Interview : Imani Williams, Awesome singer

Interview : Imani Williams, Awesome singer

Interview: Thomas Anderson | Photo: Robert Gershinson

You’ll already be familiar with Imani Williams’ incredible voice when she featured on Sigala’s chart smash ‘Say You Do’ earlier this year. She’s just released her own debut single ‘Don ’t Need No Money’ featuring Sigala and Blonde. It’s awesome!

How would you describe yourself in five words?

Bubbly, clumsy, hardworking, friendly and a foody.

Your debut single ‘Don’t Need No Money’ is awesome. We’d love to know more about the song

The single features Sigala and Blonde. I’ve worked with Sigala loads and it’s amazing to have a second song out with him. It’s an uptempo, happy song and a great anthem for the summer – if we get one in the UK!

The video looks like it was lots of fun to film

It was amazing. I went to LA to film the video, I love LA. I worked with a really amazing team. It was a long day but we got through it.

Is this style of music representative of the songs that will feature on your debut album?

I would say my album is going to be a mixture of different things. It’s going to be quite eclectic. There will be lots of pop music on there. I’d describe my sound as anthemic and pop. Pop is such a broad umbrella of genres. There will be lots of different influences and sounds on the album.

How did it feel when you first heard your own song being played on the radio?

Wow. It was quite a cool experience. I was in Jamaica shooting the video for ‘Say You Do’ and my manager told me the song was being played on the radio. We stopped shooting and we huddled up around a phone and listened to the song being played. It was the most amazing feeling.

How did your collaboration with Sigala come about?

I’ve been working with Sigala since I was 14 and I signed with management, we have the same managers. We wrote ‘Say You Do’, and then my new single ‘Don’t Need No Money’. I love all of Blonde’s songs too and I’ve wanted to work with for a while so I was happy to hear they would be featuring on my new single. It turned out great.

Video : Imani Williams – Don’t Need No Money ft Sigala & Blonde

Video : Sigala – Say You Do ft Imani Williams & DJ Fresh

“Everyone is really loud and the reaction gives me loads of energy. They’re so fun!”

Who would your dream collaboration be?

That’s such a hard question. I’ve always said I’d love to work with Tinie Tempah, his melodies are really cool and his flow is sick. The Weeknd are really cool too. If we’re thinking big, Justin Bieber would be amazing.

Is there a song by another artist that you wish you’d written?

We always talk about this when I’m in the studio. It’s literally the hardest question you could ask a songwriter. I would have to say ‘Emotions’ by Mariah Carey. It’s a really cool song. She was such a big part of my childhood when I was growing up. Her music inspires me a lot.

Who are your musical influences?

I’d say a lot of the late 90s and early 00s chart stuff. Like JoJo, TLC, Mariah Carey… the great people. And also Beyonce. I love her, who doesn’t? There was one song I always used to sing into a hairbrush in the mirror to…Crazy In Love. I did the whole walk from the video and pretended I was in the video. It’s such an iconic video now.

You’re performing at various Pride events this summer

I’m playing at lots of Pride events this summer. I did Birmingham Pride recently and I’ll be performing at Brighton and Manchester Pride events too…and lots more. I love the vibe of the events. Everyone is really loud and the reaction gives me loads of energy. They’re so fun!

Growing up, did you have the support of your family to follow your musical dreams?

Definitely. My mum was the most supportive person in my life. She comes everywhere with me to this day. She has really taught me to work hard for what I want. Seeing her doing the same has really helped and inspired me. Having her honesty, and a good team, are probably two of the most important things I need around me, especially in the music industry.

‘Don’t Need No Money’ is available to download and stream now. Sony Music Entertainment


About The Author

Thomas Anderson

Founder and MD of Inclusive Networks. Thomas was Chair of the award winning LGBT network for The Co-operative Group, ‘Respect’ (2011-14). Thomas named the network and designed and managed all of the branding, communications and engagement until he stepped down from the role of Chair in March 2014. He also created the branding, name, was Editor of the quarterly magazine and developed the launch of the UK’s first Inter-Retail LGBT network ‘CheckOUT’. He contributed to the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 5 Year review. In recognition of his work in the diversity field he was shortlisted for ‘Diversity Champion of the Year’ at the 2013 European Diversity Awards, shortlisted for ‘Role Model of the Year’ at the 2012 Lesbian & Gay Foundation Homo Heroes Awards and shortlisted for the ‘Positive Action’ award at the 2013 Asian Fire Service Association Fair & Diverse Awards. He also won the 2012 ‘Pride of The Co-operative’ award. He was a judge for Scotland's biggest diversity awards, The Icon Awards in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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