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Interview: Mr. Williamz

Interview: Mr. Williamz

Interview: Mr. Williamz

By on - Photos by Black Baccara - 1 comment

"Lots of youths sing in front of the mirror in the bathroom and then go straight to the studio"

Sampler

Mr Williamz

Backstage chat with Mr. Williamz on dancehall culture

British dancehall deejay Mr. Williamz has dropped several scorching tunes for producer Curtis Lynch in the past years. A few months ago he also put out his debut EP titled 'Last Night'. United Reggae got a chat with him on dancehall culture after his performance at the Öland Roots festival.

Mr. Williamz was born in London, but raised with his father in Jamaica. When he was 16 he moved back to London to live with his mother, and have stayed since.

He says that he has only been in the music business for a few years, but that music has always been in him. He started to go to the dancehall from the age of five.

“I grew up in the dancehall. My father was a rasta and had a free mind. He used to give me money so that I could go to the dancehall,” he says, and continues:

“I feel blessed to have had the chance. Nuff youth don’t get that opportunity. It was very exciting for me. I was like a sponge.”

We sit behind a small table backstage. Mr. Williamz is dressed in white pants, white shirt and a black down jacket. It has started to darken and there are no lights where we sit. But Mr. Williamz keeps his sunglasses on.

Foundation style

Mr. Williamz hypnotic toasting style echoes old school, and he often mentions Super Cat as an influence during the interview.

“It’s an original dancehall style. You can’t imitate it or copycat it. You have to grow up in the dancehall to learn it,” he says.

Mr. Williamz gives a serious impression and speaks with a thick patois accent.

Need for dancehall college

Mr WilliamzHe is concerned that reggae singers and deejays nowadays don’t get the appropriate teachings, since dancehall culture has started to fade. Especially in Jamaica.

“You’ve to exercise your talent. Them vibes are missing. Lots of youths don’t get to go to dancehall college today. They sing in front of the mirror in the bathroom and then go straight to the studio. You have to learn how to take a crowd, learn the lyrics,” he explains.

He also believes that some topics are for the dancehall crowd’s eyes and ears only.

“I don’t chat no slackness or foolishness,” he states, and continues:

“Slackness is a big topic. I mean, you have x-rated lyrics and you have guys singing about bleeching. That’s slackness. Those things are for the dancehall and not for the radio. Now it’s on the radio. Previously you could only hear such tunes in the dancehall. Certain songs should only be heard in the dancehall so that kids can’t hear them,” he explains, and gives and example:

“You couldn’t hear Ninjaman on the radio a lot. You had to go to the dancehall.”

Collaborations and upcoming projects

Mr. Williamz has mainly worked with producer Curtis Lynch and has voiced every riddim on the Necessary Mayhem label.

“Curtis has the right feel for the music. It’s an original style, foundation style,” he says.

He also recently did the YT duet Tribute to Smiley Culture, where the duo chats:

“Police officer we a demand a answer
Weh really happen to the great Smiley Culture?
Cah we nuh want nuh more lies, no propaganda
Right now a justice we a make a stand for”

“I had to do that tune. His death was of a suspicious and mysterious nature,” he explains.

The future is uncertain and Mr. Williamz doesn’t want to give any hints of upcoming projects.

“I can’t tell you what to expect in the future. It’s a movement of the times. I could tell, but then something else is going to happen.”

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Posted by puji on 10.23.2011
Is this youth Supercat son or relation?? Sound like cat an have ressemblance in looks. I think it a very good interview and very good point about college/university of dancehall being skipped so instead of receiving professional training the nowday professionals are being trained on the job which I think it affected the work/music... Looking out for more tings from this youth cause him sound bad like yaaws amd remind of Juniorcat and Supercat.

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