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Kingston, Saint Andrew, Jamaica | SELF

Kingston, Saint Andrew, Jamaica | SELF
Band Alternative Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Katherine the [future] Great"

She dresses like a rebel and looks like one, especially in a Jamaican context. However, 21 year old, Katherine Williams is not really a rebel: she's an independent soul, who believes in being true to herself, her beliefs and feelings.
Look past her multicolored mohawk, the mascara-ringed eyes, the multiple piercings (7) and tattoos - as intriguing as they are - and you find a budding artiste, a singer/songwriter with a lot to say and a way with words.

Katherine has a music pedigree, since her father David was a bass player with the band Kotch. He bought her her first guitar about 5 years ago and "I couldn't even tune it. I was going to Edna Manley (School of the Visual and Performing Arts), but just for voice. My father taught me how to tune it and I started to teach myself how to play." she says.

She says that she's always wanted to sing. "I didn't see any other profession. Everyone else is doing the doctor/lawyer thing and that's alright, but it's not me. I'm an artiste" Katherine says when asked about her choice to step into the oft-perilous waters of a career in music.
She has been performing professionally for a little over a year now, with gigs at Tony's Bar on Chelsea Avenue, the Village Cafe in Liguanea, the Flashpoint Film and Music Festival, the Calabash International Literary Festival and a Cynthia Schloss tribute in the mix.

Her music can be described as a mix of acoustic soul, reggae, rock and roll and alternative rock. Both her sense of style and her musical leanings, she says "comes from the music I listen to. I'm not going to not dress the way I feel, but at the same time I'm not trying to freak anybody out. My elder sister Tasha used to listen to a 1994 Woodstock set, Alanis Morrissette's Jagged Little Pill and Green Day's Dookie before there was MTV2. There was the box and songs like [SoundGarden's] Black Hole Sun and Meat Loaf's I'll Do Anything for Love, that opened me up."

Born in Kingston, she attended St. Hugh's Preparatory, St Andrew's High School for Girls and the Immaculate Conception High School. Explaining the transfer she says, "I used to play table tennis for Jamaica and I wanted to go to a school with a permanent TT team. She was the island's Under 13 national champion for 2 years in a row, the Under 17 champion and made the national team at the tender age of 12. After high school, Katherine stopped playing TT and turned to music full time.

Some of her songs include Visible Scars, Rock n Roll 2 Me, Breakup Song and Where Did You Go? each with its own genesis. Katherine says...."I don't really have an approach (to songwriting), I just write how I feel at the time or what's in my subconscious. I write the instrumentals as well. It's rare that I write the words first, but if I do it's normally poetry. I can write a song anywhere. Sometimes I might be on the road and I save it on my phone. I've written a song on a napkin already."

And what's Katherine's ultimate wish?
"I'm not aiming to be the next somebody or the next big thing. I just think Jamaican music needs more people to just be real. I want to perform as much as I can, get my music out there, win a Grammy." Katherine laughs - The Daily Observer

"Small Stage - Great Performances"


As the night progressed and more patrons entered the venue,more persons flocked to the small stage and when Katherine Williams belted out rock tunes the crowd gathered to hear. Williams has been creating quite a buzz around Kingston and has spread her wings to Jazz and Blues for the first time. She was obviously happy to be there as she said "Dis is my first time and I'm glad to be here."
............ - The Sunday Gleaner

"Best of Tuesday Night Live was the best"

Katherine sang like an angel...
The event was the 50th weekly staging of Tuesday Night Live, designated the Best of Tuesday Night Live. Katherine, newly shorn curled and blonde locks sparkling and guitar in hand, kicked off the event. With Jason Wharton on flute and Craig "Phea" Lee on the drums, she sang Pins and Needles, Feel the Burn and Pain Won't Go Away.

To say she was stunning would be putting it mildly.

