‘You Shine Bright’ – Studio Sessions & A New EP

Neil White (lead guitar and bass); Joel Beswick (producer) and Bettie J Williams

I’ve been writing and performing since the age of eleven, with various bands and consistently as a solo artist under the stage name ‘Bettie J Williams’. Music is and always has been a huge part of my life. In recent years, as well as studying for my masters and working in Zimbabwe and Uganda (where music and community arts featured heavily in both my work and social life- a special shout out to Heatwave Studios, Harare), I’ve put a lot of my creative energy into music in community settings and I’m a huge advocate for its soothing potential and always will be –  I’ve enjoyed every second of this.

But, as I wrote last year in an article published on Elephant Journal

“Remember that feeling you get when you sing, when you allow yourself to speak up in the truest form, when you need to express what you believe in. How words leave your lips and the melody leaves your mind. Never forget this soothing potential, and the responsibility that your words carry within. Storytelling has a great impact and brings the humane back into humanity.

As for my own song—my own voice—I owe it to myself. I strive to treat myself exactly how I treat others: with kindness, compassion, grace, and patience. My words matter, my voice matters.

I will allow myself to feel the soothing potential of doing and being exactly what I want and need to do, exactly when and how I need to do it. I will no longer silence myself and my instincts, limit my own possibilities, or silence my voice in the crowd. 

“Sing your stories for they are the most powerful tool you have”.

And so, I thought it was time to take a leaf out of my own book and an even bigger leap of faith – Now feels like the right time to put new music ‘out there’ and share some of what I’ve been working on.

Songwriting and performing my own music has always been where I’ve felt most alive and in many ways, the process of recording and being back in a studio and recording my own music has felt like coming home – not a feeling I will forget or dispel in a hurry.

I’m so excited to share the new music with you all and have it ‘out there’ for everyone to enjoy! The first Single from the EP will be released on 26th November, followed by one more single release in January before the EP release in February 2022.

I’ve been blessed to have the creative support and backing of a super talented, patient and humble producer -Joel Beswick (Joel Keys) and a wonderful host of session musicians and friends over the last few months. This project has certainly felt like a labour of love and I hope it shows in the music.

I send extra special thanks to Beatbox Hann, Neil White (incredible guitarist), Laura Bradshaw (friend and flautist), Sally Josephine (viola) and N’Famady Kiote (djembe) for being so forthcoming with their ideas and willingness on each and every track.

I’m hoping to hold an EP launch event in early 2022 and look forward to gigging again as we all seek to navigate a post-pandemic live music scene – Like all musicians, the ability to play live and connect with audiences left a void that only its return can remedy.

There are so many more songs I’m itching to share and I hope to bring out a larger body of work in the later part of next year in the form of an album, as well as some exciting collaborations along the way.

In the meantime – My first single ‘You Shine Bright’ from the EP will be available on all major streaming platforms on 26th November.

So, watch this space and thanks for coming on this journey with me!

In peace,

–Bettie xo