condition, these are things everyone relates to like change, failure, starting over, and meeting love. So I just spent three years recording and writing all of these songs and I feel like now it's ready.

What does each Phase of the album mean to you?
The first phase is about the beginning or spark of inspiration when you're first in the world. You're a ball of clay ready to be molded and it's about being young and not being reflective or introspective. It's about making decisions and screwing up and seeing what happens. Phase 2 is about redefining failure and understanding that in order to learn anything you have to fail. It's becoming less judgemental about failure. The sooner you can accept failure, the sooner you can heal. And phase three is about reaching clarity about knowing yourself and you have a sense of enlightenment and you no longer are struggling. Once you've gotten to the end, you're already back to the beginning again because that cycle never ends. It's a never-ending cycle of learning.

What's the biggest thing you've learned about yourself while creating "Regeneration?"
Honestly, the thing I've learned most is that I can do it on my own. I kept thinking I needed somebody else to hold me or give me exposure or help me finish these songs because I wasn't good enough. I thought I had to the take the advice of someone more experienced than me. And anytime I've ever did that I got myself in trouble. It's part of the reason why this is has taken so long, because I did screw up a lot. Failure is abundant in my life and I don't think people talk about that enough. I make wrong decisions constantly and even in the process of this album I have too, but that's only when I didn't trust my intuition. And I feel like I need to start trusting it more.

Where do you see the progression of your music going in the next few years?
I really would like to continue to release art and music that I am proud of and I believe in. I'm a very conceptual thinker and I will release very conceptual albums; they're not just about my voice or how pretty people think I am, it's about a concept or an idea. One of my favorite artists is David Bowie and I really feel like he was able to be an actor as well as a musician and I love juggling those two things.

YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases up-and-coming social stars. To see more of past interviews, click here. And head over to AOL.com at 12 p.m. ET for more exclusives on Michael Willett!

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