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

Offbeat Magazine: Cole Williams On Empowering Youth Through Storytelling

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"When Cole Williams first arrived in New Orleans in 2015, she was hopeful that the city’s rich musical tapestry would have a positive influence on her own music. “I knew I was going to be a better musician just by being immersed in the music here,” the Brooklyn native recalls. “I just feel so supported musically. I feel like there’s nothing I can’t do.”

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).

Part of her musical evolution has involved her delving deeper into her craft as a storyteller. “What I really do now that I didn’t do before is that I really tell a story. I was always a storyteller but just experiencing life in New Orleans [and] experiencing the culture has allowed me to get deeper into the reasons why I make music. It’s beautiful,” she tells Offbeat." Read More