.............. - The Sunday Observer

"Inside the Mind of Katherine"

Katherine is not your average. anything. Tattooed, pierced and coloured, she believes in being true to herself, her beliefs and her feelings. Now performing under the name 'Crimson Heart Replica', she has spent the past few months in the United States of America - Florida to be precise - performing at various places.
Crimson Heart Replica. every song is a moment

After headlining a show at the Village Café in Liguanea recently, Crimson Heart Replica was back in the island for a show at Redbones the Blues Café on Braemar Avenue in Kingston, on Friday, August 5, and sat down for an interview about life, music and the name change, among other subjects.

Katherine has a music pedigree, since her father, David, who was a bass player with the band Kotch, bought her first guitar. Her music can be described as a mix of acoustic soul, reggae, rock n' roll and alternative rock. Both her sense of style and her musical leanings, she says, come from the music she listens to.

Born in Kingston, she attended St Hugh's Preparatory School, St Andrew High School for Girls and Immaculate Conception High School.
She was the island's Under-13 table tennis national champion for two years in a row, the Under-17 champ, and made the national team at the tender age of 12. After high school came pre-university, a very short stint at the University of Technology and a preliminary year at the School of Music at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. She got voice lessons with gospel singer Dionne Fowler and practised in her bedroom, where her father would hear her and eventually encourage her along the path she has taken.

So, why the name Crimson Heart Replica?
"When I first started out pursuing music, everyone would ask 'What's your stage name?' I had different monikers and nicknames people would call me, but none that truly expressed who I was as an artiste. Crimson Heart Replica defines me. The feelings that bleed from my heart and also feelings that people can relate to. Hence the word 'replica'. It also allows me to keep things a bit more personal in terms of being Katherine every day and CHR onstage. Now I sound schizo."

What was it like growing up a 'rock chick' in Jamaica, as per your new song Kingston Town?
"I was always different. I only started listening to rock in my late teens. I was always exposed to eclectic and alternative music growing up. Living in Jamaica where the culture is dancehall and reggae, segregates me from my country in a way that on the bright side allows me to branch off and gain exposure abroad where my style (of music and dress) is more popular and widely accepted. There's a lot of kids just like me in Kingston and all over Jamaica. The colony grows more every day, but being a rock chick in Jamaica creates its own obstacles. You are automatically called 'goth' or a 'freak' because you have 11 tattoos and a lip ring. It's crazy, but understandable. I'm really not as crazy as I look. OK, maybe a little."

What has it been like living in Florida and performing for the past few months?
"Lots of growth, learning, adjusting. Realising that while you may have covered lots of ground at home, there's still the rest of the world that really (does not) have to give a s**t about a rock singer from a reggae-driven country. (I) also did a couple shows in New York City. It opened my eyes to exactly how much it takes to make it. This industry is very competitive, but I think my music speaks for itself. Where I really want to be is Europe. Hell, yeah."

How do you go about finding band members, venues and gigs?
"Everything just happened. came together in this unplanned way. That was how I wanted things to work out. naturally. I started singing at open mike venues like Tony's Bar and promoters would be in the crowd and I would get invitations to open for other bands and eventually headline my own shows. Tuesday Nite Live has played a huge part in my career. The exposure and opportunities I've gained from performing there have given me the recognition I need to make the next steps. I would meet other musicians at gigs and we would end up casually jamming at my house or at my jam parties and a friendship/bond would develop - and it helps to share the same interest in music."

We have discussed the need for local musicians who play live to be paid fairly, which is not exactly the case at the moment. How can this be addressed?

"I think it is up to the promoters to be fair and logical. You want to entertain a crowd. We are the entertainment. Do the math. It's also up to the musicians who are being discredited to step up and say something in a diplomatic fashion. Most of us do this for the love and because we believe our talent and our passion to be something worthy of the necessary compensation. There has to be some common ground and a proper business relationship and understanding between the artiste and the promoters. It's mainly the 'underground' and even more specifically the rock/alternative artistes who are being 'jipped', but being underground forever can get kinda lame. for your pockets! Allow us to prove ourselves and give us the respect we deserve."

