“I am reminiscent of a time when music spoke beyond the surface,” says Brooklyn’s highly fashionable songwriter, composer, producer and artist extraordinaire Cole Williams of ThatsMyCole. On the surface, Cole presents herself as a striking songbird that you can’t take your eyes off of. Below though, unafraid of being vulnerable or naked in her music, Cole is quickly building her creative empire.
Cole Williams kicked off this year with the release of multiple singles and music videos, as well as a successful tour throughout France. She then hooked up with hip hop duo Chiddy Bang to offer some powerful female vocals on their single “Ray Charles,” and followed that up with live performances on national TV including Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Wendy Williams.
Next on her agenda, Cole Williams will independently release a limited-edition, double EP titled, Out of the Basement, Out of the Box on May 8, 2012. The album, co-produced by Josh Valleau and Cole Williams, includes the tracks from her 2011 soul/reggae/rock EP Out of the Basement Part I, plus a new collection of songs showcasing her pop and R&B roots.
Cole Williams has also lent her vocals both on stage and in the studio to other notable artists including Melinda Doolittle, Diane Birch, Joss Stone, Little Jackie and Neurotic Drum Band. Her 2006 Swedish Grammy nomination for Best Live Performance (with Glenn Wish and The New Memphis Orchestra) skyrocketed her commercial voiceover work, which she now does for Suave, CoverGirl and JC Penny, among others.
Cole’s voice is not her only representation in the media. Her love for vintage shopping and brilliant eye for color combinations, textures and cuts have gotten her spotted on the street and pulled in for fashion photo shoots with such designers as Elyvette, Makabu and KALYSSCOLORS, and for publications like Italian Vogue and Suavv Magazine.
Regular performances and residencies with her three bands, That’sMyCole, The Pimps Of Joytime and People’s Champs, at New York City hotspots including Pianos, Rockwood Music Hall and Brooklyn Bowl, prove that Cole Williams is a small package with a big live presence.
Raised in the Little West Indies of Brooklyn, NY as the only child of a Jamaican mother and Bed Stuy-native father, Cole treated the records in her living room like siblings. She played, fought, admired, questioned and loved Bob Marley, The Beatles, Mighty Sparrow, Jackson 5, Motown and Dancehall Reggae. Today, with every project Cole touches you can hear the eclectic mix of genres that dance around in her head.
Cole Williams is the pioneer’s soul mate; the anthem for some and the voice for others. “I keep it real in every lyric, musical line and inflection,” she says. And what’s the appeal for the empowered listener? “I don’t write a lot of syrupy love songs because I’m from Brooklyn; I don’t believe in that shit.”