BY CLYDE HUGHES
ATLANTIC CITY â€“ Robert Williams was born around music with his father playing trumpet in at jazz clubs around New York City while his mother was a church piano player and teacher.
As the founder of TMarquise Entertainment, Williams now manages artists and is looking for the next star.
“I love the fact I help people support and live their dreams,” Williams told Front Runner New Jersey.com this month. “Honesty, I don’t sell dreams, but only support teams. The business is made out of a lot vultures and I can’t support that.”
Williams has managed Philadelphia soul singer Barbara Sheree, an international Billboard recording artist for more than 15 years and actor/singer Leonard Dozier for eight years. Dozier, a native of Pleasantville, is one of the voices for NFL Films.
TMarquise, which is named after Williams’ son, was started in 2000 as a full service music company in the Atlantic City area.
“I started in the music business in 1998,” Williams said. “I was as an owner of Atlantic City’s only professional recording studio, Platinum Sound Recording Studio. In 2000, after I had started another artist management company with a partner, I went out on my own.
“I never thought about being in management and ended up managing someone that my partner had. I loved it and decided to move on my own,” he added.
Williams was born in the Bronx, but his parents would later move to the Atlantic City area. He graduated to Pleasantville High School where he honed his own musical skills in the marching band, concert and jazz bands.
“I never knew what drew (my parents) here,” Williams said. “It could be the salt water, because my father loved to fish. When I started in the business Atlantic City really didn’t have any resources or outlets for independent artist, so I either had to go to Philadelphia or New York to get those.
Although he had musical parents, Williams said he mostly learned about the music business on his own.
“With my father I never got to talk to him about being in jazz bands in NYC,” Williams said. “My mother with her love for music, supported my early love. She passed when I was 12. I have to say I learned the business from going to seminars, trial and error.”
Williams said Atlantic City’s recent turnaround and technology has allow him to continue to grow his business locally. Over the past year, Atlantic City has opened two formerly shuttered venues â€“ the Hard Rock Hotel Casino Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino, renewing talk about the city as a major vacation and concert stop.
“Atlantic City has really rebounded in that area with promoters, venues and media supporting artist,” Williams said. “Additionally with the Internet, I don’t have to travel as much.”
Williams is a member of the Recording Academy, which sponsors the Grammy Awards, and Black Entertainment & Music Association. His company now provides the services for talented local entertainment artists without the need to travel to New York City or Philadelphia.