How easy is it to get gigs in America?
"It's not easy, but I booked all my gigs abroad by sending the promoters CDs and they followed up with arranging an appearance or two at small venues, but the point was made. Crimson Heart Replica must be heard!"

Is all you do play music in Florida? What is your support system?
"I have a sweatshop where I force seven-year-olds to make knock-off Converse that say Crimson Heart Replica. coming out next summer."

When are you planning on coming back to Jamaica for good?
"I'm here now. I love Jamaica. Jamaica is my home, but I got to do what I have to do, and if that means being away from home for a while in order to get my recordings done and to get more exposure and experience, so be it. But I'm here."

What are your album plans?
"There is more than an album's worth of songs, but I'm still an indie artiste. Putting out an album entails much more than just having the material, (because) I have more than enough material, but it's who is behind me. Who is the power behind this musical movement. Any marketable artiste needs a marketing team .distributors, record deal, etc (hint hint). When I do put out my album it will be called Sad Is The New Beautiful."

All your songs are originals - all from the inside. So how do they work their way out?
"My writing process varies, but most of the time it's my subconscious or that heart on my sleeve that allows me to emit the lyrical power that I do. I write and read my writing afterwards and say 'Damn, where did that come from?' Other times I don't even write them down. Every song is a moment, and rather than hide these feelings and allowing them to fester, I've found a means of letting it all out in very descriptive fashion. I like the vulnerability of my lyrics."

How do you describe yourself - physically, mentally, emotionally?
"Physically, I look crazier than I actually am. Eleven tats, one lip ring. (I) change the colour and style of my hair more than I feed my cat (sorry, Fluffy). So many clichés been thrown at me and I think I fight them without putting up a fight. When you are truly yourself then people can say what they want. (At the) end of the day you know who you are.

Mentally, I'm as strong as I am impulsive. I am as humble as I am into my looks. I don't see things for just what's in front of me. I look into it, past it, around it, through it. every angle till I almost consume myself with analysing, but it's feel or die, I always say. Emotionally I am a lover. I think I was around during the 1940s or something because I have a very old soul when it comes to love and I'm a big, hopeless romantic. Hence why most of my songs are helpless and devoted to the feelings love brings us."

Where have your best performances been, at home or abroad?
"Definitely home. My heart is here. I laid my foundation here. Still laying my foundation. When I perform in Jamaica, there's familiarity. That's my crowd. My people. I feel connected to each individual for those brief minutes on stage. In America, I'm just another pursuing what five gazillion other people are doing. My dream is one of many, but the music stands out. The energy I bring on stage sets me aside."

Introduce us to and explain your personal sense of style.
"I'm a tattooed nonconformist. This is not a fashion statement, it's a death wish. (You would) usually see me with a Mohawk, oversized shades, skinny jeans and my chucks (Converse). Oh, and I never leave home without smudged black eyeliner. Sometimes I even wear it when I'm just chilling at home. I have 'dress-up-itis'. I love putting outfits together. Makes me feel like a super hero. or villain when I go all out and put together an outfit that just reeks of my personality. - The Daily Observer

"Crimson Heart Replica torches RedBones"

There is only one conclusion to come to if there are six guitars on a stage with a band consisting of four members - including a drummer. You are at a rock show.

This was the case at Redbones the Blues Café, Braemar Avenue, New Kingston last Friday when Katherine, performing under her newly-adopted stage name Crimson Heart Replica, held magnetic sway.

With guitarist extraordinaire Wayne McGregor playing lead, Crag 'Phlea' Lee on drums and John Fenton on bass, Crimson Heart, playing rhythm guitar, got the show rolling at close to the advertised 10:00 pm start with her original Hey, a loud, pulsating number with terrific growling riffs which set the pace for the night - if Crimson Heart's outfit did not clue you in first. Dressed in a white, long-sleeved blouse, with a black-and-white tie tucked and a black corsage pinned over one breast, tapered jeans over Converse sneakers all under a slim Mohawk, most of the tattoos known to be there were hidden, nor were her many piercings in immediate evidence.

