Who is Raleigh Williams?
I’m a Melbourne girl, now a mother, a singer and entertainer stuck somewhere between the old world and today. I’ve been a vocal ‘gun for hire’ for a long time across many genres. I’m bandleader for my French jazz group La Nuit Blanche, amongst other projects.
What would you do differently to what you do now?
I would have taken some more risks when I was younger, and not worried so much about what others would think! And, I would have appreciated sleep even more, now that it’s punctuated with nightly feeds! Ah, the wisdom that comes with motherhood and age…
Who inspires you and why?
Musically, I’ve always been a huge admirer of Tina Arena, particularly as she was able to achieve success in French and English and across different genres. Her voice is perfection to me!
What would you do to make a difference in the world?
It’s easy to practice kindness and compassion in one’s daily life and hope others continue it by example – but on a bigger platform, make education (that includes music) available for all children. I’ve done a lot of work with the Musica Viva in Schools program around Australia and on several tours we have turned up to schools that have had music (and/or library, art) cut from their curriculum. It makes a huge difference to the community spirit and childhood development.
Favourite holiday destination and why?
A toss up between Italy and Thailand – both for similar reasons: the food, weather, culture , people watching and beaches!
When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I love to show visitors a beautiful view of the city from Studley Park’s Yarra Bend or Northcote’s Ruckers Hill; our CBD laneways and the Botanic Gardens. And a great café or two – we are the coffee capital of the world, after all…
What are you currently reading?
French Children Don’t Throw Food by Pamela Druckerman – it’s research for my 8 month old! The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson.
What are you currently listening to?
My listening list changes from day-to-day depending on what I’m performing or feeling – recently it’s been the soundtrack to A Star is Born, some early Aretha Franklin and if Jemima is up and about, Henri Dès (the Swiss-French version of Peter Combe!)
Good health, the ones I love around me, and a beautiful spring day with time to spare with my husband and daughter. Happiness for me has simplified down to these few elements this year.
What does the future hold for you?
Next year I hope to take La Nuit Blanche to tour Asia and to participate in some festivals around Australia, and work on some original music under my own name. I’m also heading back to university to finish off my Arts Degree (majoring in French).
Raleigh is the lead singer of La Nuit Blanche – who will perform at Jazzlab, Brunswick on Friday 16 November 2018, and the Paris Cat Jazz Club, Melbourne on Friday 14 December 2018. For more information, visit: www.lanuitblanchemusic.com for details.
Image: Raleigh Williams (supplied)