*Stokely Williams, the multi platinum selling artist known for his 32 year run as smooth lead singer and drummer of Mint Condition, sits down with radio and TV personality Jazmyn Summers.
The sexy crooner, who went solo in 2017 with hit songs “She” and “Level,” says his latest album “Sankofa” has a special meaning. “It means go back and get it. Remember where you came from,” Stokely tells EUR Spotlight.
As a kid, Stokely started drumming with an African dance troupe where “I cut my teeth on West African rhythms which helps anchor me to this day. That’s my compass”
The singer was off to Ghana to work with some African artists for his new album when he caught up with Summers.
“It’s the first time I’ve been to the homeland. I’m going to kiss the ground,” Williams mused.
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This is a ride or die brother. We’re talking over 30 years with Mint Condition and 14 years married to a beautiful siSTAR.
“I have found someone on my level,” he reveals and how he keeps it alive? ” You gotta keep the maintenance going on. After you get married you get more comfortable, you become more of yourself as you get into the relationship. But you gotta keep that same energy you had before…don’t rest on your laurels.”
Stokely Williams has played on the records of a multitude of top acts including Janet Jackson, Elton John, Karyn White and Usher, to name but a few, through his association with famed producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. But, he says he always preferred the drumming to singing. That’s ironic, because he achieved his biggest success through those singing chops. “The drummer is the heart and soul, ” Williams reminds, “Think about it, we are all natural drummers – through our heartbeat.”
He calls his decision to go solo after more than 30 years with Mint Condition “a natural progression.”
“For a group of people to do anything that long is pretty remarkable,” Stokley adds. “Life is only so long. You want to milk every experience, have different experiences.”
And Williams has Prince stories. The two, both from Minneapolis, were pretty close.
“He would come and watch me play, ” Stokely recalls. “I’m singing and playing drums on stage. I knew he was there but couldn’t see him. All of a sudden, I feel this stuff in the back of my head and I look down and its rolled up balls of $100 bills. I was like who is throwing that and then I heard that laugh.”
The drummer/singer says there was a real competition that Prince had with Morris Day.
“Overall it was healthy, but it would get to be a little crazy. Prince said that The Time was the only group that scared him. One time when they were supposed to perform together in New York, Prince had The Time taken off. I heard him say with his own mouth because they (The Time) were killing it. He wanted to be the only star.”
Williams was devastated when Prince died and calls him: “One of the most creative coolest geniuses ever. You won’t see another one like him. He was a big supporter of Mint Condition and my solo career. He was going to be on my first solo album when he passed. I have a lot of his musical DNA in me.”
“Prince was free…able to do things guys were scared to do, he adds. “I’ll wear heels, have this make up on and wear this smokey eye and dare you to say something. I’ll take your girl,” Stokely says, quoting Prince.
Stokely will be on tour later this year and dropping new music. Stay up to date at istokely.com
Check out the whole conversation for more Prince stories ANNNND catch some dope Stokely Williams acapella by watching the video below.