None of it mattered. The young lady oozed attitude. She was a rock bitch and she was there to prove it, whether you liked it or not.

Party Girl was next, Crimson Heart declaring I'm a party girl/I like the way you pull my hair as she wrung notes from her instrument, matched by Wayne in intensity as the two wove an interplay while Fenton provided a bedrock and Phlea sweated, his sticks whirring in intricate patterns.

Phlea was dressed similarly to his lead singer, a long-sleeved white shirt, although with a black tie, all on the outside. His face soon shone with his exertions as the band moved into Pins and Needles, one of Crimson Heart's older songs that brought cheers from the moment it was introduced.

The band then took a break after this short introductory set to make way for The Storm Band.

After their performance and an intermission, Crimson Heart and her band returned with Yesterday. Feel The Burn followed, which featured another of McGregor's progressive solos in support of Crimson Heart's voice and lyrics, which varied between demanding and needy, angry and needing to know why. The next number was introduced with a combination of instruments providing a rock soul/blues feel, courtesy of McGregor and Fenton.

Pain Won't Go Away sounded like the name implied, and helped to highlight just how. intoxicating it can be to listen to a collection of musicians on-stage who not only know their craft, but know how to complement each other in wrenching and evoking emotion, awe or memory. Again, Phlea was incredible, playing as he had in just both sets, but with The Storm Band as well. He seemed indefatigable as he never appeared to miss a beat.

Gettin' Ill was followed by Skin, which featured yet another McGregor solo before the amusing tale told in Kingston Town about a rock chick being born in Jamaica and definitely not fitting in any of the 'normal' ways - at least on the outside, as she demonstrates when saying Pass the spliff my way.

A good bassist can often be overlooked, since he or she rarely indulges in any on-stage histrionics - overlooked, unless one pays attention and pays attention. This was the case with Fenton. Always laidback and relaxed, dressed in black, by this time he was seated on a monitor, everything seemingly at ease - except his fingers.

They glided, strummed and evoked chords with consummate skill, as was shown in Get Out. The beautiful No Good was followed by Have The Moon before the set was closed - almost - by Beautiful Mistake, a stunning number, in which Crimson Heart Replica says It's alright/If you can't sleep at night/'Cos I'm the same, her voice and the music behind it seem to plumb the depth of the human well of emotion.

It should have been the last number. However, a game of musical chairs ensued with Crimson Heart showing off her not unimpressive skill on the drums and the bass guitar, Phlea, playing some rhythm guitar while Fenton took a cigarette break and Wayne sang two songs before things went back to normal and Crimson Heart Replica closed with I Wanna Know, before sending all present home all rocked out. - The Jamaica Observer

"Getting close to Katherine"

Genre: Alternative/rock/soul
Instrument: Bass guitar
Musical Style: Crazy/edgy/ emotional/funky/irrefutable
Musical Influences: Led Zeppelin, Madonna, Sade, Stevie Wonder, The Distillers, Coldplay, Garnett Silk and Billie Holiday

Twenty-two-year-old Katherine Joanna Aisha Williams introduces herself by stating, "Music comes so naturally to me."

Being the daughter of former Kotch bass guitarist, David Williams, definitely played a significant role with her inclination to rock music, while mother, Karen Williams, acted as an exclusive motivator, constantly reminding her of the imminent goal.

Katherine's music career began at the tender age of nine, when she performed an original, Morning Blues, at one of the numerous shows she participated in while attending St. Hugh's Preparatory School.

She is also a past student of St. Andrew High, Immaculate Conception High, The Pre-University School, Broward Community College, The University of Technology, Jamaica, and the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.

Before completing her studies in computer science, she decided whether to follow her heart or follow the crowd.

Her journey towards stardom continued and she completed her studies in music at Edna Manley before gradually creating a name for herself. Since then, Katherine has performed at Tony's Bar (Chelsea Hotel), Tuesday Night Live at the Village Café, Red Bones, The Blues Café, Calabash Literary Arts Festival, The Flashpoint Film Festival, and Churchill's in the United States.

