Meet Unsigned 2024 future star Nyree Williams

Nyree Williams, blonde / brown hair, silver top, sunglasses on head, staring into camera

After a traumatic Christmas temping as an elf, Nyree Williams decided to put acting on a shelf and continue ramping up her songwriting. 

“It was very intense. We were all horribly ill, Covid was still [huge]. I’d started having fun making these mad theatrical songs at university with the few chords I knew. I’d also done this online workshop with Courtney Marie Andrews.

“At the same time, a friend of mine happened to be doing an artistic residency at the Roundhouse in London. She was writing a play and did a call out for songwriters. I was like ‘oh, I’d really like to get involved’ which got bigger than either of us thought. I got into songwriting in a deep way, and it’s been an equal part of my life [with acting]. I find it therapeutic, that connection [music allows with others] is what keeps me in it.”

Originally from Wales, the 25-year-old actor-musician studied in Norwich, returning to the city after stints in London and Brighton. She decided to apply for Unsigned after reading an interview with a former participant.

“I’m always looking for this kind of thing. Some of the course is different to what I expected. I have more clarity for sure. I feel like I’m a lot more purposeful. I understand what I’m doing [in terms of that] audience connection. I really want to push that to the nth degree. It’s an amazing thing when you feel that works and you can feel it in the air, it’s an amazing thing. It’s what I live for.

“I did drama at university but find singing and music a lot more vulnerable than acting. It was harder for me to take that step of doing it publicly.”

Nyree’s also loved meeting the rest of this year’s artists.

“We all seem to be on different journeys, but all those paths meet. I’m impressed with them in various ways, and I feel for them individually. That’s been interesting.”

She’s dropping a single later this year and hopes to work on an album after Unsigned.

“Nowadays, you’re told people want singles. I listen to albums. All the musicians that I respect and love are writing albums and putting out cohesive, meaningful bodies of work. I’d love to put out something much bigger that tells a story.”

Despite coming to songwriting later, Nyree’s been singing all her life. She finds solace in it. She still enjoys acting though.

“I love both. Sometimes one less than the other. At the moment I’m focused mostly on music, but a lot of my acting practise feeds into my musicianship so I can’t really separate them.”

Nyree, who plays guitar and the spoons [which probably won’t feature in her set despite my pleas], believes storytelling through song is a way to accept ourselves and connect more deeply with others. Laughing a lot during our chat, I get how humour is an essential, cathartic, part of her style.

“My influences are American country musicians. People like Sierra Ferrell and Courtney Marie Andrews. My songs have that narrative tradition. Lyrics are the most important thing to me, but they brought out a much deeper interest in the music side of things. I also love the respect and curiosity they have for acoustic instruments. That’s what got me into guitar.”

Her music has been described as “bourbon-soaked folk” with her style ranging from bawdy, theatrical numbers to more traditional folk with old-timey jazz, blues and country thrown in. Find out more about Nyree on FacebookInstagram, and YouTube.

Get your tickets for the 14 July’s Unsigned showcase at Voodoo Daddy’s in Norwich here.

Also on the line-up are:

Performing moody pop ballads, Ewan Martin has built his sound around struggles with mental health to attempt to fight his own demons and inspire other people with their own battles. With bright open chords, aggressive yet fragile vocals and lyrics that give you the key to his mind, you’re in for an emotional adventure.

Expect a dynamic performance from Amber Sky fusing the power of Paramore, the pop sensibilities of Taylor Swift, and the classic edge of The Cranberries. Cutting her teeth on busking, live-streaming on TikTok, and shows at venues across Norfolk, she has emotive, strong vocals, affirming lyrics, playful narratives and a commitment to authenticity. Alongside dates in the studio and performing, she’s currently preparing for summer festivals. Join Amber’s community on InstagramTikTok, and Facebook to find out more.

Hailing from Lowestoft, MICAH’s been hitting the live scene all over Norfolk, winning over audiences with tender, dextrous vocals, her stage presence, and her sharp ear for melody. She’s been compared to the likes of Au/Ra, Sigrid, Zella Day and Winona Oak, securing herself slots at summer festivals and events around the county. She’s currently developing her live set and exploring her sound in the studio. Find out more about MICAH on Instagram and Facebook.

Unsigned is our artist development programme which offers musicians a year of mentoring from industry professionals, with recording, promotional and performance opportunities. You can find out more about it and all our other courses and classes by visiting thegarage.org.uk

Keep up to date with our new shows, classes, offers, community projects and more by signing-up to our twice monthly e-shot. Or follow us on XInstagramFacebookLinkedIn, and YouTube.

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