Ahead of the release of his forthcoming single: ‘More Weed’ ft Big Zeeks, Mr Williamz – A soundsystem veteran known for his authentic blend of reggae and dancehall, talks performing with Stephen Marley, featuring in Idris Elba’s film: ‘Yardie’ and the changes in the reggae and dancehall scene.
How did you get into music?
I guess I didn’t really get into it deliberately. There was just music naturally around me, in my home and that you know. I’d be going to parties and the music just soak up into you. I guess from a young age, 10 – 11 – 12 – you get excited by the lyrics and stuff you’re hearing in the music.
How have you seen the reggae / dancehall genre change over the years?
You can see the different changes and hear the changes but it’s mainly the technology and accessibility to programmes and sounds. But even with change, it doesn’t change. It changes in certain ways technologically – you can copy and paste instead of like recording, but it’s not just the music – it’s the pace of life in general – now everything is just connected. In general the way people are living gets more quick.
What do you think is driving the recent resurgence in U.K reggae and dancehall?
The reggae and dancehall and jamaican culture has always been a big part of youths growing up and expressing themselves and merging with different vibes. It’s not like a resurge in a way, it’s always there and it’s always been there. You have the internet and artists can express themselves more and make more content. Maybe you had to listen to radio a lot in the past and if your song wasn’t played no one would listen.
Where do you look for creative inspiration?
I find a lot of the time I look into myself or I look around my environment. Sometimes the best thing is when you’re not even looking for creative inspiration: someone say a sentence or say a word and trigger something in your mind. Ideas just lead to other ideas and become a flow – that’s the best way. The best vibes or best creative inspiration is when you’re just walking down the street or listening and ideas just pop in mind.
You recently made your acting debut in Idris Elba’s film: ‘Yardie’ – how did that come about and what was the experience like?
They needed an MC in the movie. It’s a film set in an era from the 70s – 80’s; they needed some one to fit that vibe and that style that’s going to fit that era exactly. It was a great experience; I had my trailer it was like a movie star experience. It was a lot of work at the same time. Great to meet Idris as well – good director.
Some of your favourite live performances (where you performed)?
Recently I was in China which was a nice experience to see the vibes and how people party out all there. All the time it’s a great experience to perform and connect with fans live. Also when we were on the Jamrock cruise and Supercat run in and take the microphone and we share some lyrics – that was a memorable performance: performing with Shinehead and Damian Marley – doing the cypher with Stephen Marley that was a nice experience and one of my favourite vibes on stage – it was the first jamrock cruise. It was a nice vibe.
What do you think makes an authentic artist in 2019?
Working on your craft, stay creative, express your feelings and your thinking; you can take some advice but don’t let nobody change your direction too much. If that’s not what you’re into don’t do it – if someone says this is the new thing and you need to try it, don’t just do it. It’s got to be something that you really love and you feel.
Who are some of the artists you’re listening to a lot at the moment? And any new talents we should check out?
A few new dancehall artists in Jamaica. Quado, Big Zeeks do a lot of good things as well. Different eras different vibes but that’s some of the artists I’m listening to a lot at the moment.
What have you got lined up for the rest of the year?
My next single: ‘More Weed’ ft Big Zeeks is coming out this Friday (05/07/2019). I’ve also got an E.P in the works due for release some time over Summer. You can also see me performing live at a few gigs for the rest of the year – more details on my social channels.
How can we keep up with your movements?
I’m on Twitter: @mr_williamz , Instagram @45general and Facebook – MRWILLIAMZ
You can pre order ‘More Weed’ ft Big Zeeks here