“One of the UK’s hottest singers…she effortlessly moves from soul-diva to sensual and sophisticated jazz.” – Time Out
“The moment she starts to sing she becomes a commanding, strutting presence, scatting with an infectious relish.” – Telegraph
“She’s Joss Stone and Erykah Badu x 20… I saw her play recently and it was just incredible. She’s a truly real, beautiful star, worthy of everyone’s attention.” Jamie Cullum
In demand vocalist, Natalie Williams has been a veteran of the British jazz and soul scenes for over a decade. Her Ronnie Scott’s residency, Soul Family Sundays has sold out every month for over 8 years. Her two year stint as a lead vocalist in Incognito brought her world wide acclaim and saw her perform at Festivals throughout the globe. As a lead artist in her own right, Natalie has performed to large audiences at Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Manchester Jazz Festival, Love Supreme Festival and the London Jazz Festival in recent years.
Natalie Williams’ adaptable vocal talent and songwriting ability has brushed most musical styles.To the mainstream world of commercial music, she is an underground artist known for her distinctive vocals which have appeared on tracks by drum and bass icons such as Goldie or Nu:Tone. Her own youthful output of soul and R&B based tracks resulted in her receiving a MOBO nomination. For the last decade Williams’ has performed on average around 300 gigs a year, in jazz clubs and festivals worldwide, honing her craft and songwriting skills to reach this, her defining sound.
Perhaps what will be her sophomore album, Kaleidoscope is songwriting steeped in jazz with tastes of blues and country. It’s warm music from the heart that reaches everyone. Says Williams:
“I hope that this music is an insight into what I feel is a richly experienced life; that of my own, that of my friends and that of stories I’ve heard and am ready to share.
The writing draws from all of my musical influences over the years; Jazz, soul, classic singer-songwriter with a touch of blues and country. Co-written, produced and mixed by my bassist and incredibly talented other half, Robin Mullarkey, it is a result of a very happy and fulfilling partnership. It feels like a new dress I never want to take off. My pride and joy.”
In an X Factor age of instant fame and even quicker falls from the limelight, Williams is an artist who has dedicated her life to creating music that connects deeply with her listeners. Her eight-year residency of sold out shows at Ronnie Scott’s attests to the loyalty of fans who always come back for more.
Natalie Williams grew up enveloped in poetry and music. Her father, the acclaimed poet, John Hartley Williams was an avid jazz fan. Her early performances were alongside her father and his friends at poetry readings as a teen. She has an inherited need to write and create.
An experience at JFK, her German American high school in Berlin, involving a masterclass in jazz and improvisation, helped her to really find her natural talent as a vocalist. Williams went home that very day and told her father she wanted to be a professional jazz singer, to which he replied ‘good’.
Since that time, Natalie’s talent has taken her all over the world. She has performed as a lead vocalist and named soloist on some of the UK’s largest and most respected stages, including The Royal Albert Hall (with Incognito & Mario Biondi), the Barbican (EFG London Jazz Festival Jazz Voice), the Royal Festival Hall and many more. International performances have included major jazz festivals such as Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, Rochester Jazz Festival (New York), Jakarta Jazz Festival (Indonesia) as well as the Blue Note Tokyo & BB Kings in NYC.
Whilst her songwriting and vocals have crossed a variety of genres, it is in jazz where her heart and history have always lain. Her last album, Where You Are, returned to her roots and was referred to by Jamie Cullum as ‘probably the best album of her career’. The collection of intimate, personal songs with stripped back performances that allowed space for those killer vocals garnered attention from the jazz community and helped her build a real rapport with her fans.
In Kaleidoscope, Natalie has really honed her sound, drawing on jazz with tastes of blues and country. Its an album from a true artist, writing and singing from the heart.
“…People can’t help but go away with a bit of Williams’ natural sparkle having attached itself to them” – Deuce