Updated: Jan 8
Fresh from releasing his current single "I Believe", an outpouring of a believer’s stubborn love and persistent faith, delivered through an uplifting meld of inspirational tune, clean vocals, and contemporary soul amid the current state of the world, Michael Williams (also known as M.W.) took time from his busy schedule to talk to us about the current single, his latest album, the state of the music industry in 2021 and more.
"I remembered dressing in my 3-piece suit to go see my father and his brother and cousins, singing gospel quartet at the local gymnasium in Garysburg, NC."
Hello, thank you for taking the time to talk to us today.
Thank you, VMN Music! It is an honor to be apart of the interview!
Tell us about Michael Williams, your story, where you are from.
I am Michael Williams, also know musically as M.W. I am from the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina, USA, in the small town of Clayton, NC. I was first introduced to music, in particular gospel/Christian music, around the age of 5 yrs old.
I remembered dressing in my 3-piece suit to go see my father and his brother and cousins, singing gospel quartet at the local gymnasium in Garysburg, NC. This sparked the beginning of my love for harmonic sounds and the power it has to move people in joyfulness! This joy led me to pay more attention to music/songs when played in church, at family reunions, and/or on the radio.
In high school, some friends and I started an R&B Singing Group called "Male Image". We started writing and rehearsing our own songs, talking about the legalities of copywriting and publishing, and starting saving money for studio time to record our first song. Being in a recording studio for the first time was the spark for me to understand my potential in being a vocalist/singer/songwriter!.
"In 2021 and beyond, an artist must know their niche within their music ecosystem to plan for their global presence in the new music system."
How long have you been making music?
I have been singing pretty much for [the] most of my life, but I did not start taking it seriously until high school, after recording our first song! So it's been about 30 years. Over the 30 years, there has been some stop and go moments, where music was not a top priority... Life happens.
Can you tell us about your latest release "I Believe," the background and inspirations behind it?
To know M.W., and the brand of M.W. is understanding that I create music that promotes the characteristic of the Fruit of The Spirit. I call it a Fruit of The Spirit Genre. The Book of Galatians, Chapter 5, changed my life and helped me to put the topic of love in its proper perspective, especially with my songwriting. So I felt obligated to meet the needs of my audience by writing songs that would draw people to God's love, to know HIM, and to restore marriages and relationships.
So the inspiration behind the single, "I Believe" is centered on how the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, causes a shift in a person's mindset, behaviors, and actions. The truth of this experience is full of God's Grace! The Spirit of God reveals Himself in the life of the believer. Through revelation knowledge, as Christ lives with and in us, we begin to understand how Grace reconciles the truth of who we are. So I know I can not make it without my savior, Jesus Christ! I need HIM and we need HIM! So "I believe" is an outreach, a testimony of a believer, who is willing to share the love of GOD because of what the love of God has done for us!
How many songs/albums have you released to date?
I have about 85 songs in my catalog[ue]. About half of them have been released. In 2011, I released my debut album, "A New Day". A New Day was an R&B album with 12 songs. From 2011 to 2019, I released a few singles. In 2018, I started preparing for the "I Believe" Gospel/Christian Album and the "I'll Be There" R&B album, which both were released on June 27, 2020.
The "I Believe" album has 12 songs and the "I'll Be There" album has 9 songs.
"We had to change and adapt to a new way of living. I pray for the goodwill of All during this time! I pray that God protects, comforts, and heals All!"
What do you think of the music industry in 2021 and beyond?
When I think about the concept of the music industry, I conceptualize it as a global system with many different music ecosystems (genres of music). These music ecosystems have their biotic (Real human Intelligence/Involvement) and abiotic factors (Artificial Intelligence/Computers Softwares/Social Media). The musicians/artists/singer-songwriters must find their niche (the things that support the survivability of their craft) in the global music system.
So to answer the following question, I believe when an artist understands their niche, they will continue to evolve with new information to adapt and survive in their music ecosystem. I believe more artists will begin creating music for multiple music ecosystems or developing a sound that can crossover to multiple music ecosystems. This will be the advancement that artists will be making in 2021 and beyond. So we should not be surprised to hear a gospel artist with a sound that can crossover to other music ecosystems, or genres of music. For example, if Gospel/Christian music is light (information) for the world, shouldn't we hear it with the rotation of the "World Music" genre? So Gospel/Christian artists should be making music that can rotate within the "World Music" genre. Once again, in 2021 and beyond, an artist must know their niche within their music ecosystem to plan for their global presence in the new music system.
How has the current pandemic affected you as an artist and as a person?
With humility, the current pandemic has help me to keep things in their proper perspectives. I believe it has been a maturing time for All! We had to change and adapt to a new way of living. I pray for the goodwill of All during this time! I pray that God protects, comforts, and heals All! So I really do not have a lot of words, just moments of prayers and solidarity. This is how the pandemic has affected me!
Who are your favorite artists and how have they influenced your music and style?
This question is so unfair... I am saying this with a smile on my face. I have so many favorites across many genres, whether famous or unknown, label artists, or indie artists. I have been influenced by songs of love...
Are you currently working on any new music at the moment?
Yes, I am currently working on new music at this time.
How do you define success as an artist?
I define success as 1) having a plan (the what), 2) a plan of actions (the how), 3) carrying out the plan of actions (the why). When an artist understands these three things, the when and where will manifest itself to the planner of success. It like an appointed time for destiny. So basically, whatever a person sets out to do, when they do it, they have succeeded in doing what they set out to do. This is success. This is power within itself. So we have the potential to do great and exceedingly, sometimes we just need a plan for success!
Outside making music what else do you enjoy doing most?
Entrepreneur-Venturing, Researching, Writing, Drawing, Painting, Teaching, Coaching
Where can we find you online?