From local DJ to major record label executive to producer of one of the world’s largest house events, music is the story of Wayne Williams’ life. Noted for being the first DJ to bring disco from Chicago’s underground, gay dance clubs to a young, receptive audience on Chicago’s south side, Wayne quickly became an in-demand DJ as a teenager, playing a different party every night. To meet the growing demand for these sounds, the young entrepreneur founded The Chosen Few Disco Corp. (later renamed The Chosen Few DJs), bringing on board other young DJs—Jesse Saunders, Tony Hatchett, Alan King and Andre Hatchett—whose skills and passion would help shape the sound that became house music.
As Wayne grew with the music, he started working for Trax Records in Chicago, the first house music record label. There, he recorded his first track, “Undercover”, under the alias Dr. Derelict. His work attracted the attention of London-based Jive Records, where he became an A&R executive in charge of the label’s Chicago studio. From day one, Wayne had a knack for developing hit-makers, from guiding the career of house music star Mr. Lee to transforming Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff’s sound with hits like “Summer Time” and “Boom! Shake the Room” to signing and developing Chicago crooner R. Kelly. He has worked with a host of R&B, pop and hip hop artists, including Samantha Foxx, Mystikal, Aaliyah, Joe, Britney Spears, Raheem DeVaughn and Justin Timberlake.
As Senior Vice President of A&R at RCA Records, Wayne has most recently helped orchestrate the musical comeback of former GAP Band front man, Charlie Wilson. He has been featured and profiled in print and broadcast media outlets, books and films, including Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton’s “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life”; Jonathan Fleming’s “What Kind of House Party Is This?: History of a Music Revolution”; and documentaries such as “Hands to the Sky” and “The Unusual Suspects: Once Upon a Time in House Music”.He also has continued to keep his finger on the pulse of house music, producing the “Chosen Few Old School Reunion Picnic”—one of the largest house music festivals in the United States—each summer in Chicago, playing at clubs around the U.S.—including his popular “Two Nations” party in New York—and producing new house classics, including the chart-topping “There Is A Place”, “You’re The Feeling”, “Acid House” and the brand new “Music Saved My Life” featuring house diva Joi Cardwell.