By Keya Modessa
As a young
boy, Wayne Williams vividly remembers
recording and repeatedly watching the performances of his favourite artists
on television. Whether it was early on Saturday morning watching the Chart
Show, or late in the evening catching up with Top of The Pops, he would
turn to his mum and say; "maybe that will be me one day".
now, the Kilburn boy who grew up listening to Bobby
Brown, Michael Jackson
and Stevie Wonder could not have been
any closer to the truth.
'Wayne Williams' may turn a few heads, and perhaps if you think long enough
you may eventually resurrect the memories. Many will remember Mr. Williams
as former band member of UK quartet, 'Another
Level', which burst onto the music scene in 1997.
The teen pin up boys, brought us hits like 'Be Alone No More,' 'I Want
You For Myself' and the cover-version of US RnB group, Silk's,
'Freak Me,' giving the group, their first Number One hit. For Williams,
the dream had come true but he wasn't satisfied. He wanted more.
"Being the type of kid who has always grown up with not having much
and always having this desire to be an artist I recognised Another Level
as the closest bet to being a ‘Black Street’
or a Boyz II Men’ and perhaps this
is where I was wrong, maybe a little naïve. I wanted to be as good
as that. When I realised that some things were lacking in the group I
knew there was nothing much in it for me."
Wayne always had talent, and he was an all round entertainer. By the age
of 10 he was professionally dancing for international companies like Levis,
Puma and Adidas. "I began dancing for entertainers and singers and,
as I got older I wanted to progress and get myself a vocal instrument.
I started taking singing lessons and getting some serious direction and
that's how it began to build."
At 16, he
attended St. Charles sixth-form college in Ladbroke Grove primarily to
further his music education and took up piano lessons. It did not take
him long to learn how to play the piano and, after flopping every other
subject (apart from music) he won a place in Croydon's renowned Fame-style
music and performing arts academy, the BRITS School.
"It was at the BRITS that I got myself established, learning to play
the piano, produce and write music - I was part of the music strand there.
In my year there were too many talented kids. I literally learnt so much
from the other students that my piano and singing skills began to pick
up really, really quickly."
It was at this same establishment, that Williams met Dane
Bowers and together, they decided to set up their own group.
Along with two other members, Bobak Kianoush
and Mark Bacon, 'Another Level' was
created. The group were a hit from the start and, became one of the first
UK acts to successfully create a musical sound combining RnB, hip-hop
Within a short period of time, the boys found themselves being recognised
by screaming fans, gracing the covers of magazines, and performing in
venues all over the UK and Europe. The group had a string of hugely successful
singles, two platinum selling albums, and in 1998 received a prestigious
MOBO award for Best Newcomer. Their other achievements included supporting
and touring with Janet Jackson and
working alongside USA hip hop artists Jay-Z,
Ghostface Killah and TQ.
Then in November 1999, Wayne made a decision that would change the group
forever. After 3 years of riding high in the music world, Wayne decided
to call it a day and left the group.
The departure came at the height of success for Another Level and fame
eventually faded behind the shadows and memories of a short-lived group.
But Wayne's decision was the result of a long hard thinking process.
"The group was moving in a different direction. It became about individuals
more so than a collective. We were young and I think we didn't necessarily
deal with each other in the right way or manner. We didn't understand
that if we worked together as a team, it would have worked better and
I got fed up with that."
Freed from the constraints of the band, Wayne took a break from the hectic
schedule, which had played such a huge part of his life in Another Level.
With no regrets, he took back control of his life and in turn, looked
to his future.
After working behind the scenes in the music industry and observing the
state of play, Wayne realised that if he wanted to make anything happen
for himself he would have to do it himself. In 2002, the 25-year-old,
along with brother Jason Williams, set up 'Daydream Records'. Priding
themselves in being able to spot talent and keep in touch with the mainstream,
the company also hope to encourage young acts to break into the music
scene. "We are a young record label primarily focusing on RnB, hip-hop
and the urban community. We pride ourselves very much in being able to
identify with that. We believe that as Daydream Records grows, it will
appeal to people as a brand name that they want to be a part off."
In May of this year, 'Anything's Possible' became the first release from
the record label and the first release from Williams as a solo artist.
The song's title was apt for the progress Wayne had made in his life.
The track entered the latter end of the UK charts and Wayne began promoting
his solo career, performing to audiences in sold out gigs and concerts
in the UK. The follow up single from Wayne will be released in autumn
of this year. The track is entitled 'All About The Sex'. Wayne elaborates,
"The world is fascinated by sex. Everywhere we look there are sexual
connotations and it influences society. The record explains this in real
raw terms. It's not a slack record, it has class. It's about the sensual
side of me and sheds a small light on casual sex. The tracks about not
wanting to get into a relationship with someone, just because you slept
with them. That doesn't make it bad, it's just the animal in us for the
As well as focusing on the growth of his record label, the young entrepreneur
is concentrating on the release of his debut album, which is out later
this year. Entitled 'Fame and Fortune', the album features a fresh list
of new artists signed up to, 'Daydream Records'.
It's not often that an artist can consider making a comeback after risking
a split from a band that had propelled a musical career. For Wayne Williams,
the dreams he had at 10 years old, have come a long way, but according
to the young Williams, there are no intentions to stop further manifestation.
His future hopes are simple. "I would like to see Daydream Records
become a fairly well established independent Record label servicing RnB
and hip-hop music and play a part in feeding a starving UK urban music
scene. That would be nice.
all about the sex out on 27th October
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