He’s been dubbed a rapper, poet, singer and musician. Lee Williams’ artistry is an experience, an honest lyrical composition that elevates human expression. Rolling out recently had an opportunity to speak with Williams, co-founder of the highly praised group Square Egg, about his solo venture, Grammy nod, and thoughts on his new album, Naked. –amyr heard
Why did you pick the title Naked for your new album?
You know, it was me delving into some of my deeper thoughts and experiences. It was removing all the surface … and touching the core as to who I was as a person. There are a lot of personal things on the album with regards to relationships and the insecurities we might feel as people. Not only as artists but as human beings in this world and this society.
What do you find most rewarding, particularly with your solo experience?
Just that people get it. With Square Egg, especially with the first record, Songs to Live By, we worked with producer Aaron Fishbein. Aaron has a ‘pop ear’ having worked with Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias and Beyoncé. And when we … started to depart away from that, it was really rewarding seeing that people allowed us to grow versus saying I want you to be ‘this’ because ‘this’ [is] how I’ve known you. When you are turned on to new audiences and have an opportunity to share your stuff with new people … that’s the ultimate reward for me.
You recently received a preliminary Grammy nod. What was that like?
Yeah, I was a little disappointed that we didn’t make the final ballot but it … it was cool being part of the preliminary conversation. I would be … lying if didn’t say I was disappointed to not have made the ballot, but we will keep doing what we do.
What artist would you like to work with?
Wow. André 3000. Once upon a time I was a journalist. And I remember talking to them on the phone just as you are with me and listening to these young kids … fast forward, here’s a guy who started off as the dirty ‘R word,’ a rapper, and now he has turned into this musician who quite frankly is doing stuff that’s just amazing…you can see the growth. [I] just want to pick his brain to see how he personally felt about his journey.