Saturday 19 April 2003, 2pm, I arrive at
the Daydream Studios, St James' Wood, London.
My interview today is with Wayne Williams,
former star of Another Level. With his own
record label, set up with his brother Jason
and a solo single due for release soon,
let's see what he had to say on being a
hopeless romantic, his relationship with
his former band mates and his compliments
(?!) of boy band 'Blue' …
Round One: let's get serious …
Is it better working as a solo artist or
part of the group?
I enjoy what I'm doing as a solo artist
because I have a lot more creative control,
I have freedom and flexibility to do what
I want, you know, and ultimately there's
one decision, whereas in a group situation
you have to rely on everyone's opinions.
You wrote the track [Anything's Possible]
for your girlfriend Danielle [sister of
Scary Spice], is that the most romantic
thing you've ever done?
[laughs] No, it's not the most romantic
thing I've ever done … the most romantic
thing I have ever done [thinks] …
a while back, I had a car sent round to
her house and my driver was like 'Hi Danielle,
I'm here to pick you up, you've got half
an hour to get ready, you've been sent for
by Wayne'. It was kind of spontaneous, she
had no idea, it caught her by surprise and
it was exciting for her! She was driven
to the restaurant where I was waiting, the
theme was all set, I made it all special
for her. That's one of the things I can
remember anyway [Lady G 'awws', Wayne laughs].
When it comes to writing my material for
my songs, I can't really write anything
unless I've experience it or I know someone
who has shared that kind of experience.
I like to write things based on the truth
and reality, that kind of thing.
Can we expect an album from you soon?
My album is out in the autumn and it's called
Fame and Fortune.
I heard your nickname is Fortune, can you
tell us why that is?
It's kinda something that has been attached
to me from when I was younger, I always
wanted to be in the entertainment industry,
I used to dance as a kid and I used to tour
around the country with people like Adidas
and Levi's, people like that, just dancing.
All my friends used to say I was the fortunate
one, you know, they were all really proud
of me so the name Fortune just sort of stuck.
You said the album is out in the autumn,
are there any collaborations on it?
There's a collaboration on there with a
rapper that we're on the verge of completing
a deal with, he's quite a hot rapper, he
really is. We're all about introducing new
talent at Daydream Records and he's one
of the guest rappers on there. There's also
a female vocalist that is likely to be on
the album, her name is Carla Marie, she's
not actually an established artist but she's
a great talent, someone I respected as an
artist for quite a long time.
The single Anything's Possible is a very
apt title, do you think you have anything
to prove to the ex-Another Level members?
Not at all! I don't have anything to prove
to anybody, I mean, I'm not suffering any
kind of pressures at the moment, how can
I put it, I'm doing exactly what I want
to be doing right now, I'm in control of
my destiny, I've got my own record label,
it's been up and running for a year now,
we got a lot of plans for the future, I'm
very very comfortable where I am, plus I've
spoken to all of the guys and they really
respect what I'm doing, we've all moved
on and there's no kind of bad feeling between
us so I don't feel like I have to prove
anything to the Another Level band or to
Just to prove things to yourself?
Yes, I'm doing it for myself and for my
love of music, that's what it's about.
How did it feel splitting from the group,
not only did you lose the group but your
friendship with Dane Bowers?
[pauses] Firstly, it was my decision to
leave the group, it's not the kind of decision
you make over night, I didn't wake up and
think 'right I wanna leave Another Level,
I wanna leave all this behind', it wasn't
a decision like that, it was something that
was going on inside me for a while, it was
something that I had carefully thought and
considered. Since I've left the group I've
never actually looked back, I've never thought
'why did I do that, did I do that at the
right time, shit, was it the right thing
What were your actual reasons for leaving
because they [Another Level] seemed to be
quite successful at the time that you left?
Yeah, um, creatively I felt stifled and
I think the group became a lot more about
individuals more so than solidarity within
the group, I mean, it's evident today, you
see a lot of it with groups these days,
we're all quite young and we didn't have
a very good understanding of the music business.
Having had a better understanding maybe
we would still be together as a group, maybe
that would have taught us that it's important
to work together as a team and tackle things,
as a team.
Do you think you all wanted different things?
I think it became that way and I do what
I do for the love of music first, and that
sounds a bit silly when you're in the music
business cos obviously there's a business
to consider, but I sincerely do what I do
for the love of music. What I do, if I make
a hot record in the studio, I am making
that for me first, it's all about what's
going on, what's stirring me to make this
music before I can deliver it to any fans
or before I can deliver it to anybody else,
that's a big part in creative process by
anybody. I could never imagine Picasso doing
paintings just for the sake of doing them
for other people's expectations, I'm sure
it was all about what he felt first and
what he had in mind and what he was seeing.