Please enjoy these equally wonderful songs about dreaming by two BEAUTIFUL and TALENTED artists with the same last name. “I’m Dreamin” by Christopher Williams and “Dreamin” by Vanessa Williams. One is an up-tempo club jam, while the other is a smooth and slow.
Grown Folks Music caught up with ’90s R&B singer Christopher Williams, after a recent performance in Atlanta. Williams talked about where he’s been over the years, the music industry today and of course a return to recording and a new project.
Where he’s been: Christopher Williams has been starring in urban theatre plays where he’s been acting and singing. (Remember his acting debut in the urban classic movie, New Jack City? The #1 single, “I’m Dreamin”, from the movie soundtrack is now a twenty-year-old classic.) He has a love for acting and calls himself an actor who sings.
About the music industry now and young artists: Williams said he believes there are talented artists today, but due to instantaneous fame vehicles–namely reality tv, anyone can become an artist rather quickly and the development of the artist is suffering and/or missing.
Why he’s coming out with a new project: Williams said he was inspired by El Debarge’s return to music and feels that his chapter two in music is more about the fans this time around as he is not a young artist looking for his first record deal. He has experienced success in the business and has the opportunity to write this next chapter just the way he wants to. He said that with his new project he hopes to have a “smorgasbord” of songs and make music that moves people to love each other again. He’s currently recording and working with some hot new producers and hopes to have the project out soon.
Christopher Williams performs November 2011, Atlanta, GA
Christopher Williams shows a fan some love, November 2011, Atlanta, GA
Why Grown Folks Music is missin’ Christopher Williams: Christopher Williams is one of the best male vocalists to ever pick up a microphone. Not one of the best R&B male vocalists, but one of the best male vocalists period.
Arguably, the best example of his excellence as a vocalist is his third CD Not A Perfect Man. A mature album–right up there with the maturity of Luther Vandross’ work at the time– was perhaps ahead of Williams’ time. Not a comment about the man himself, but about the project being a departure from the new jack swing and urban R&B sound of his previous album Changes, which, mid decade (1995) he could’ve easily continued to ride the wave of. Instead, Not A Perfect Man went beyond. With contributions from Gordon Chambers, Brian McKnight, James Stroud, Rashaan Patterson and Diane Warren among others, this could have/should have been Christopher Williams’ crossover album. Not that it was ever his goal, but the album showed enough growth, versatility and ability to do so. Williams left everything he had on the studio floor and proved he wasn’t just a R&B heartthrob, but a vocal performer on songs like “If You Say”, “Learning To Love Again”, “Not A Perfect Man”, “We Don’t Know How To Say Goodbye”, as well as a cover of the country song, “Down On My Knees”. But the album failed to launch and to take him to the next level.
The good news is 22 years after his debut album Adventures In Paradise, Williams’ voice remains in tact. He still sings with power and range. It’s not only that he can sing; he also knows how to sing. He’s never been too handsome or too cool to open up his mouth and let go. He’s a throwback to a time when singers stood flatfooted and just sang with no sound tricks and no stage gimmicks. If ever presented with the opportunity to see him perform live–get there. Williams has been talking about a releasing new project for a while now, but seems more passionate than ever about making it a reality. We wish him all the best.
Second Chance Tour
El DeBarge with Al B. Sure!, Christopher Williams and Chico DeBarge
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Detroit Opera House
Aside from urban stage plays we haven’t seen much of Christopher Williams. However, when he kicked off the Second Chance Tour show he seemed to pick up right where he left off in the 90s–as a sex symbol–much to the delight of the female fans. Williams delivered a sexy performance that included moving about the audience to serenade the ladies and a bit of disrobing too. But, along with the persona he brought the voice. His vocals were clear, strong and appeared untouched by time. He especially shined during his rendition of the Teddy Pendergrass classic, “Come Go With Me” and a heartfelt version of Marvin Sapp’s “Never Would Have Made It”.
For the past year or so, Al B. Sure! has been performing in clubs and in his set he presents his music in a style that is laid back, includes humorous onstage banter, but seems to more prominently feature his background singers as they sing lead vocals and verses to the songs with Sure singing intermittently. Not so during this show. Sure gave a confident and animated performance fueled by the energy of the live band and the fans and the backup singers were just that: back up. Sure sang the full version of his songs and as expected, he ended his set with his 1988 mega hit, “Nite and Day”, but with an unexpected horn version of the opening melody to the song that sparked an immediate feel-good reaction from the audience.
Chico DeBarge was dapperly dressed and had a smooth stage presence. His act had a soul/funk flavor, but he brought down the house when he invited his sister Bunny to sing the (heavily sampled) 80s DeBarge classic album track, “A Dream”. It was a major treat for the audience. (more…)
Everyday is a throwback here at GFM. I haven’t repped for the old school in a minute so I thought I would post this gem from ’93. Back in the era where your label affiliation really meant something. Father MC, Jodeci, Mary J, Blige and Heavy D. all put it down and let us know in no uncertain terms that Uptown was still kickin’ it.
It’s unfortunate that in a very short time Uptown would go the way of so many cutting edge labels. But, nothing lasts forever… I think one of my favorite parts of this clip is when they had to actually bring “Puff Daddy” on stage, I’ll let that one marinate.