* Appeared in Sophia Coppola's film "Lost In Translation"
* Mark has toured with Canadian country legends such as George Fox and Jason McCoy
Before Sophia Coppola discovered him playing at the Park Hyatt Tokyo and cast him in her Oscar-winning movie, Lost in Translation, Mark Willms had already established himself as a world-class artist able to play virtually every style of music.
Mark appears in Coppola’s film as Carl West, who sings “So into you” in a pivotal scene. He also provided all the piano tracks for the film’s bar scenes – not an unfamiliar scenario for Mark, who has performed in bars, halls and venues across the globe since earning his B.A. in music from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1981.
Mark started singing and playing piano at just four years old and began his musical career in his teens. In 1988, he joined Lulu’s Roadhouse Band, the house band for Kitchener’s most iconic bar – also the longest and largest bar in the world until 2000. He continues to play with the band, in addition to numerous other projects: his own band, the Mark Willms Band, Darren Walters and the Hott Band, Opus II and countless solo gigs.
In 2009, Mark recorded a new album, Release, at Kitchener’s River’s Edge Recordings and at his own studio, Synchronous Music. The album was mixed and mastered by Stratford, Ontario’s Dave Kalmusky and includes a new version of “So into you” from Lost in Translation.
Mark has toured with Canadian country legends such as George Fox, Jason McCoy, Diane Chase, John Landry and Beverly Mahood. He has performed everywhere from Hong Kong to Dubai, Switzerland to Tokyo and of course, in his home and native land, Canada.
When he’s not spending time touring and working on projects such as playing multi synthesizers for Chinese Canto-pop superstar Jackie Cheung, Mark spends much of his time in Southern Ontario, writing and producing his next album.
Regardless of where his career takes him, Mark calls Kitchener his home and some of his best work has been produced in Waterloo Region.