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Look in any House-Music DJ's crate of classics and there you will find the name Jay Williams.
Queens New York native Jay Williams is an international recording artist and award winning songwriter recognized by Spin, MTV, Rolling Stone and Billboard for his contributions in elevating the genre of House Music to pop radio rotation, mainstream notoriety, and world sales. Jay catapulted from New York's underground club culture and post-Paradise Garage era, then exploded to the top of the Billboard charts in 1990 with his signature anthem and social-conscious smash "SWEAT" (til I'm soaking wet) on Big Beat/Atlantic Records. 13 Weeks on the charts, Jay's song and self-penned lyrics became a world sensation heard and echoed during the Nelson Mandela freedom celebration ceremonies and broadcast. With fiery world tours and commercial endorsements under his belt, Jay carved his name and respect in the world of dance music and sustains a huge following and fanbase in South Africa, Europe and Asia. Collectively over 700,000 records sold, Jay Williams career discography is comprised of a sporadic handful of #1 chart-topping dance floor hits over the years that include the gospel-house classic "TESTIFY", "Get On Up", "It's Over", the soaring vocal range rendition of Blue Magic's "Look Me Up", "Could This Be Love"; and various projects and compilations with notable dance producers/remixers Roger Sanchez, C&C Music Factory, Junior Vasquez, Urban Blues Project, Mousse T, Hex Hector, DJ Gomi etc.
Raised and influenced by the soulful 70's, Salsoul Orchestra, Sounds-of-Philadelphia, producer legends Gamble & Huff, Ashford & Simpson, and Jay's classic-soul male inspirations Teddy Pendergrass and Eddie Kendricks, Jay began as a young background vocalist and R&B studio session singer for major R&B artists. This lead to national Coca-Cola and 7Up jingles while studying music and law at New York's Baruch College. When Jay felt ready, he ultimately used his background vocal experience to pursue a solo career, then became an unsigned underground entertainer in New York City's dance music clubs. Bringing his own show, live vocalists, gogo dancers, avante garde fashions and chains to the East Village underground after-hour nightclubs. Jay caught the eye of legendary radio DJ Frankie Crocker who mentioned Jay's talent and act on his radio show. Jay was soon after approached by producer Nelson Roman and music mogul Craig Kallman. This was followed by a huge push and support by DJ Junior Vasquez who officially christened Jay's reel-to-reel hit in the number one club Sound Factory, and arranged a two night sold out live performance before thousands of house music parishioners. The following weeks entailed a live performance at New York's Tunnel, Roseland Ballroom, The Red Zone and Club Zanzabar. As captured in NY Newsday and local news, pandemonium ensued the next day in front of Tower Records and Vinylmania storefront when each store was forced to put up a sign on the door stating "Jay Williams record is not yet released!!" A House-Music legend was born. This forced the label to immediately rush the release date of the anti-apartheid anthem which the powers of the universe aligned with the release and freedom of Nelson Mandela. Jay Williams Sweat House Music anthem was added to global radio rotation and became an international sensation. -- To date, Jay's collective experience evolved in the launching of JW2 Entertainment - Artist Development & Branding Agency in which he is the CEO/Director. He is currently grooming major label talent, songwriting, scoring soundtracks and co-writing a musical stage play. While his heart still beats for House Music, Jay Williams is a community activist and continues to thrive in his preference behind the scenes as a songwriter with diverse vocal arranging, on-stage and in-studio credits that read alongside Paul Simon, Patti Labelle, Luther Vandross, Roberta Flack, Kathy Sledge, Mary J. Blige, N'Dea Davenport, Ultra Nate', Barbara Tucker, to the Baha-Men and a long who's who list of Major Pop and R&B heavies.
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