Auckland-based singer-songwriter Jaqualyn Taimana Williams (Jacqui) could be described as a multiracial Kiwi fusion of Alanis Morissette and Pink, stretching from Anika Moa to Devilskin in styles.

Empowerment, freedom and courage are celebrated through these sassy, audacious lyrics and gritty guitars resulting in an edgy, punchy album that is dynamic and captivating to a highly divergent audience.

A kindergarten teacher by day, this 51-year-old grandmother has teamed up with producer Tim Skedden (Op Shop, The Feelers, Babysitters Circus) at Kog Studio to create sixteen robust, engaging and seriously catchy indie rock/pop songs representative of many years of songwriting and performing live. With no shortage of pedigree musicians willing to input their talent, Jacqui’s album Statues Of Liberty features tenacious drum work by Corey Friedlander (City Of Souls), spunky bass lines by Clint Harris (Op Shop) and Marika Hodges (Troy Kingi, Hollie Smith) and tasty keyboard by Stephen Small (the Verlaines).

The exciting album release party at Anthology Lounge on 10th October 2019 showcased the charismatic talents of Jacqui on vocals, guitar and keys, Tim Skedden on guitar, Gef Fitzpatrick (Recliner Rockers) on bass and Hamish Gee (The Feelers) on drums. Demos for an EP follow-up take the rock/pop sound into the moody depths of Massive Attack, Morcheeba and Portishead.

In 2018, Jacqui created an eight song bilingual children’s album Waiata Tamariki, produced by Ian Rushton at Black Sands Studio. Many copies of the album have been sold to parents and other teachers and it has been picked up by radio children’s shows here and in Australia. Jacqui performed the songs live at Music In Parks Flava at Hayman Park, March 2020 and plans to record a new set of bilingual children’s songs this year. 

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What Musical Genre Do You Feel Best Describes Your Music And How Would You Describe Your Sound?

My music is genre-diverse but mainly indie rock/pop. Some tracks have a slightly country feel, some have punk roots and some are slick rock with a catchy pop feel.

How Did You Get Your Name? Is There A Story?

There sure is - my birth certificate name is Jacqueline Beryl Williams. I like the alternative spelling Jaqualyn because it contains Aqua - which Dora The Explorer told me means Water and water is very precious to human and all life so I want that in my name! Also Beryl is a precious stone, but Taimana means diamond in Māori language. I like being a diamond, sharp and valuable!

What Are or Have Been Your Musical Influences?

I'm influenced by all the covers I did when I was in a professional gig band - the Beatles, Alanis Morisette, Smashing Pumpkins, Pink Floyd, 4 Non Blondes, Massive Attack, Blondie.

What Are You Working On Now? Any Future Collaborations We Can Look Forward To?

I have just finished writing my second children's bilingual album and have 5 new singles in the pipeline which are like Massive Attack, Morcheeba and Alanis fused together in my own accessible style.

What Is Your Ultimate Goal In The Music Industry? What Is Your Plan Of Action?

I want to reach as many people around the globe as possible. I want to play live and sell merch and let my songs be loved and thrashed. I want to make more videos and just keep releasing songs.

What Is Your Favorite Track To Perform Live and Why?

I love performing Trees live, because of its good awesome stops and a great dancey beat.

What Has Been The Biggest Challenge In Your Career Thus Far?

The biggest challenge is working out the best way to navigate the online platforms. This is easier now I watch tutorials on YouTube. I am old school ... 51 years old with an album that is 51 minutes long -yes, one minute on the album represents one year of my life!

What’s Your Typical Songwriting Process?

I come up with a tune, a rhythm and the words flow. My songs are my creative children - they just get born whole.

How Has Social Media Influenced Your Career As An Artist?

It's made me have to think up good, creative descriptions, have good photos and spend money on ads to keep up my presence. It has provided me with platforms and tutorials to keep my finger on the pulse. I like being able to go into groups and ask questions and get feedback too.

What Are Some Tracks and Artists Currently On Your Playlist?

Artists on my playlist: The Breeders, Morcheeba, L7, The Beths and Portishead.

What Did You Do Before You Started Making Music?

I wrote my first song aged 7 at Primary school. But I'm also a kindergarten teacher.

Any Advice For Young People (Men or Women) That Want To Succeed In The Music World?

Make the best music you can and shamelessly self-promote.

What Would You Change In The Music Industry If You Were A Top Music Executive?

I would pick organic music over computer music. I like music with a hook and cool lyrics.

How Do You Feel About Originality?

It's kind of hard but I think when you take two or three styles and blend them together you get something original. I don't believe in being "strange" for the sake of it. I like songs that are well-written, that are succinct and have a point to make.

Is There Anything Else We Should Know About You Or That You Would Like to Add?

I am a multi-racial woman from New Zealand. We are proud of our Prime Minister for the way she has been leading us through the Covid19 crisis and I am proud to be a Kiwi. I'm following our Lorde.

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