Artist Spotlight: Tomar Williams

Black History Month

Artist Spotlight: Tomar Williams

Posted by on Feb 27, 2020

Featured image by Todd V. Wolfson

photo by Michael Minasi

Tomar YassienWilliams was born on June 14, 1968, in Las Vegas, Nevada and was the fifth child of seven. He grew up singing playing the bass guitar in the family band called 6:AM in a one-car garage in Victoria, Texas. The family band played everything from Michael Jackson to Tony! Toni! Tonè!. They toured on the chitlin circuit and by the time Williams was 16, the band landed a gig at Antone’s opening for local blues legend W.C. Clark.

After 6:AM and blown away by the opportunities for musicians in the Live Music Capital of the World, Tomar played in a few bands including a stint as a keyboardist for Hot Buttered Rhythm. All while his younger brother Salih had started producing hip-hop records for some the greats out of Houston. Tomar joined his brother and they began focusing on creating music of their own. They formed Carnival Beats and produced some of the biggest hip-hop classics that came out of Houston in the 2000s including Big Moe (“Bare Baby” and “Purple Stuff”), Paul Wall (“Sittin’ Sidewayz”) and Mike Jones (“Back Then,” “Still Tippin”). They quickly became an in-demand production group signing with Universal as a production team and working with artists such as Trick Daddy and the Ying Yang Twins.

In 2012, the brothers went back to their soulful roots working with Latasha Lee and the Black Ties where they produced and performed until the band’s separation. Tomar set out on his own path with his wife’s encouragement and shortly after a friend (Nikolas Bouklas) introduced Williams to his band and just after one practice together they decided to form Tomar and the FCs. The band self-recorded and released their first EP, Day by Day in 2015 and the Austin natives released their first full album Heart Attack in 2016 that included the hits “Heart Attack” and “Do you Feel it?.” NPR Music picked Tomar and the FCs to represent Austin for their Tiny Desk Concert Series in 2016 and 2018, they signed with Splice Record and released their anticipated sophomore album in February of 2020 called Rise Above.

In January of 2017, Tomar and the FCs were the KUTX Artist of the Month and they have been voted in the top five of the Austin Chronicle’s Music Poll for best Blues, Funk, and Soul artist in 2017 and 2018. The band has performed at Austin City Limits (ACL), South by Southwest, River Revival and many other festivals. Tomar Williams continues to captivate, serenade and entertain audiences everywhere –with his authenticity, heartfelt lyrics, and soulful vocals.

– Miles Bloxson, KUTX Host