Re-blog – Smorgasbord Creative Artist Interview – Jazz Singer, Musician and Composer – William Price King

creative artists

William and I are taking a break from the music series this week but we begin a brand new one next Wednesday with the life and career of the great Stevie Wonder.  I hope you will join us.

In the meantime I would like to reshare the creative artist interview from earlier in the year in case you missed meeting William Price King in person.

William has been a source of wonderful histories of many of the great performers in the last century and here are the links to the directories.  I hope if you missed any of the posts you will catch up now.

Previous Legends can be found here:

You will find the previous artists..  Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Kiri Te Kanawa in this directory.

And for the Jazz in this directory. Nat King Cole, Mel Torme, Ella Fitzgerald, Kurt Elling, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Nina Simone to mention just a few.

Onto the interview with William.

Welcome to the first in the new series of Creative Artist Interviews. There is a slight twist to these posts in as much as I would like them to be interactive.. I will ask the guests a number of questions but the idea is that you will also ask your own in the comments section for the guest to respond to.  Details of how you can become a guest will be at the end of the post today.  And to show you how it is done.. my friend and collaborator here on the blog.. William Price King, Jazz singer, musician and composer is looking forward to your questions.

William and his music

Back in April 2014 I met William Price King on Twitter. I was planning on bringing my Sunday Show that I presented on ExpressFM in Portsmouth over to my blog with interviews and music.. William has a huge following on Twitter and it was with some trepidation that I contacted him and asked if he would consider being a guest for the new show. He accepted immediately and little did I know that it would result in such a wonderful friendship and collaboration.

It was not long before the subject of a regular music spot came up and as William is a Jazz singer, musician and composer with a love of the iconic artists of the 20th century such as Nat King Cole and Mel Torme, that is where we began.

However, William actually began his career as a classical singer and composer and recently he has provided a fabulous insight into the work and dedication needed to succeed in this very demanding singing discipline.

The good news is that in March we will be beginning a new series on some of the leading contemporary singers and musicians of our generation (those of us who remember the 1960s onwards!)  And we will be starting with The Boss.. Bruce Springsteen.

I hope you are as excited as I am to celebrate three years of great music with this new series with William… and here is an interview to bring us up to date along with some performances that I am sure you will enjoy.


What style of art attracts you the most and why? Who is your favourite artist?

My favorite period for art is Impressionism. My favorite artist is Claude Monet. There is something very peaceful in Monet’s paintings and his relationship with nature. I discovered that when I lived in Manhattan and worked at the Metropolitan Museum. Like a magnet I was strongly attracted to his art.

This exhibit, “Monet at Giverny” was on display for a short period of time and I spent most of my “breaks” breathing in the atmosphere his paintings created. I adored his perception of nature, his landscapes,and the seasonal changes he created on those landscapes.They demonstrate his skill at outdoor painting, his obsession with color, and his appreciation of light. My favorite painting by Monet is “Water Lillies (Nymphéas).”

Who is the best actor or actress you have ever seen on television of film and tell us why.

My favorite actress is Meryl Streep. What I like the most about her is that she is meticulously attentive to the nuances of performance, imbuing every gesture with the values of craftsmanship and an enormous respect for quality. She masters the accents of an impressive amount of regions and countries, as seen in “The Deer Hunter” from western Pennsylvania, “Sophie’s Choice” from Poland, “Out of Africa” in Kenya, and Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady” to name a few.

She has proven over and over that she can do anything, that she can play any role with consummate skill, resourcefulness and dignity. I appreciate her using her stature as an artist to speak out and engage in human rights activities, and being a strong advocate for the arts and humanities.

What is your definition of success?

Success is very unique and personal for each of us. Often times in our society success is determined by what others have decided that success is, such as personal worth which is measured by what we have to show for what we have done – money, diplomas achieved, or goals reached.

And most of the time the determining factor of success is the degree to which a person is validated and approved by others. I, like most people, fell prey to that concept. Now, with age, I believe that if you love what you are doing, then you are successful.

If you live life as a sincere human being, then you’re successful. If you try to ease suffering in others, then you are successful. If you are kind, then you are successful.

And most of all, if you can love, without conditions, then you’re successful.

What are the most significant changes in the way that Jazz is performed in the last thirty years?

Many different types of jazz have been recorded and performed over the last thirty years, from traditional styles to fusion, acoustic, and electric styles, with an interesting combination of influences resulting in unique and very artistic types of music.

The term “jazz” has expanded to take in a wide variety of music, from very commercial “smooth jazz” and “latin jazz,” to pop vocal stylings of artists like Norah Jones.

Many young musicians are performing and recording exploratory types of jazz, taking risks and creating new music on a high artistic level. Older jazz artists, on the other hand, still follow the established jazz tradition. It is not uncommon to find young musicians today who blend all styles of jazz together and create new styles, using the latest computer technology.

Jazz, like people, society, and the culture it reflects, is constantly evolving.

You studied classical music and have composed and performed Jazz and some contemporary music over the last thirty years. If you were beginning your career today would you choose a different style.. If so why and if not why?

Singing classical music, pop, and jazz has been a very rich experience for me. Classical music opened the doors to the great composers in both vocal and instrumental music and struck a chord deep inside me. I identified with Schumann, for example, on a very profound level. Of course, having studied music in school and at university, it prepared me for my future, not only as a singer but also as a vocal coach. Contemporary music (pop music) opened the door to jazz.

I found a kind of freedom in jazz that does not exist in classical music. In classical music what you see in the score is what you sing and nothing else, whereas in jazz one can modify and improvise on what is written in the score which opens the door to more creativity. As a composer as well as a singer, if I had to start all over again I would go the same route. I am a much better musician because of it.

