T Williams isn’t new to the game. Starting his career at the age of just 17, the producer initially made a name for himself on the grime scene alongside fellow producer Jon E Cash – whose “War” instrumental was recently jumped on by Novelist.
Thousands of records and many years later, Williams saw his sound migrate more towards the house and techno scene. A move that proved more than successful.From appearing on Boiler Room to charting on Beatport, it’s clear to see that the artist is well respected across a wide spectrum of genre-defying platforms.
We caught up with the producer at this summer’s Boardmasters festival – where he played the Relentless stage – to find out about the man behind the music.
Hi T Williams! Can you tell us a bit about your career to date?
“Alright, so! I came up making grime when I was a teenager and definitely sold a few records. I was part of a crew called the Black Ops with Jon E Cash and myself. The most notable tune was “Invasion” which was quite a big grime instrumental tune. Then when I got to my twenties I discovered house music.
“To be fair I discovered house music in terms of raving– I really got into the partying! Musically I mainly like the soulful kind - people like people like Kerry Chandler and Kenny Doe – masters at work, all of that soulful afro house stuff. I decided that I wanted to make that music as well and changed my name to T Williams.
“I had no real ambition for it but I just threw some music up on MySpace and via the label that me and my friend had started and yeah that really kick started the whole T Williams project.
“Fast forward a bit and I signed to a label called Local Action. They were the first ones to put out a T Williams record.”
How does working in the grime scene differ to working in the house scene?
“I was a teenager when I was doing the grime thing and I didn't even know it was grime that I was making. At the time that wasn't even a name for the music. We were trying to make garage really and truly and we just happened to make something really dark that didn't fit within the house or garage world at that time.
We ended up making our own kind of scene out of that so there wasn't really any deep thought to it. I was at university so I didn't get into the whole grime scene… I wasn't a part of that whole thing of like the MC's and all of that kind of stuff.
I was literally just making tunes in my bedroom, and then they were just selling out and that's how it was. I'm more attached to this now. It's a full time career now whereas actually it was just a hobby back then."
Do you feel like that prepared you for the scene that you're in now?
100%! The main thing that the grime scene prepared me for is to know that music goes in cycles. Grime is very popular now but grime had a very dark time in the middle of that where they weren't selling many records and it was the same thing with me, I was selling lots of records and then ended up selling not so many records in those low times.
What it teaches you is not to wallow in those low – just keeping going, keep doing what you're doing and people will enjoy your music. It always comes back around.
After a decade in the scene, T Williams has proved that producers can find continued success without being tied to a genre-specific way of working. From garage, to grime, to techno and house – the sound of the UK’s underground is summed up in his unique and contagious sound.