OffBeat Magazine
Nathan Williams Jr of Lil Nathan the Zydeco Big Timers Image Credit: OffBeat Magazine
Nathan Williams Jr of Lil Nathan the Zydeco Big Timers Image Credit: OffBeat Magazine

Nathan Williams, Jr. of Lil' Nathan & the Zydeco Big Timers

Nathan Williams, Jr. of Lil’ Nathan & the Zydeco Big Timers

Dan Willging

“As a kid, it was very inspirational to be part of [my dad’s group Nathan &] the Zydeco Cha Chas. I was basically a sponge absorbing everything I saw. I realized at an early age I wanted to be part of that and continue on my own when I became an adult.

I started on rubboard at three years old with my dad onstage and it was a good time for us to bond as father and son. My first accordion was given to me at age seven, a toy piano accordion, and I started playing with that. There was always an instrument in front of me. It was never forced upon you like you have to play zydeco but I always had instruments around because my dad had instruments.

High school, college, being involved in classical and jazz music allowed my musical catalogue to be open to other genres. I can incorporate so much into the music I’m playing, which makes me different from other artists because I have a gospel, jazz and classical background and I fused it.

My whole goal for performing was to make my family proud. I wanted to continue Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas’ legacy. I wanted all the ancestors and living legends of zydeco to be proud of what I’m doing because I’m really trying to do this at a high level and get this music to the next level. I just want zydeco to expand to a wider audience.

Well, it’s happening by myself and other artists collaborating with artists of different genres. That’s the only way


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