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Joshua Elia Williams (born 3 September 1986), known by his stage name J. Williams, is a New Zealand R&B recording artist and professional hip-hop dancer. He made his musical debut in 2008 with "Blow Your Mind" which peaked at number 13 on the New Zealand Singles Chart. In early 2009 his debut album Young Love was released with the single "You Got Me" featuring Scribe. It was certified platinum and became the #1 selling single of 2010 in New Zealand.

J. Williams
Birth nameJoshua Elia Williams
Born (1986-09-03) 3 September 1986 (age 33)
Mangere, Auckland
OriginSouth Auckland, New Zealand
GenresR&B, hip hop
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active2008–present
LabelsIllegal Musik
Warner Music New Zealand
Associated actsPrestige, Lavina Williams,
Emily Williams


Joshua Elia Williams was born on 3 September 1986. His father is of Samoan descent and his mother of Fijian descent. He attended Weymouth Intermediate School in Weymouth, South Auckland and attended James Cook High School in Manurewa.

He compares his upbringing to that of the Jackson 5 family, as his father was very strict regarding religion and music.[1] Williams' has two younger sisters, Keziah and Ezra, and two older sisters, Emily and Lavinia, who have both appeared on Australian Idol.

Williams was a member of the hip hop street dance group originally called Dziah (now known as Prestige). In 2006 Dziah represented New Zealand at the World Hip Hop Dance Championships in Los Angeles. They came second to the current champions, the Philippine All Stars. In 2008 at the same competition, this time as Prestige, they came fourth.

Williams and his partner Larissa Brown separated shortly before the birth of their child Ryder, and subsequent media reports alleged abuse caused and fueled by alcohol.[2] Williams stepped down from his post as Rugby World Cup ambassador.[3] Williams has since undergone counselling, and in 2012 rekindled a relationship with his high school sweetheart, Renee Marriot.[4]

Music careerEdit


From 2008 to March 2011 Williams received over $100,000 dollars in funding from the taxpayer-funded New Zealand on Air. This included $50,000 to produce the album, and multiple grants to make music videos.[5]

New Zealand on Air funding for J. Williams
Year-Month Song/album title Grant Grant category
2010-08 Night Of Your Life $5000 Music Videos
2010-06 Takes Me Higher (feat Dane Rumble) $5000 Music Videos
2009-12 Broken Love $5000 Music Videos
2009-10 Young Love Collectors Edition $50000 Album funding
2009-08 You Got Me feat. Scribe $5000 Music Videos
2009-06 Your Style $5000 Music Videos
2009-04 Stand with You $5000 Music Videos
2009-02 Ghetto Flower $5000 Music Videos
2008-10 Set It Off $5000 Music Videos
2008-08 Blow Your Mind $5000 Music Videos
2008-02 Flavour $10000 New recording artists

2008 – 2010: Young LoveEdit

In September 2008 "Blow Your Mind" was released as the lead single from Williams' debut album. It peaked at number 13 on the New Zealand Singles Chart. Second single "Set it Off", was released to commercial radio stations in early 2009 and charted at number thirty six. In March 2009, Williams released his third single, "Ghetto Flower", which peaked at number 5 on the same chart. The song was certified Gold in New Zealand on 9 June 2009, selling over 7,500 copies.[6] and was written by his sister, Emily Williams. The fourth single, "Stand with You", was released in June 2009, and peaked at number 6 in New Zealand, becoming his second consecutive top-10 single. It featured his sister, Lavina Williams. The song was certified Gold in New Zealand on 13 September 2009, selling over 7,500 copies.[6]

On 13 July 2009 Williams released his debut album, Young Love. The album debuted at number five on the New Zealand Top 40 Albums Chart and was certified gold. On 9 November 2009 Williams released his fifth single from the album, "Your Style" which featured New Zealand singer, Erakah. The single peaked at number 16 on the New Zealand Singles Chart.

In February 2010, Williams released sixth single "You Got Me", featuring New Zealand rapper Scribe. The single peaked at number one on the New Zealand Singles Chart,[7] and was certified Platinum.[6] In December 2010, it was declared that "You Got Me" was the #1 selling single of 2010 in New Zealand.[8]

2010 – presentEdit

On 25 May 2010 Williams released "Takes Me Higher", which features pop singer Dane Rumble. The single only had a digital release. It peaked at number two on the New Zealand Singles Chart. In December 2010, "Takes Me Higher" was declared the #19 best seller of 2010 in New Zealand.[8] "Night of Your Life" was released on 11 October 2010 and received a gold certification.[9] in 2010 J toured Germany having visited 13 cities and being part of one of their biggest TV music shows which NZ artist friend Dane Rumble joined him with.

