We had the good fortune of connecting with Van Williams and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Van, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
In life there many reasons to give up on things such as your dreams, your marriage/relationship, your kids, etc. But I want to focus on dreams. A dream isn’t just something you’re good at but it’s something that was already placed in your destiny before you were born. So, when those tough moments come and you want to quit, there is always something on the inside of you that keeps reminding you to keep going. It’s almost like you feel something pushing or pulling you. Even if it seems impossible or it seems as if it’s taking you longer than others around you. That gut feeling that you feel in your spirit and soul is a reminder to not give up. It’s placed there for a reason. Pray to God and follow him.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am currently 28 years old and have always had a old soul. I was never like anyone my age and I give credit to my upbringing and the type of music I listened to. I was/am heavy on Motown with artist such as The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, The Jackson 5, and Boyz to Men. As well as gospel artist such as Rance Allen, The Canton Spirituals and Lee Williams and the Spiritual QC’s. I also love artist like Cee Lo Green, John Legend, Bobby “Blue” Bland, BB King, Anthony Hamilton and Allen Stone. I am not where I want to be yet but the knowledge I’ve gained over the years led me to this point now. From traveling with high school and college choirs to doing local engagements/gigs. What I want the world to know about me and my music is that I want to get back to the songs that gave people hope with love, peace and joy.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take anyone visiting my city to Downtown Mobile. There many great restaurants, museums, and sight seeing. There’s a lot of great history about the city and plenty of fun downtown as well.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My entire family is the reason why I am who I am today. I come from a musical background. Between my grandparents, aunts and uncles, I had no choice but to catch on to music. I’m the baby of 5 and my parents are both ministers. My father is a singer as well and my mom has an amazing ear for music. My oldest sister was always involved with poetry and my youngest sister introduced me to a group that completely changed my life and view on music, The Temptations. Both my brothers are musicians and producers. So, by me being the last of 5 I was like a sponge soaking everything in. In result of that, I am who I am because of them.

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