“…For a decade, the Punk Empress of African Rock has devoted her life’s work to a solo career, much of which has taken place in her adopted home of New Orleans. Cole Williams, who today releases the retrospective album Testimony, is offering up ten years of work as a thank you to the city.”
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory? Was there a time where you thought of doing something completely different?
Growing up never seemed like a reality- I always went in the direction that felt right for me and I loathed structure and other people projecting themselves onto me... Read more
And The Nominees Are…
Best Female Vocalist
Tarriona “Tank” Ball
Best Male Vocalist
Best Bass Player
George Porter, Jr.
Exposed Vocals: So tell us your story. Where did you grow up? What made you decide to become an artist?
Well I’m born and raised in the east Flatbush area of Brooklyn, NY. I’m first generation American from a Jamaican family. I guess my immersion in music at a young age coupled with my independent spirit made being an artist the undeniable career choice. I’ve always felt like I have something to say and I love composing music. Music is sacred and i honor it.
Exposed Vocals: Since everyone was a start-up once, can you give any smaller or local bands or artists looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?
Build real relationships and don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. No one is handing out anything for free, and that includes gigs. Research, cold contacting, it works if you’re working it. Writing great songs and playing great shows isn’t enough without the right management. I’m not afraid to roll up my sleeves, put on a pair of heels, and get to work.
Exposed Vocals: Do you ever make mistakes during performances? How do you handle that?
All the time. I used to feel so uncomfortable with mistakes when I first started singing professionally, now I roll with it because that’s where the magic is. I always tell my musicians, the mistakes don’t bother me, I care about how you bounce back from an error.
The self-proclaimed “punk empress of African Rock,” Cole Williams, is a New Orleans based musician/model/storyteller and all around badass cultural ambassador for the city’s thriving music scene. Today she has partnered up with me to premiere her brand new single, “Free” here on Huffington Post. The song is a soulful and rhythmic slow burner of a song that encapsulates the powerhouse vocals of Williams and her empowering lyrical stance:
“Don’t tell me how to think, don’t tell me what to do, cause I’m not in captivity. I am only human...I just wanna be free.”
"...Since then, she has fully immersed herself into every aspect of the musical fabric of the Big Easy, handling midday hosting duties every Tuesday with WWOZ’s New Orleans Music Show. When she’s not on-air, she and her band host their weekly African Rock Saturday show at Marigny Brasserie (640 Frenchmen Street)...."