Lee hails from Clewiston, Florida, spending most of his youth in Fort Lauderdale and his formative years in Miami. In 1999 Lee co-founded the Jazz-Funk band The Square Egg while living in Miami and later moved the band along with him to New York City in 2002. Flaunting a sophisticated hybridized style featuring hints of funk, Hip-Hop, and poetry, The Square Egg managed to amass a wealth of accomplishments increasingly rare for independent artists. In addition to being prominently featured on BET J (now Centric), their music was also featured on such ABC prime time television shows as The Drew Carey Show and Dharma & Greg. Yet after fronting the group for nearly a decade over the course of four albums, Lee began to feel the need to explore the full range of his self-expression.
The multifaceted, baritone-voiced vocalist, the man behind the 13-piece Hip-Hop, Funk, Jazz, Soul outfit The Square Egg, has chipped pieces from his shell to invite you to experience perhaps his most personal and artistic efforts. Lee finds himself exploring the many dimensions of artistry, blurring the genre lines of Funk, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Spoken Word, Rock and Roll and R&B. A tall task, but one you will find refreshing and entertaining. Seemingly lofty hyperbole, but something that once you’ve experienced you’ll surely agree.
16 Reasons To Buy This Album is Lee’s third solo effort following on the heals of Meet Lee and Naked. Each effort today has proven to be a perfect capsule to showcase his growth as an artist, musician and storyteller. Lee moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2014 and has been recording, performing, and traveling between Argentina and the US since his move.
During a time when so many artists try to create an image in order to cater to one audience and basking in one-dimensionality, Lee reminds us all that there’s plenty to be gained by exploring boundaries and pushing limits. An exemplary artist in his own right, Lee finds comfort in a variety of styles, from Rock, Blues, and Hip-Hop to Funk and Jazz. And with each new endeavor, there will undoubtedly be more room for him to unapologetically stretch out in his plentiful palate of musical expression. Suffice it to say that this square egg refuses to be put into a round hole.
Soul Tracks Review of "16 Reasons To Buy This Album"
"We all claim to hate those ubiquitous best of lists, but we really don’t, and that’s why anybody who wants to look like an expert continues to make them. Actually, what we love to do is argue over lists, and that makes them the ultimate conversation piece. A bunch of NBA executives say Kobe Bryant is the 40th best player in the NBA (at best), and he goes off and Mike and Mike issue a top 10 trending topic on Twitter. Some music guru includes Robin Thicke on a list of top R&B singers while excluding (insert the name of your favored soul man here) and Twitter tears him (or her) a new one.
"Humanity will have a lot to talk about between now and the New Year as magazines and TV shows employ a battalion of authorities to churn out their year-end best of lists with assembly line efficiency. The Internet has unlimited space and need to fill that space with the most arcane and inane things, and BuzzFeed sits at atop the list of list makers due to the site’s quirky subject matter and numbering system (23 Songs Every Former Emo Kid Will Never Forget).
"So it is probably with a nod to BuzzFeed that The Square Egg front man Lee [sic] titled his third solo album 16 Reasons You Should Buy This Album. BuzzFeed’s list numbering system is probably a closely held secret, but Lee’s title refers to the number of tracks on his album. That album’s title marks Lee as an artist who is self-aware enough to understand the pricelessness of a well-dropped pop culture reference and self-confident to know that he’s got a pretty good album on his hands."
Soul Tracks Review of "Naked"
"Taking a look around these days, it wouldn’t be too much of a leap to assume that plenty of folks don’t mind letting it all hang out: exposing oneself at every opportunity seems to be how some people build relationships, notoriety, and in many cases, careers, so being naked doesn’t draw as much shock and awe as it used to….unless, instead of exposing merely skin, you’re showing unfiltered glimpses of your heart and soul. This is what Lee Williams accomplishes on this sprawling solo effort, appropriately entitled Naked since he is, through multiple music styles and insightful, intelligent prose, sharing intimate thoughts and feelings about the political, passionate and personal aspects of his life."
Urbanology Reviews Naked
"It’s rare that we turn on the TV or radio and hear music playing that speaks on relevant, pressing issues such as HIV and race just to name a couple. But turn on poet/singer, Lee, and hear just that. His music is a change from the everyday mainstream music you hear, refreshing and relatable, and not bound to one genre. Getting ready for the release of his latest album, Naked, Lee talks about his experience with the project, as well as, life. Humble and honest, Lee sheds light, inspiration and wisdom not only through his music and poetry but also in conversation.
"WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU FACE AS AN ARTIST THAT SPEAKS ON PRESSING RELEVANT ISSUES?
"Rising above the white noise of society. Often times we can be distracted by frivolous things. As people we sometimes become complacent and apathetic, so to find a way to appeal to people in a way that you are able to rise above all the noise that goes on just in our regular, daily lives… You wanna be able to connect and relate to people… Music is so controlled now; it’s not in the best interest for corporations to have free thinking consumers… To get [myself] noticed outside of that corporate construct is probably one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced over the years."
