Born in Paris to an American soldier and a French mother, William Hand was raised in Ohio until he was 7. He then went back to France to live with his mother's parents, who worked in a theater. William left school at 16 to study composition with teacher Yves Margat (himself a student of Gabriel Fauré) and later harmony, fugue and counterpoint at the Paris conservatoire. He turned to pop music after hearing the Beatles. Since then, he has had a successful career both as a classical composer and as a pop singer. His works often mix both genres. For example, some of his songs include carefully crafted orchestral passages (the Baroque introduction to Le nouveau monde) as well as instruments that are seldom found in pop music (such as a horn in Les miroirs dans la boue and a clarinet in Fier et fou de vous). On the other hand, his Lux æterna is written for orchestra, choir and rock band. He has toured several times with transcriptions of his songs for voice and orchestra as well as for voice and piano quintet. Additionally, he has also written film music and songs or arrangements for other artists (Dalida, Barbara... etc.).