January 31, 2011
Urbanology Magazine Features Lee
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.
January 26, 2011
XI Magazine Features 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.
January 24, 2011
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.
December 28, 2010
Rolling Out Magazine features Lee
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 outrecently 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. –amyr heard
November, 16, 2010
How’s My Rolling Features Lee
Lee – Laser Focused
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.
What are some of your methods to get in a writing or singing mood? What is your favorite thing to do while you compose yourself as an artist?
November 4, 2010
On Wax – The Poster Magazine Features Lee
by Ural Garrett
“First thing I would say is that the category you would put my music in would be good music,” says Florida musician whose genre breaking sound has garnered critical acclaim
Dubbed by The Miami New Times and Miami Herald as one of the best rap acts to come from Florida, Lee started as head of jazz-funk/hip-hop hybrid band The Square Egg. The group made an accomplishment rare among independent artists. Their music was featured on a host of shows including The Drew Carey Show and Dharma & Greg. As a solo artist, Lee’s vivid imagery and skillful wordplay earned him the opportunity to open for legends like Luther Vandross, Cypress Hill and the groundbreaking poet Saul Williams. Never one to be boxed into a specific genre, Lee will bare his soul to the world with his sophomore release Naked which promises to get people moving and thinking at the same time.
On Wax: Let’s talk about your musical journal.
Lee: I actually started off as a DJ believe it or not. That came from me growing up enjoying music and as far as getting into it myself, I wanted to express some of the ideas I had and give thoughts to some of the voices in my head. I remember getting my first drum machine I decided to mess around with sampling and making my own beats. I guess it’s like everyone else when you listen to curtain artist growing up and those are the folks you imitate or emulated in some fashion while finding our own voice. It’s a progression of understanding what I was doing?
On Wax: You have your album Naked out, what should listeners expect?
Lee: Naked is my seventh studio album, second solo album. It’s me just really getting down to the core of who I am while expressing some of my inner and deeper thoughts with what I’ve experienced while trying to give a voice to that. It’s my baby. It comes down to music being about my expression. The title comes from removing all bells and whistle without any concern for commercial formula. It’s about me making music and connecting to the listeners.
On Wax: Explain the meaning behind the HIV/AIDS inspired track on Nakedentitled “Time.”
Lee: I was just thinking about that in our community (I’m assuming you’re a person of color) that HIV/AIDS are real problems in our community. We’re the highest infected people in the nation and in Africa so it’s affecting all people of color throughout the planet. I was thinking about the various ways we try to teach abstinence and stuff like that in school and that’s not a message that we’re trying to hear. We all talk about a lot, see it on TV and how it’s particularly prominent in our music with the celebration of sex but no one talks about the grave repercussions of being safe or thinking about the consequence. When I wrote the song I thought I was being subtle. I thought it would come off as being about teen pregnancy but I guess I wasn’t as subtle as I thought I was. I wanted to paint a picture of everything that happens in real life, to real people.
October 19, 2010
Lee Is Featured On Laddy Blogga’s “In My Ears…”
With his sophomore album “Naked” on deck, Lee is set to challenge today’s issues with music. Taking on real-life issues and topics, Lee manages to deliver with a soulful approach to sound. Equipped with the band Square Egg accompanying his lyrics, they manage to combine Hip Hop, Jazz and Soul together to create one unique sound. The song “Gimme That” is a testament to a woman from a man. Using spoken word and an incredible beat, Lee manages to tell the story of a man who appreciates his woman and the time they have together… A romantic tale told over brass and funk, a definite ear pleaser. Check out “A Place Called Ted’s” off their Quite Simply the Best of The Square Egg. The album Naked as well as past projects can be purchased on CD.Baby.com
October 19, 2010
Lee is reviewed on Soulified.com
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:
April 26, 2010
Lee is featured on Soul Train’s official website for an interview on his upcoming album, Naked.
Soul Train / Culture
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 Train: Why don’t you start off by telling everyone about what’s been going on in your life since the release of your solo debut, Meet Lee?