Worcester-born artist, Selby Williams realizes lifelong dream with his debut album
Worcester-born singer-songwriter Selby Williams, 29, has put his journey into song and sees his lifelong dream come to fruition with the drop of his first album, Hier is Ek.
The album is hot on the heels of his well-received debut single with the same name. Williams says that it reflects his life and the journey that led him to where he is today. “I look back on my journey reflecting on the little boy in Avian Park who had a dream. I’ve been rejected, I’ve been disappointed and there were times when I felt like I was alone, but one thing that kept me on this path was my faith,” he shared.
According to thesoulful crooner, Hier is Ek directly refers to his journey and the song is an ode to his relationship with his father, who he says has always tried to do the best he could despite difficulties.
“The song speaks about my relationship with my heavenly Father but at the same time it also touches on the relationship with my biological father who has been there pushing through and has always given the best of himself and for that I want to honour him,” he said.
Another favourite is Unhu Hwangu a song named after the Shona phrase that refers to how you relate to others. “The song is a reminder that we need each other as support, there is this movement towards people thinking of themselves and not wanting to support others. I believe we need each other, and this song is a reminder of this.
“You can be the strongest or the richest, but you will still have trials and will come to a point where you need someone else to be there for you,” he said.
Williams says he grew up with a love of music, singing with his grandmother and mimicking what he heard on the radio.
Born and raised in Worcester’s Avian Park which is known as one of the most dangerous communities in the Western Cape, Williams says many kids either got involved with gangs or gave up on their dreams of success. Still, he always believed there was more to his life than just his small community.
He entered the ATKV-Crescendo’s Music Writing Program and believes the experience solidified his belief that his passion was music. “Through ATKV-Crescendo I recorded my very first single which was a great deal for me, and this made me look at myself differently.”
The bulk of his debut album was recorded at Sunset Recording Studios in Stellenbosch, an experience Williams refers to as life changing. “I felt that they saw value and worth in my art and it was mind-boggling to see the willingness to invest in me in such a big way.
“Recording with Jürgen von Wechmar in this state-of-the-art studio was amazing in its own right but seeing them believe in me and my talent was incredible,” he said.
Wats My Doel was one of the songs recorded at Sunset Recording Studios and refers to Williams feeling like things were not working out as he had hoped.
“People put expectations on you, and you have expectations on yourself, and this is what the song plays towards and refers to,” he said.
Despite his powerful stage presence, Williams was timid during his high school years. “As you know there is so much pressure in school with peers and belonging, etc. but despite that, my love for music stood tall,” he said
“ATKV –Crescendo has seen and affirmed not just my potential but also introduced me to amazing artists like Marsha Bothma with whom I wrote Unhu Hwanu,” he added.
“The album Hier is Ek, which drops on all streaming platforms with the title’s song’s music video available on YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dfd2musR-xM
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Selby Williams Biography:
· Selby Warren Keith Williams was born and raised in Worcester, Avian Park, one of the most dangerous communities in the Western Cape.
· He is part of a family of six and the second oldest of 4 kids. His love of music started when he sang along to the radio with his grandmother.
· A shy teenager, he found confidence in music. Williams entered different singing competitions and despite having quite a few wins under his belt, he says he never thought of himself as a singer-songwriter.
· After high school, he joined a community organization performing, this allowed him to travel overseas, perform on prestigious stages, and share his story through the arts.
· He entered ATKV-Crescendo’s Mentor Programme talent search after which he recorded his very first single song, Verewig en Nou.