Wrap Up And Watch Out: Esco Williams
An artist’s rise to the forefront of the independent scene is not usually as quick or as justified as Liverpool's Esco Williams. In the last 10 months alone he has been a runner-up in MTV's Brand New for 2012 and overall winner of the MOBOs nationwide ‘Unsung’ competition. The Wrap Up's James Walsh caught up with the man from Toxteth to talk about his early influences, highlights of his career to date and the long-awaited release of his debut single...
The Wrap Up: Hi Esco! First off - who were your earliest musical influences?
Esco Williams: The earliest were the Jackson 5, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. As I got older I listened to more hip-hop - artists like Busta Rhymes, Wu-Tang and Public Enemy as well as the soulful stuff like D'Angelo.
TWU: How did you first get into music?
Esco Williams: I was doing training courses up in Liverpool with an organisation called Positive Impact. They got me singing, doing gigs and I started writing, trying things out and giving it a go. That was eight years ago. I've since been a mentor in the organisation; then I thought I need to give it a bash and do it professionally. I really started seriously at the end of last year supporting artists and then I was a runner up in the MTV Brand New for 2012 and it's been a roller coaster since then.
TWU: For anyone who hasn't heard, how would you describe your sound?
Esco Williams: It's r&b and soul from my very fresh, geeky perspective!
TWU: You recently won the MOBO Unsung competition. How was that?
Esco Williams: It was pure magic. Winning my region was a big shout as while Liverpool artists may not be that well known around the rest of the UK there's a great amount of talent here. Then to go on the MOBO tour with the likes of Cleo Sol, Clement Marfo and Josh Osho and then win the full competition was proper boss! [Laughs] That's a proper Scouse thing to say.
TWU: Tell us a bit about your single 'New Challenger'.
Esco Williams: It's a great introduction to what I'm doing. I don't want there to be any confusion about who I am or what music I do. I make fun music from my perspective and while the track may have cool, jazzy, funky chords, I'm a geek and I set that clear from the start. It's got a great video to it too and the track itself is out on November 11.
TWU: Great stuff. What is to come after the single and over the next few months from Esco?
Esco Williams: The album's pretty much been boxed off for the best part of a month now. People are feeling the single so we're going to see how it goes in terms of releasing another track and dropping the album. I'm in the middle of a school tour, gigging hard and working with a really talented group called Mic Lowry - you all need to themcheck out. I want people to know that wherever and whenever they see me perform live, the stage show is on fire! I'm mostly up north now but over the next few months we'll be all over the place. I've done a few shows in London and they've been going down well so it would be good to get back down there again soon.
Words: James Walsh (@JW_DittoMusic)