Cole Williams Releases 10th Anniversary Retrospective (Album Stream) OCTOBER 12, 2018

by: AMANDA MESTER

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.

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“I haven’t lived in New Orleans for a long time, but there’s a spirit here that has welcomed me home in a way that’s pretty indescribable It’s a feeling,” the Brooklyn, New York, transplant tells OffBeat. “My move to New Orleans signified a new chapter in my life-this time is about honoring my music, my gifts and my community. Before I release my first compositions as a New Orleanian, it’s important for me to take the time to reflect upon where I’ve been and where I am.

This album represents that reflection. It’s like I’m appreciating who I am, my family and the people and the city of New Orleans who’ve embraced me as much as I embrace them. And it also makes me think about being a role model to the youth I work with and for in this city and how connected we all are. This album is my testimony.” Read More

ALL ACCESS MUSIC: An Interview With the Punk Empress of African Rock, COLE WILLIAMS!

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? 

Cole WilliamsPhotographed by Badawy

Cole WilliamsPhotographed by Badawy

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. Music has always come naturally and it doesn’t hurt that I’ve been playing and training in classical piano since I was 4 years old. As a first generation American I wasn’t raised in an environment where being an artist was a viable career choice, and music was given to me to make me well-rounded, not a career choice.

My earliest musical memory is singing a gospel song “Tomorrow” in my church when I was about 8 years old. I remember feeling so nervous and shy but I sang in key, so it wasn’t that horrible, haha.

I actually thought I was going to become a psychologist. Read more

Huffington Post: Punk empress of African Rock Cole Williams premieres new single “Free”

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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.” Read More