XI Magazine Interviews Lee
"The R&B world has produced some of the greatest male voices in the history of music. Luther Vandross, Barry White and Teddy Pendergrass were all male artists who dominated the genre, leaving us with timeless classics that incite the same enthusiasm today as they did when the tracks were originally released decades ago.
"Lee is an artist, poised to break into that great pantheon. Originally the lead vocalist for the group, the Square Egg, Lee has ventured into solo territory, dabbling with different sounds and using his baritone voice to market himself as a new breed of quality, conscious music. Hailing from Miami, Florida, Lee was a phenomenon in his hometown, garnering tons of radio play and scoring trophies for Best Rapper and Best Male Vocalist at the Miami New Times’ music awards. Inspired to reach his highest potential and scale the pinnacle of music superstardom, Lee relocated to New York City where he found himself awash in new opportunities and new inspirations that lead him to create some of his most personal – and moving – work. His 2008 solo debut,Meet Lee, introduced him to the mass market as an artist of substance and quality. Next up was his sophomore effort, Naked, a metaphorically titled LP that showcases the artist in his most vulnerable and open state.
"Lee took the time out of his whirlwind schedule to chat with XI about his dreams, influences and where his music fits into the industry today."
Rolling Out Magazine Reviews Naked
"The Unclassified Nakedness of Lee Williams"
"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 The Square Egg, about his solo venture, Grammy nod, and thoughts on his new album, 'Naked'."
How’s my Rolling Interview
What is the inspiration behind your music?
Music itself is what’s behind my music, as music is a universal language and we’ve used it throughout history and in various cultures to connect and to tell stories. So I’m inspired by the opportunity to connect with people through music and share my ideas.
If you were not singing, songwriting or producing today, what do you think you would be doing right now?
I’d like to imagine I’d be a professional basketball player, as basketball is something I really enjoy as well.I originally started doing music with the hopes of one day being on MTV’s Rock ‘n’ Jock, but the show is done so now I’m stuck with this expensive habit. (I’m joking about the last part obviously.)Truth is that I can’t see myself doing anything other than music.
Do your tattoos symbolize who you are as an artist and person?
Yes, I believe that they do. I have various Aquarius tattoos and World Wildlife Fund and other organizations that I believe in inked on me. There’s also a great deal of spiritual significance to some of my pieces. Some Taoist symbols as well as Adinkrah symbols. I think they represent me more as a person and my art is just a reflection of that.
Soulified.com reviews "Naked"
"Lee? Yes, Lee. Don’t know him? Let me introduce you. Lee is a an artist that has no definitions or genres that bind him. He is a everything from a singer to poet to songwriter to rapper. The reason I’m introducing you to Lee, is not just because of his new album “Naked”, that is to be released on October 26th. It’s also to introduce you to an artist that has a body of work that allows you to draw from, and then listen to “Naked” with a reflection of how Lee arrived at this point musically.
"Before his solo career, Lee was the front person for the band The Square Egg that was formed in 1999 in Miami. The band members included Lee with lead vocals, Mike Rens (bass player), Woody Quinn (guitarist), Jim Antonucci (saxophone), Russ Kleiner (drummer), Pete Clagett(trumpet), Rick Parker(trombone), Pat Firth (keyboards), and background singers Kristen Maxfield and Carol Brevard-Stern. This awesome collection of talent released four recordings which were..."
Soul Train Interview
Sound Check: Who Is Lee?
"He has a deep voice, smooth delivery, and lyrics that feature an incredible amount of honesty. His name is Lee. Some people are familiar with him from his role as the lead vocalist of The Square Egg. Still others may recognize him from his 2008 solo effort, Meet Lee. Now he’s looking to strip down for everyone with his follow up to Meet Lee, which will be titled Naked, and is due out this summer.
"When he was living in Miami, this multi-talented artist, took home the Miami New Times’ awards for Best Rapper and Best Male Vocalist in the same year. As a part of The Square Egg he has upwards of a dozen other musicians on stage with him, and as a soloist he sometimes has even more, the only difference is with his solo work he’s writing and arranging everything himself.
"Now residing in Brooklyn, NY, Lee sat down with us at SoulTrain.com to tell us a little more about who he is, why he’s getting naked, and what some of the most rewarding aspects of his solo career have been."
Soul Tracks Nov 2014
Soul Tracks Jan 2011
Urbanology Jan 2011
XI Jan 2011
Rolling Out Dec 2010
How's My Rolling? Nov 2010
Soulified Oct 2010
Soul Train April 2010
"Lee’s 16 Reasons You Should Buy This Album is a diverse project with songs touching on the political, the philosophical and the sensual with the common theme being the lyrical quality and the type of instrumental energy that listeners of indie soul know is commonplace, but that mainstream music fans mistakenly believe can only be heard on the Sunday oldies shows. In the end, Lee’s list of 16 reasons to purchase his latest project boils down to one – it’s all that and more. Highly Recommended."
- Howard Dukes, Soul Tracks