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Life & Work with Greg Williams

Today we’d like to introduce you to Greg Williams.

Greg, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
In the late 1990s, around 1997 or 1998, I began working with NOOK, Da’Shade Moonbeam and their crew, collectively known as the DKC, during live shows and in the organization/execution of Jump On It!, the weekly summer concert series held at Rosewood Park.

In 1998 I graduated from Reagan High School and attended Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) in San Marcos. Around 1999 I met Rene Rodriguez (formerly of the Humble Bums) and became one of the two lead MCs for .::liquidstereoproject, a hip-hop band that did a lot of support for Grupo Fantasma and played heavily in the Austin-San Antonio corridor.

Around 2001 or 2002, .::liquidstereoproject was coming to the end of its run, and myself, two members of my band and a handful of local MCs and producers started The Word Association. During our decade-ish long run, we played all over the South, East Coast and Midwest of the United States, including an appearance at the A3C Music Conference in Atlanta, a Vans Warped Tour Experience run with Skullcandy and SXSW unofficial showcases. It was during this time that Chief and TheDoomsdayDevice was created as a solo project, which continues to this day.

Near the end of The Word Association run, we teamed up with an experimental rock band from France known as Experience, and we combined to form Binary Audio Misfits, which was signed to Platinum Records (based out of Bordeaux, France). This particular group toured the United States, Canada and Europe for a period of about five years before eventually breaking up.

As a solo artist, I have played with a number of well-known groups, including (but not limited to) De La Soul, Public Enemy, Ghostface Killah, GZA/The Genius, RZA, El-P, Digital Underground, Aesop Rock, Shabazz Palaces, Killer Mike, Phife Dawg, Kurious, Common, Heiroglyphics, Saul Williams, Rob Sonic, Homeboy Sandman, Open Mike Eagle and so on. I have played unofficial SXSW showcases, The Pecan Street Festival, Fun Fun Fun Fest Nites and many more events, as well as toured the East Coast and the South. I have released records independently, with the Moodhouse label (based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota) and with Fake Four Records (based out of New Haven, Connecticut), and have built a working relationship with Austin-based label iN(Sect) Records.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
In all honesty, the only stressful areas of the journey have been the situations I did not have direct control over, as I have stayed true to myself and my original intentions from the beginning of my professional creative journey. Losing bands to breaking up, especially when the situations stem from a mix of business and personal, always takes its toll, but luckily I’ve always had a clear enough vision and enough working momentum during these times to continue the advancement of my career.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a DJ for live shows, club events, special events and weddings. I am a lyricist who writes rhymes strictly for Chief and TheDoomsdayDevice projects in the hopes of being compelling, thought-provoking and creatively forward-thinking. I am a solid enough producer, though I fully am aware that I have room to improve in that realm, not to mention the fact that there are countless numbers of producers better than myself.

Over the years I have become a music and film blogger, I have begun the transition into working on film projects (both in an acting and production capacity), and I am beginning to lay the groundwork for YouTube content creation, though I am aware that I must dedicate more time to that in order for it to gain traction at this time.

I would say that I am most proud of the fact that my love for and knowledge of music has become an aspect of my creativity that is respected by peers and fans alike, as my initial steps into writing and performing came from realizing that the differences between a deep fan of hip-hop and those who actively partake in the culture is minute, if not non-existent.

I believe that my honesty, sincerity and passion sets me aside from others, as these qualities have allowed me to continue my career going into the early stages of my third decade as a professional musician and artist.

What’s next?
I plan to continue transitioning more and more into film, with the hopes of eventually directing features and acting on a larger scale. Musically, I plan to start being a bit more selective in the rap performances I partake in, and I plan to start shifting my current live performance towards something a bit more abstract and production-based, perhaps with mixed media elements to it (which I believe is the prospect that excites me the most in terms of potential big changes).

Contact Info:

Image Credits

– Performance photo by Hunter Levy of Do512 – portrait photo by Julian Neel – logo by Chief and TheDoomsdayDevice

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