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Coquitlam musician drops five albums this year to give listeners a lift during the pandemic

Coquitlam's Gina Williams is out with five albums this year, all different genres: classical piano, traditional gospel, Caribbean pop, electronic dance and symphonic rock.
Gina Williams2
Coquitlam's Gina Williams is dropping five albums this year.

Gina Williams doesn’t compose music.

She receives it.

It comes from a higher power, the Coquitlam concert pianist said, and it comes without warning.

During the pandemic lockdown last year, when Williams, like other artists, had time on her hands, the music flooded in.

Six songs came in one day, she said, fully packaged — except for the lyrics.

The verses, she said, she struggled with later, after some praying.

But at least she had the melodies in her head.

The extra time allowed her not only to compose and finish previous projects but also to have enough material to drop five albums this year.

And here’s the kicker: All are different forms of music.

“Last year, I was like, ‘I’ve got to figure out a way to bring people together during this terrible time,’” she told the Tri-City News last week, “so I created a symphony of genres. It just came naturally.”

Her first release, on June 25, called The Trilogy Part 2, is a solo piano classical music work that’s appropriate for ballet and for background music; recorded in the Ukraine prior to the COVID lockdown, the album has 21 instrumental tracks.

Take All Of Me arrived on July 30, featuring 11 piano and vocal songs in traditional gospel. Williams said the songs harken to her childhood in Alberta, while listening to the East Coast sounds of Rita MacNeil and early tunes by Amy Grant. Like The Trilogy Part 2, it was also recorded in Kiev but during the pandemic: in March and September of last year.

Last week came the album Touch Down, 10 pop tracks with a strong Caribbean feel and features calypso, African and Latin beats.

Williams said she had been encouraged by a friend in the Ukraine to write the tunes but stopped short of penning any songs; however, when six compositions came in a row, “it was unusual but it was a sign,” she said. “I knew I had enough for an album. It was pretty cool.”

On Sept. 24, Williams drops her fourth album, We Need To Love — yet another departure from her classical and gospel music background, as it contains 10 electronic dance songs (the first single, We Need to Love, came out on May 21). 

“It’s a celebration of the EDM from the 90s,” she said, noting she had Ukrainian, Spanish and Canadian producers working with her. “I’ve loved EDM for a long time and the club sound.”

Later this fall, Williams will release her fifth work for 2021 called Toxic Love, a symphonic rock collection that “speaks of all of our bad relationships with family, friends, coworkers and yourself. You have to acknowledge them.”

The self-produced albums are or will be available through major music streaming platforms including Apple Music.

As well, Williams has been promoting her new music through her YouTube channels with videos. On Sunday, she performed at an in-person event: the Ahfomad Festival in Vancouver, an African/Black arts, music and dance celebration with Kardinal Offishall headlining.

Williams hopes for more gigs in Canada and the United States, once the pandemic is over. Dates are tentatively booked for New York and California next year. 

“I’m just looking to perform and bring joy into people’s lives,” she said. “I want to bring fun because it’s been a taxing year on people. That’s way I did these albums, so that people know they’re not alone.”