A. Zell Williams: A Zealous Love for Music
Getting into Mr. Colemen’s jazz band at Hamilton Middle School is still one of the proudest achievements of my life. Music was my first form of storytelling. My mother is a gospel singer/pianist and my father is an amateur jazz saxophonist, so it was almost genetic.
One of the greatest mistakes I’ve made was giving up on the piano, the trumpet, the trombone, and the drums. I don’t remember not playing at least one instrument until I tried out for Big River in high school and did a hard shift to dramatic storytelling.
Narrowing down my musical influences to 15 was like choosing which organs I wanted to function. This could justly be a list of nothing but Stevie Wonder. But everything you’ll hear has inspired me as a writer and as a human. Some songs aren’t my favorite by an artist(s), but blend their voice with someone else I respect. One, specifically, is a cover of one group I love by another group whose work I couldn’t live without. But all are me in auditory form.
The Playwrights' Playlist
1. War - Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
2. Street Fighting Man - Rage Against the Machine
(originally by The Rolling Stones)
3. Love You Madly - Cake
4. I'll Take You There - The Staple Singers
5. Prisoner of Society - The Living End
6. Fu-gee-La - The Fugees
7. Ball of Confusion - The Temptations
8. Grenade - Bruno Mars
9. Dumb it Down - Lupe Fiasco
10. Long Tall Sally - Little Richard
11. Respiration - Black Star (ft. Common)
12. He's Misstra Know-it-All - Stevie Wonder
13. Clock With No Hands - The Roots
14. Sinnerman - Nina Simone
15. Get Up - The Coup (Ft. Dead Prez)