T.Williams: 'Carnival is part of my life'

Signed to PMR Records and fired up by his time at RBMA New York, it's T.Williams' time to shine.

T.Williams is the one-time grime kid who now whips up ravers with his thinking-man’s house music, released on the same label that’s home to Disclosure and Jessie Ware. Clare Considine hooked up with the West London local ahead of his slot at the RBMA Sound System at Notting Hill Carnival to chat new releases and carnival tips.

Tell us about your new EP, Feelings Within.
“There’s two pretty emotional songs – one from TALA, one from Tendai. Then two more clubby tracks – Mobb is a grimy, garage two-step track and then Three Letters is a straight house track. It’s a cross-section of everything that I’ve come through – all of those influences, grime and garage and house, all in one place again. Everything’s all tied together on this EP.

“Everyone I’ve worked with on it is a really good friend of mine already. So it was just like having a session in the studio with your good mates. We always catch a lot of jokes first and foremost. It might be like 70 per cent jokes and 30 per cent actually working. That’s what gets the product.“

T. Williams performs on the Red Bull Music Academy Stage at the Notting Hill Carnival 2013
T. Williams© Carlo Cruz/Red Bull Content Pool

Have you got plans for more releases soon?
“I’m in the studio a lot at the moment. I got really inspired by going to RBMA New York. I’ve come back and felt super-inspired by that and all of the travelling that I’ve been doing. It’s great to play to different crowds and see how people react to different styles of music.

“What I’ve found with travelling is that you realise why you’re unique and what makes you special. It’s great to go somewhere and realise people are interested in what you’re doing. When I was in New York I might have played a bit of two-step garage or a track that was big from my youth and for those guys it was brand-spanking new. So when you go somewhere new you get fully inspired by the fact that you can make and play that style of music.“I’m going back to America in Autumn to tour with Mosca and Disclosure so I’m sure I’ll come back from that even more ready to get in the studio.”

Are you looking forward to Notting Hill Carnival?
“I’m super-duper excited about the show. I’ve got my flag ready and my carnival colours. I’ve got TALA and Tendai coming down to perform with me and a few other bits and bobs up my sleeve. “

T. Williams performs live on the RBMA Stage.
T. Williams© Christelle de Castro / Red Bull Content Pool

Has Carnival always been important to you?
“I’ve been going to carnival since I can remember. When I was younger I used to go on a float every year, just dancing and wearing my T-shirt. Then when I was older I came back again to DJ on a float. It’s basically the end of the summer for me – the last hurrah. When I was back at school you’d get to see all your schoolmates who you might not have been able to see all summer holidays. It’s always been a big part of my life”

Your essential Carnival tune?
Gotta Get Through This by Daniel Bedingfield. I can remember playing that track and people at Ladbroke Grove running down the road to hear it. It was one of those carnival moments.”

Is that your all-time essential Carnival tune?
“Even though I play garage and dance music, Carnival really is all about soca and calypso. So it has to be Follow The Leader by The Soca Boys."

And how about a Carnival survival tip.
“Bring a rain mac. And keep hold of your mates. Form a chain. Hold hands if you have to.”

More from Red Bull Music Academy here.