After such a wonderful career in both performing and coaching young singers, is there still a dream that you would like to achieve in relation to music?

Yes there is. About 15 years ago someone gave me a cd of Harmonic Singing, or Overtone Singing as some call it. I was taken aback by what I heard and profoundly moved. Harmonic singing is believed to have its origins in south west Mongolia. It is a voice technique wherein one sings two or more notes at the same time. This happens when one sings one note where the overtones or harmonics are amplified by changing the shape of the resonant cavities of the mouth, larynx and pharynx. It is extraordinary. So, when I retire from singing jazz, I intend to participate in workshops which teach this type of singing. I did one years ago and it was fascinating and I look forward to starting again one day. It is very meditative.


William’s latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.

William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album.

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.

Connect to William

Website –
Facebook –
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue –


My thanks as always to William and I am so delighted that we will be enjoying his music contributions into a fourth year here on the blog.

If you are a singer, musician, artist, photographer, illustrator, short story teller, poet and  would like to take part in the Creative Artist Interviews then please take a look at the details in this post..


58 thoughts on “Re-blog – Smorgasbord Creative Artist Interview – Jazz Singer, Musician and Composer – William Price King

  1. Beautiful voice and compelling interp. l loved hearing Birdland as a lullaby – which you surely know rarely happens. Thank you for sharing, Sally.

    I am always interested in the lives of artists – the human beings that express themselves in art – and not just because I was close to a jazz pianist during my time in NYC. Other than music and museums, which you mentioned above, how do you spend your, probably limited, free time? How has that changed as you grew older? Do you view time away from jazz as contributing to what you bring to the stage, or a distraction from it?

    How do you relate to food? What do you gather around yourself when you need to feel safe? Do you/have you shared your life with an animal? What attracts you when you meet someone you feel is likely to become a friend? Do you have many friends who are not musicians themselves?
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much for your questions and I am very happy that you enjoyed the interview and my interpretation of Lullaby of Birdland. Most of my free time is spent taking long walks with my wife, either in the mountains or on the sea side. I adore mountain climbing, hiking and communicating with nature. I find, as I grow older, that life is much more interesting when one is in communion with nature, and that brings me inner peace. It’s very difficult, as a musician, to completely separate oneself from music, even when I’m taking walks. There is often a melody accompanying me in my head. Communicating with nature is not that different from communicating with audiences. I love animals and particularly cats. I have a cat (I’ve always had one since childhood) and it’s hard to imagine life without a cat. One of the good things about living in France is eating french food, which I love, with french wine. I try to eat healthily and the South of France is known for its healthy foods. I like honesty and openness in people and am attracted to that. As for my friends, most of them are music and art lovers but not musicians. Again, thank you for your questions. Take care and best wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Truly fascinating to learn so much more about you William. I am of the same opinion as you about Meryl Streep. And I find the concept of harmonic singing very interesting. You are a wealth of information. Thank you for all the work you put in here sharing your knowledge, experience and musical talent. 🙂


  3. It’s so nice to learn more about you, William. I’m going to throw caution to the wind here and go out on a limb with a confession. I am a singer-songwriter and musician who enjoys most forms of music, but I’ve never been able to develop an ear for jazz in general. However, I did enjoy your and Eric’s rendition of The Show Must Go On. If someone had asked me what genre of music that was, I would not have said jazz. So my question to you is this: What style of jazz was that song? I’m sure there must be other songs/instrumentals in that style of jazz that I’ve enjoyed, but simply didn’t know it was categorized as jazz.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a great surprise to know that you are a musician, and not only that but a singer/composer, Tina. The Show Must Go On is a rock tune, that was the intention when the song was written and also the final result. Eric and I perform this song in a jazz idiom, just like we do with most of our repertory. Jazz allows one the freedom to take a song in another direction and create a different mood. By modifying chordal and rhythmical structure a pop, rock, blues, country, classical, or any style of song can be transformed into a jazz piece. It’s called improvisation and that’s what jazz is all about, it’s not the song itself but the way the song is presented. It’s all in the playing, the phrasing. Of course, there are songs written in a jazz style that are purely jazz, but one can take any song and make it jazz. Thanks for your question and I hope that I have been able to help you to understand. Take care and be well.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you, William. I’ve not studied music formally ~ nothing beyond high school choral arrangements. Everything I know has been self-taught. So now I know a little more about jazz, thanks to you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord Creative Artist Interview – Jazz Singer, Musician and Composer – William Price King | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  5. Thanks for a great interview. It’s been good to find out a bit more about you. I loved The Show Must Go On.
    I was going to ask what you did in your spare time but you’ve already answered that.
    What music are you most likely to listen to for pleasure?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m happy that you enjoyed my version of The Show Must Go On, many thanks. As for an album for children, no, the idea has never crossed my mind. Like children’s books there must be a market for children’s music, but I’ve never had the opportunity to go in that direction. Perhaps there is something to explore there. Why not? All the best to you, Annette.

      Liked by 2 people

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  8. I don’t have a question, just a thank you to both of you for a most informative and entertaining (I guess it can be classed as a show) a long running show at that, long may it continue – many thanks also for your attention to detail when replying to my comments, much appreciated. Chris.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you both for a beautiful interview. I am a big Meryl Street fan and she graced this county some time ago when filming Dancing at Lunaghasa. I was blessed to participate in harmonic singing with actress Harriet Buchan when I lived in Scotland and I would love to do it again. She was a very inspiring teacher. Looking forward to more of your music posts William. I really enjoyed the Bruce Springsteen series. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Re-blog – Smorgasbord Creative Artist Interview – Jazz Singer, Musician and Composer – William Price King | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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I would be delighted to receive your feedback. Thanks Sally

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