T. Williams Talks UK Garage, His Rinse FM Show, and EDM's Future
One of the things that US electronic music fans have to envy the most about the UK scene is its diversity of sounds. For decades, it's been a creative hotbed for all sorts of experimental styles and hybrids, from jungle and drum 'n' bass to UK garage, grime, dubstep, and all the interesting new "post-dubstep" sonic variants.
Local UK DJs don't take this variety for granted either, often gravitating mid-career from one scene to another or blending influences from many. Take London DJ-producer and Rinse FM radio show host T. Williams.
He started out playing grime as DJ Dread D, but ended up crossing over into house, honing his own bass-infused style, and picking up a sizable international following in the process.
Today, thanks to his radio show and a finger tightly pressed on the pulse of cutting-edge new dance music, T. Williams is emerging as one the most esteemed tastemakers on the UK scene and beyond.
Crossfade: How did you first get drawn to electronic dance music? Were you active in the UK rave scene while growing up?
T. Williams: I first got into the music via a jungle tape I got given. I was hooked from then on in. Began partying and raving when I was a teenager -- saw a lot of good times in the '90s.
Grime never took off in the U.S. the way dubstep would later on. How did you first get involved in that scene as DJ Dread D? What turned you on about the grime sound?
I was around before grime, playing UK garage, so it was a natural evolution of that sound. It wasn't until the media defined the genre as grime that I would think of it as anything other than a harder style of garage. I got introduced to Jon E Cash by a friend, DJ Dice. and became part of the Black Ops collective. That was the beginning of everything.
At what point did you start crossing over into house music as a DJ and producer? What prompted the shift in styles?
I was introduced to house music via an old-school garage club night called Liberty. There used to be a house after-party in the same club, and I began to stay out later and later getting into that vibe. That was a major turning point for me.