Q&A with Soulful R&B Singer Denzel Williams
By Bridney C.
CulturedAF is pleased to kick off its monthly Q&A series with the first interview. Denzel Williams is an R&B singer-songwriter based out of Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Originally from Norwalk, Connecticut, Denzel always had a passion for music and was heavily involved in his middle school choir. He also performed in high school musicals and began writing music in high school.
Journalist, Bridney Casillas, caught up with Denzel Williams for a Q&A to learn more about one of his memorable highlights, his musical sound, and which location in the world would he rather perform in.
Bridney C: Describe a memorable highlight in your music career.
Denzel Williams: Winning the R&B Song of The Year award at the Independent Image & Artists Awards in 2018 was both a shocking and humbling moment. I was nominated for two categories, which were Best Male R&B Artist and R&B Song of The Year. The R&B Song of The Year win meant the most to me. I grew up listening to gifted singers and have been inspired by songwriters such as Stevie Wonder, Prince, Babyface, and Michael Jackson.
BC: Why do you consider 2Pac to be one of your influences? What is your favorite 2Pac song, and why?
DW: Pac influenced me back when I was into writing poetry. I enjoyed reading his poems because he had such duality, and he brought the same energy into his music. My favorite Pac record without question is "How Do U Want It." I love his flow on that song. I have yet to this day heard someone float on a record like that. Man, if I could say something to Tupac if he were alive, would be "Thank you for 'Changes.'" It was the very first song I heard of yours and instantly made me a fan."
BC: What type of sound and genre would you consider your music to fall under? How has 90's R&B, in particular, influenced your musical sound? DW: The type of genre I would consider myself to fall under is R&B. I throw a little funk and pop into my music as well. 90s R&B is a major influence on me and my music. The biggest influence 90s R&B has had on my music is its authenticity. Then after that, my writing, my singing, harmonies, and versatility scream R&B. I have previously done features with hip hop artists as well.
BC: "Everything U Do" is your newest release to date. What was the creative process like while recording it? DW: "Everything U Do" was produced by SymphonySwingg and was a creative, fun record to make. SymphonySwingg and I have been working closely together for 5 years now and he knows my sound. He sent me the beat, I opened it and noticed it sounded reminiscent of a Janet Jackson and Michael Jackson record. So, the process was pretty much like WWJM? In other words, What would Janet and Michael do? Because I am such a huge fan of both and a student of Michael, it was both easy and fun. It was my homage to the legends.
BC: If you could perform anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why? DW: Wow, that’s a good question, and if I could perform anywhere in the world it would have to be Africa. One, because I just want to go there, period. But, musically for their energy and inspiration.
BC: What is your favorite song you have released? Why?
DW: "Back to Luv" for me personally would have to be my favorite song I’ve released because it was pretty much my love letter to R&B. When I recorded it, people asked me who was the girl was I was singing about, and I laughed. I had to tell them it wasn’t about a girl. If you listen to the lyrics, I sing about R&B throughout the track.
BC: If you could be any bird, which type of bird would you be, and why? How does this bird connect to you and your music? DW: *Laughs* That is an interesting question. I think I would have to say a hawk. Hawks have two types of personalities. They're violent, yet gentle and quiet. I am without doubt the gentle and quiet type. But I am sharp and determined. I have seen a hawk in action when it sees what it wants and man, that thing locks in. I’m the same way musically. If there’s a sound or something I want for my song, or even note I want to hit I’ll be damned if I don’t.