MTM: Exactly when did you move away from the St. Louis area? Oscar: I moved away in 2006, I believe around Easter time.
MTM: Why did you choose the Dallas, TX area to move to? Oscar:
That's truly a long story but the short end of it was I was a part of a ministry in Dallas that I initially moved to help
grow. I felt compelled to follow my then spiritual leader and relocate to help build the ministry and to experience what God
had in store for me in Dallas.
MTM: Who were your big musical influences outside of St. Louis?
Oscar: To be honest, my big musical influences were and still always in St. Louis (I know it's not
the right answer to the question...lol) There were a few people outside of the city that helped to shape me into the musician
and leader I am today. Those person would be V. Michael McKay, Al "the Bishop" Hobbs, Richard Smallwood, Margaret
Douroux and Lecresia Campbell.
MTM: Who were some of your main influences on the St. Louis area gospel scene growing up?
Oscar: I had several....my first main influences were my uncle
and cousin. My uncle played for our church growing up and my cousin played for many churches, mainly COGIC churches. My uncle
had such a smooth style and a unique way of phrasing the music. My cousin was just a down right monster on the organ and was
the first person I ever heard to make that instrument sound like a whole band. My sister actually was my first piano teacher
and introduced me to the piano! From there people like Lillian Campbell, Quincy Fielding, Sr., Robert Ray, Dello Thedford,
Malcolm Speed, Doris Wilson, Joseph Price, Deborah Shipps, The O'Neal Twins, Rusty Watson, Ladelle Fitzpatrick, Levi Too King
and the list really goes on and on...
MTM: What are some of the similarities of what you remember about the St. Louis area music scene
and where you are now AND what are some of the major differences? Oscar:
I think the similarities are the uniqueness in the music offering and the array of talent in both places. The major differences
are church life in St. Louis versus Dallas. St. Louis is much more of a church/choir town than Dallas. Also the gospel community
is much more knitted in St. Louis than Dallas. However the Dallas music community is a lot more diverse and inclusive.
MTM: Name one thing that exists on the Dallas area gospel scene that you would like to see happen
in the St. Louis area. Oscar: Thats an interesting question. I think
the only thing that the Dallas gospel scene has over St. Louis is that there are more national notables down here in Dallas
- ie Kirk F, Fred Hammond, Tamala Mann, Kari Jobe, etc. I would love for the St. Louis gospel scene to experience having several
artist that hit a more national platform and profile.
MTM: What's some of the major differences between being in music ministry for a large church such
as The Potter's House and a smaller church back home? Oscar: Probably
the biggest difference is budget lol. Being at a bigger church has it's pros and cons like any other church. I think a major
difference is the fact that some things are alot more difficult to facilitate such as a pot-luck picnic. More people mean
more regulations, more stipulations and more liability issues. Being at a larger ministry means having to manage alot more
issues, people and accountability. There are some times I think about the days of just coming in church with no cameras and
fancy lights and just doing old time church...
MTM: Whatever happened to "Oscar Williams, Jr. & Perfected Praise"? Oscar: When I first moved away I tried to keep the group going and fly back and forth, but
it became increasingly expensive and we weren't getting big "dates"...lol. It lasted for a little while but I realized
I couldn't afford to maintain a group and the expenses of trying to build a career and live in a new city. So i pulled back
for a while. I eventually changed the name of the group to Oscar Williams and The Band of Life - starting working on new music
with several producers and even did some recording in St. Louis with a group of singers. Right now I am working on recording
an album of new music and the music written down through the years. It's a lot more diverse and in depth. I am excited about
MTM: What is one the biggest lessons you have learned in both music ministry and the music business? Oscar: One of the biggest lessons I've learned is that you never stop learning and you never
stop evolving. You are only as good as the last thing you have done - and even that last for only a minute. You must keep
growing and going!
MTM: What's coming up next for Oscar Williams, Jr.? Oscar:
I hope to be featured live on the MeTooMusic radio show! LOL!