Speaking with Maizie Williams of Boney M is like hijacking a hot tub time machine for a day. Those lost memories of years gone, reignited as hit after hit song resurfacing as if old friends dormant until now. Williams a West Indies-born British model and singer became one of the original members of the successful 70s music group Boney M and is playing tonight in Auckland with her Boney M band.
It's also reported her and male counterpart Bobby Farrell ('he wasn't that tall') who she fondly remembers as 'an amazing person' did not sing on the studio-recordings of their songs, they did perform the well-known songs live countless times, rigorously touring discos and clubs to earn a reputation for themselves, while Williams subsequently established an independent career as a singer.
"You're still half asleep right?" she teases down the phone. She playfully confides having visited Australia a couple of times but "To New Zealand, it's the first time for me. Boney M is four people, we're coming to hopefully deliver a great show and have a great time over there with everyone".
Boney M ruled the airwaves in the 70s the disco era. Rasputin, Sunny and Bahama Mama became iconic hits worldwide as the group created by German record producer Frank Farian smashed song charts around the world. Originally based in Germany, the four original members of the group's line-up were Jamaican-born singers Liz Mitchell and Marcia Barrett, Maizie Williams from Montserrat and Bobby Farrell from Aruba, it was a time when was the groups popularity was fast gaining notoriety.
"Oh my word, it would take forever to explain the 70s" recounts Williams. "It was a great time, it was the best ever for music. It was the era for music, and we had a ball. Not only with Boney M, but everyone at the time. Recording artists like Abba and Donna Summer you just name them, everybody was gelling together it was one big family really".
1978 was the group's biggest year. They released a new double A-sided single, Rivers of Babylon/Brown Girl in the Ring, which became a massive hit all over Europe, reaching No. 1 in several countries as well as becoming one of the biggest selling singles of all time in the UK. It also became their most successful single in the United States, peaking at No. 30 on the U.S. pop singles chart, and as Williams recalls "That was our biggest" but not even she could predict the magnitude of the song becoming one of the most iconic songs of that decade.
"No, no - who would think that would ever turn out to be the case?" she says surprised. "It was just another song that we were recording, at the end of the day we knew it was a beautiful song, but at the same time no one knew what was going to happen but it took off like lightning, it's still the most popular song amongst all the fans, even the new generation today".
"Like you say it's a very spiritual song, it comes from the bible in psalms verse 137. I think because we put a Disco melody behind it and made it sound a little bit more flamboyant everyone can relate to it. No matter what religion, no matter what culture, no matter who you are, everyone relates to that song. It's a wonderful thing because at the end of the day it's a blessing".
Throw a dart at their song list and chances are it will land on Brown Girl in the Ring ('It flipped over and became another number big 1 hit, can you imagine that?') and Daddy Cool (their first number 1 hit), however also not to be outdone were Swedish hit group Abba, whom Williams says "Oh yes we worked with them several times, wonderful guys. Back in the day it was Abba and Boney, Boney and Abba' [laughter] It's been one big adventure that I never expected or never dreamed of, every day I pinch myself, it's more than I ever thought possible and it's been wonderful, a privilege I feel so blessed"
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
Due to significant weekend rainfall, and the forecast of more rain over the next 72 hours, Coffs Harbour City Council, Frontier Touring, John Logan Entertainment and Midnight Oil management have met and reviewed the site for Midnight Oil’s show on Thursday 19 October.
After their 2012 Mercury Prize-nominated debut and 2015’s Top 20 follow-up Born Under Saturn, musical adventurers Django Django are back for 2017, exploring new sounds with their brand new album Marble Skies
After stunning, sold-out concerts across the US, legendary Led Zep drummer Bonzo's greatest legacy - his son Jason - brings his critically acclaimed concert, Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, to New Zealand for just two performances.
Playing their breakthrough debut self-titled album in its entirety, pop rock sensations We The Kings will return to New Zealand and Australia to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of their breakthrough self-titled debut album.
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