Tony Williams
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Tony Williams

Band R&B Singer/Songwriter

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The needle lands on the surface of the 12-inch single, decorated with black and blue, that reads: "Boys are Back in Town." The wooden record player allows the voices of Oklahoma natives Ronnie, Charlie, and Robert Wilson to echo throughout the living space at the red brick home, with yellow trimming in an Oklahoma City, northeast-side neighborhood.

The Gap Band’s 1979 UK hit, "Boys are Back in Town," inspired a young musician by the name of Tony Williams, to sing, write and place his dreams of becoming a "rock star," at the top of his list as "things to do." Surrounded by musicians, social activists and families inspired by unity, the eager Oklahoma native would envision a life of performing on world tours, experimenting with sounds and mixing soul, rock and funk genres to enhance a unique and edgy ricochet.

With an inspiration and passion for music, the future singer/songwriter would take the soulful sounds of The Gap Band, the funky twist of P-Funk and the conviction behind Gospel to "paint everyday life experiences." After being a part of the band, Colorblind and being front man for O’Rilly (The Band), writing songs for R&B sensation Color Me Bad and attending fashion school in Los Angles, California, the talented singer/songwriter decided to move to Dallas, Texas in search of a "feeling" and the "inspiration" he needed to reach for his ultimate goal of creating distinctive music.

In Dallas, he would help form: Crucial Fiction and Uncle Pete’s Parade, playing instruments, songwriting and using his vocal gifts to appeal to alternative audiences. After a desire to become a solo artist, Williams would earn his tag name, Tony "Penafire" Williams and began to write and collaborate with guitarist, Mark Gressett on gospel inspired songs and create a partnership called, SOULJAH. This unique project would be a life altering experience that would lead to a world of full of unimaginable possibilities.

In 2002, Williams would meet up with his first cousin, Kanye West, who had been signed to hip-hop, super label, Roc-A-Fella Records for two years, at the W Hotel in Los Angles. Through the visit to "The City of Angels," Williams would play a song for the then, up and coming rapper/super producer Kanye West, which was titled "Anita Jo’s Café" and had been birthed during the SOULJAH experience.

This newly formed producer/songwriter tandem would re-record the record in the W Hotel room and after the hard work, West’s response was, " Damn cuz…you got skills!" Since then, Williams has co-written, toured, recorded, sung and collaborated with the Grammy Award winning rapper for over the last six years. Featured on Grammy award winning albums, College Dropout (2004), Late Registration (2005) and Graduation (2007), Tony Williams is most famous for his striking vocal appearances on Kanye West’s’ "Spaceship," "I’ll Fly Away," "Drive Slow," "We Major" and "Everything I Am."

Williams has also worked with Devo Springsteen, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Keisha Cole, Common, John Legend, Consequence, Al Be Back, Pattie Labelle, Sheila E., Charlie Wilson, Nas, Ronkat Spearmen, John "Cheesebeats" Williams, James Dumaine, Keezo Kane, Chris "Cutta" and Lamont Dozier.

Tony Williams is currently a member of Kanye West’s’ label G.O.O.D. Music, touring on the well-anticipated, 2008 Glow in the Dark Tour and working on his solo project, King or the Fool scheduled for release in late 2008.

"The world is a stage and life is a story," says Williams. "Through music we can color scenes in anyway that we choose to." Williams continues and proclaims, "I’m blessed to be getting out my dreams."