Interview with FoXx Williams
Today on What on What’s Good with Jovin Tardif, I am here with FoXx Williams. FoXx is a Toronto native who grew up in a Jamaican household. He began singing at the early age of 5 and has continued singing ever since. His favourite genres include Reggae, R&B, and Hip Hop. He cites Luther Vandross, James Brown, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Garnett Silk and Beres Hammond as some of his musical influences. His music has done extremely well internationally with singles like “If And Or Maybe” with Vincent Vik and “Wine Up” with DJ Rebel.
FoXx has opened for some prominent musicians including Akon, Jennifer Hudson, and Karl Wolf. He is a massive fan of the Toronto Raptors and had the honor of performing alongside Karl Wolf at the team’s 2014/2015 Season Opener. Today, I sit down with FoXx Williams to discuss his passion for music, his signature sound, travelling internationally, and his first North American single ‘Up Ting’. Now before we start the interview, I didn’t ask the question at the time but after watching a few videos, I must ask him about his Toronto Blue Jays hat collection. Next time, next time…
1. Please describe what music meant to you growing up
Growing up I lived in a musical household. My mother sang in the church choir and father had a wall unit set up with hundreds of records, a turntable, and some loudspeaker boxes. Every Saturday I’d wake up to hearing oldies; from Marvin Gaye and Barry White to Bob Marley and Sanchez. My mother also put my sister and I in piano lessons with the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Being a high school kid, I thought the piano wasn’t “cool” at the time and ended up quitting after grade 6 because at that point I realized that I wasn’t playing the kind of music that I wanted to. This inspired me to write my first song. Music to me has always been a part of my life for as far as I can remember. As a result of my musical background in Piano and upbringing, it’s helped me melodically and has enabled the ability to create unique harmonies and sounds. All in all, music invokes emotions.
2. Can you describe your signature sound?
My signature sound is a unique fusion of hip-hop, R&B, and reggae. Growing up in Toronto (The most multicultural city in the world) I had many friends from different backgrounds. Some of my friends listened to hip-hop/rap, some listened to EDM and Dance music, some were R&B heads and others like me loved reggae. So naturally being around so many people with different tastes for music you begin to open up to new genres you wouldn’t necessarily listen to. Ultimately, my sound comes from upbringing and life experiences.
3. Did you get musical inspiration from traveling internationally or developed any new sounds?
To be quite honest, traveling and touring internationally has been one of the greatest inspirations. It’s helped with my performance and helped develop my sound. It was while touring and travelling in Europe that I realized that there is a huge market for Hip-hop/Rap, R&B & Reggae music. It was in Europe that started to implement fusion into my music and I got a great response. I’ve been perfecting my sound ever since and UP TING is a taste of my new sound of fusion.
4. How did it feel when your first single “Call Me” charted on the iTunes Dance Charts and becoming one of the most played songs on Italian Radio?
It was one of the most surreal and humbling experiences ever. This is when I realized that in Europe they just like good music. My colour didn’t matter. My heritage didn’t matter. I was a black Canadian of Jamaican heritage and the amount of love I received in Italy is something that I’ll never forget and will always cherish. I’ll never forget performing at BLU Night Club in Sorrento, Naples. 2500 people in an outdoor club and these people were singing and dancing to my song while I performed. I don’t even if know if they knew even knew the interpretation of the words, but it puts a smile on my face to this day.
5. What can you tell us about your latest track “UP TING”. What inspired you to create this song?
UP TING is basically the story of my journey and an introduction to me and my signature sound. I’m not going to lie, this was a challenging record to make because rapping is out of my comfort zone, but I trust the writing process. So this record really allowed me to put my penmanship to the test and to reach a totally different crowd than I’m accustomed to. This song is for everyone on the come up in any walk of life. It’s about progress. It’s meant to motivate and help inspire others to push forward and never give up. But most of all to give thanks for what you have and stay humble.