Following an audition for Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival earlier this year, Katherine added Destination Mexico to her list of memorable performances.

The rising star has also collaborated with artistes such as Diana King (her idol) and Cezar. She also recently played a cameo role in the video for Black Books by Tessanne Chin.

In future, the go-getter would like to work with Sizzla, Downstairs and hip hop violinist, Miri Ben-Ari among others.

Katherine shares her successes with her band, Crimson Heart Replica (CHR). She is complemented by musicians such as Craig 'Phlea' Lee on drums, John Fenton and Wayne McGregor on bass and lead guitar respectively.

Crimson Heart Replica defines their music as 'an illustration of immense emotion bleeding out from passionate hearts and souls'.

Her inspiration to write stems from past experiences of love, heartbreak and typical struggles individuals face, at some point in their lives.

Currently in a transitional phase, the band anticipates the release of their album 'Sad is the New Beautiful'. Katherine expresses the concept saying, "some people are afraid to embrace their sadness, instead of growing out of it. Make beauty from your sadness."

The album will comprise of approximately 11 tracks, such as Beautiful Mistake, Close and Hey. These tracks are featured on

Myspace remains the band's chief tool for promoting themselves, in addition to travelling to the United States to record.

Katherine is presently doing a production with Vyce City Project (formerly known as South Soul) but is not signed to any labels. In closing, Katherine states, "Time waits for no one. So instead of waiting for a big break, I am actually working towards it. I have realised that I am in control of my path and my destiny." - YouthLink Magazine


Beautiful Mistake [available online since 2007]
Gettin Ill [available online since 2007]
Rock N Roll 2 Me [available online since 2007]
Pins and Needles [available online since 2007]
Where It Hurts [available online since 2009]
Where did you go [available online since 2008]
Sad is the New Beautiful [EP] to be released Spring 2010



“It took a lot to step outside of the general constraints of Jamaican music and branch out as an alternative rock artist.“ (Kat.Wil., Crimson Heart Replica)

Raised on an island where Reggae & Dancehall rule the airwaves, Kat.Wil., the voice and face of Crimson Heart Replica has overcome many obstacles to become the artist she is today. And yet, she has always been mindful of what it takes to make it and what it means to be an artist.

Growing up in Jamaica’s capital city Kingston, Kat. Wil wrote music, sang and danced in school productions, played the piano by ear and was fed a steady diet of classic artists such as Stevie Wonder, Santana, Madonna, Prince, BeeGees, and Earth Wind and Fire. Although exposed to a variety of sounds at an early age, rock was the form of music that Kat. felt close to, latching on to Coldplay, Muse, MyChemical Romance, Black Sabbath, 311, Radio Head, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. At 17 she taught herself how to play the guitar and write music and almost instantly became the future of Jamaican rock

Today, it is rock culture intertwined with sacrifice and passion that drives Crimson Heart Replica’s music. She is Jamaican but her sultry, haunting voice intermixed with acoustic soul, reggae and heavy alternative rock beats gives birth to a sound that exists far from the city lights of Kingston.

Since 2004, Crimson Heart Replica has diligently built up her fan base while representing the alternative rock genre locally and overseas. She has performed at major island festivals and in numerous venues including, the annual Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, Calabash Literary Festival, Kingston on the Edge (KOTE), the Flash Point Film Festival, Red Bones Blues Café (Kingston, Jamaica), Vagabond (Miami), and Kenny’s Castaway (NYC). She has shared the stage with celebrated local and international artists such as Kenny Rogers, Sean Paul, Shaggy, Diana King, Rootz Underground, poet Ishle Park, Tessanne Chin, Sarah Couch, and European artist Nemo.

Crimson Heart Replica will release her first EP in Spring 2010, ‘Sad is the New Beautiful.’ Kat. Wil explains that “some people are afraid to embrace their sadness instead of growing out of it. Make beauty your sadness.” The EP will open alternative rock lovers to a non-stop wave of emotional expression taking them on a journey into the Crimson Heart that transforms sad into the new beautiful.