In 2012, Williams was the supporting act for New Zealand boy band, Titanium on their Come On Home Tour.


J. Williams discography
Studio albums1
Music videos10
Featured singles3

Studio albumsEdit

Year Album details NZ chart
(sales thresholds)
2009 Young Love 5 NZ: Gold[11]


Year Title NZ peak chart position
(sales thresholds)
2008 "Blow Your Mind" 13 Young Love
(and Collector's Edition)
"Set It Off" 36
2009 "Ghetto Flower" 5
"Stand with You" (featuring Lavina Williams) 6
"Your Style" (featuring Erakah) 16
2010 "You Got Me" (featuring Scribe) 1
"Takes Me Higher" (featuring Dane Rumble) 2 TBA
"Night of Your Life" (featuring K.One) 4
2011 "Want to Rule the World" (featuring K.One) 29

"Live It Up"

2013 "Never Let Go" (featuring DJ Lenium)

As featured artistEdit

Year Title NZ peak chart position
2008 "Them Eyes" (Mareko featuring J. Williams) 39[13]
2010 "My Love" (DJ CXL featuring J. Williams and The Gift)
2011 "She's a Killer" (K.One featuring J. Williams) 26

Music videosEdit

Year Title Director
2008 "Blow Your Mind"
"Set It Off"
2009 "Ghetto Flower" Ivan Slavov[14][15][16]
"Stand with You"
"Your Style"
2010 "You Got Me" Damien Caine[17]
"Takes Me Higher" Ivan Slavov[18]
"Night of Your Life" Anthony Plant

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Type Award Result
2010 APRA Awards APRA Silver Scroll ("You Got Me" with Scribe)[19] Nominated
New Zealand Music Awards[20] Vodafone Single of the Year ("You Got Me") Nominated
Best Male Solo Artist (Young Love) Nominated
Best Urban/Hip-Hop Album (Young Love) Nominated
Pacific Music Awards Best Pacific Urban Artist Nominated[21]
Best Pacific Male Artist Won[22]


  1. ^ Interview with
  2. ^ Powley, Kathryn (8 May 2011). "Kiwi No 1 pop star's 'horrible' violence". The New Zealand Herald.
  3. ^ "Rumble replaces Williams as rugby ambassador". Auckland Now. 17 June 2011.
  4. ^ Tait, Morgan (31 May 2013). "Troubled hip-hop star turns life around". The New Zealand Herald.
  5. ^ NZ On Air. "Search All Funding Decisions". Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  6. ^ a b c "Latest Gold/Platinum Singles". Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^ "J. Williams feat. Scribe – You Got Me". Retrieved 14 April 2010.
  8. ^ a b "J. Williams, Susan Boyle top charts for 2010". One News. 17 December 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  9. ^ "Night of Your Life (feat. K.One) - Single". iTunes Store. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  10. ^ a b "J. Williams in New Zealand charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
  11. ^ "Latest Gold / Platinum Albums". RadioScope. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  12. ^ a b c d e "Latest Gold / Platinum Singles". RadioScope. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 17 October 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  13. ^ Steffen Hung (14 February 2009). "Mareko - Them Eyes". Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  14. ^ "J. Williams – Ghetto Flower music video". NME. Retrieved 11 July 2010.
  15. ^ Kiwi Hit Clips (Media notes). New Zealand On Air.
  16. ^ J. Williams – Your Style feat Erakah and Tyree (YouTube). 3 November 2009. Retrieved 11 July 2010.
  17. ^ "Kiwi musician makes new video in 3D". 3 News. 15 February 2010. Archived from the original (video) on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  18. ^ "J Williams feat Dane Rumble Takes Me Higher Official Video". NME. Retrieved 11 July 2010.
  19. ^ APRA Silver Scroll Announce Top 20 MTV New Zealand - Retrieved 24 July 2010
  20. ^ Sundae, Hugh (1 September 2010). "NZ music awards finalists announced". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  21. ^ Tapaleao, Vaimoana (29 May 2010). "Chart-topping acts among Pacific award contenders". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 16 July 2010.
  22. ^ "S3 Pacific Music Award Winners Announced" (Press release). Pacific Music Awards. 30 May 2010. Retrieved 16 July 2010.

External linksEdit