About the Artist
(bio from www.saundrawilliams.com
Saundra Williams is a singer who embodies the heart and soul of a natural born vocalist. She is sultry and smooth…pure and raw. You can truly hear her heart in every note that she sings and once you hear her, you'll never forget her. Born and raised in Harlem and The Bronx, NY, Saundra has made quite a name for herself on the live music and recording scene in New York City and abroad. She has performed with and written for some of the best recording artists and musicians all while maintaining a thriving career as a captivating live performer. Her humble beginnings, from singing in church (where she wrote her first song at the age of nine) to days and nights of going to school, holding down a job and singing in local bands to support herself and her family, shows her tenacity and determination to fulfill her dreams.
Her extraordinary talent, on the other hand, speaks for itself.
Performing and winning four times on the television show "It's Showtime at the Apollo" in the early ‘90's seemed to jump-start her solo singing career, this after being a personal favorite of the late host of Amateur Night at the Apollo, Mr. Ralph Cooper Sr.. After being seen by millions, the calls for work started coming and she was off and running. On “ It's Showtime at the Apollo” Saundra sang a song recorded by R&B artist Vesta Williams and as fate would have it, she would later share the stage with Ms. Williams at the one and only Sweetwater's Supper Club in New York almost a year later.
Saundra worked consistently, traveling and performed with the "Respect Yourself" Mass Choir headed by a famous New York City radio personality. She was also hand-picked to be one of the original female lead vocalist for the live funk band "The Slam Clinic" led by keyboard virtuoso/producer Lenny Underwood. Based out of the world renowned ‘Cafe' Wha?' club in Greenwich Village NYC, this is where she honed her live performance skills for a number of years until she decided to branch off and do “her own thing”. It didn't take long for her to be recording her own records. In 1994 she performed her Billboard #1 dance hit "Real Love" on indie record label Bold!Records for Billboard magazine in San Francisco. There she also appeared along with a roster of some of the hottest "house music" singers for ‘Diva's and opened up for Billy Paul, Robin S. and Me'shell Ndege'Ochello to name a few.
She has performed live on television shows such as BET Jazz , The Conan O'Brien Show and The Jon Stewart Show. Her voice was featured in a jingle for the WNBA during the 1997 season and also in a Sony Playstation game titled “PaRappa the Rapper” where she was one of the main characters. She also traveled the world working at venues such as the famed "Officer's Club" in Yokohama , Japan with her own band Saundra Williams and the Force.
Once you hear Saundra's voice, you'll never forget it. Her powerful yet inviting voice has graced many jazz, R&B and hip-hop records as a lead and backing vocalist over the years and she is still highly sought after to this day for session work. She is extremely versatile having worked with smooth R&B producer Nick Martinelli to hip-hop rapper/producer DJ Flash. She has recorded songs written by powerhouse artist/writer/ producer Angie Stone and can also be found singing or writing on recordings for artists Roxanne Shante', Moby, Me'lisa Morgan, Rohn Lawrence, Lesette Wilson and most recently world acclaimed bassist Victor Wooten of the grammy winning group Bela' Fleck and the Flecktones .
As a writer, her debut cd titled "Bless The Day" showcases her unique style and sound. She wrote all but one of the 12 songs and poetry on the record released in 1994. Working on this project was her first solo endeavor. “ ‘Bless The Day' is really dear to me…” Saundra says, “ I was having a rough time grieving the loss of my only sister. I so needed an outlet for my emotions and before I knew it, the opportunity to do this record presented itself. Being able to record at that time was very cathartic.” “Bless The Day” takes the listener on a journey deep inside her soul and you can feel everything her voice emotes….everything.
These days Saundra is excitedly writing and laying tracks for a few new cds working with Hackensack based DJ/producer, Milton “Rev” Jones. “He's my musical soul mate.” You can check out her work with this hot, up and coming producer on his 2004 jazz/r&b cd release entitled “FULL BLAST-The Band”. “FULL BLAST-The Band II” is also in the works. Saundra is also the female vocalist of The Victor Wooten Band and is currently on an international tour singing bgv's for hot indie soul sensations Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings.
Saundra has many dreams to be realized. She has plans for starting her own company SAUNWILLSHINE PRODUCTIONS under which a publishing company, books, film scripts and her own clothing designs are in the works. Those who have worked with this gifted artist know that there is so much more to come from her.
"What a gift I've been blessed with! I'm grateful everyday, I am living my spiritual and creative authenticity. I understand that my responsibility is to respect my gifts and to share it with others. I love writing, singing and performing ...it is as natural to me as breathing, I have to do it and I am very excited about my future!".
Saundra is truly one of a kind. Keep your eyes, ears and hearts open, her best is coming your way and in the meantime, check out her velvety vocals on Tayvon's cd, "From My Heart", Northern New Jersey Indie band Full Blast's two cd's "FullBlast the Band" and "Put You On Blast", Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings latest cd "I Learned The Hard Way".