Clayton Williams / Talent Scout
Musician, singer-songwriter, percussionist and guitarist Clayton Williams (24) is the new voice of Garifuna Music, as the youngest Parandero. As a member of the Millennial Generation, he represents the present and future of Garifuna Music. His goal is to preserve the Garifuna culture’s unique language and extraordinary sound, while moving Garifuna Music forward.
The Garifuna are an ethnic group of mixed ancestry – descendants of Carib, Arawak and African people living along the Caribbean Coast in Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Fresh from winning five awards during the recent 2016 Garifuna Music Awards in New York City, Clayton’s debut album “Garifuna Nuguya” (I am Garifuna), took top honors for Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Best New Artist, and Best Music Video. On April 9, “Garifuna Nuguya” (I am Garifuna) won the Best Song of the Year Award at the KREM Music Awards in Belize.
Clayton was born in the Garifuna village of Hopkins, Belize, which according to the UNESCO Candidature Standard Form for Proclamation of masterpieces of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity, is the only village in Belize, where young children still learn the Garifuna Language as their native language as a matter of course. Clayton’s fluency in the Garifuna Language, drums and the Garifuna stories that make up the lyrics to his songs, are a living testament to that asertion.
He began His music career at age 7 playing Garifuna drums at the Lebeha Drumming Center in Hopkins, Belize. At the age of 13, He was featured in the Lebeha Drumming – Traditional Garifuna Music Played by Youth from Hopkins Belize CD, which was a finalist for the 2006 Grammy Awards Traditional Music category.
He follows in the footsteps of the legendary Paranderos of the Caribbean coast of Central America, including his great grandfather the legendary Gabaga Williams, author and composer of the classic Garifuna song Malati Isieni (Worthless Love) perhaps the most well-known Garifuna composition and has been described as one of the greatest Garifuna composers of all time.
In his song “Amuñegü” (“In Times to Come”), on the Garifuna Collective’s Album “Watina” (I call), Andy Palacio asks fundamental questions about the preservation and survival of Garifuna culture. He asks, who will speak with me in Garifuna in times to come? Who will perform the dances?
Clayton Williams grew up looking up to Andy as his idol and mentor. Following on his footsteps, he is confronting the erosion of the Garifuna culture in the heart of modern day society by preserving the Garifuna language, Music and Dance.
- Clayton Williams (Garifuna Drums, Guitar)
Band, Solo, Composer/Songwriter
vocal, percussion, singer songwriter, guitar
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