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Interview: MAIZIE WILLIAMS

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The statistics are phenomenal of Euro-Disco group¬†BONEY M¬† – they have sold over 159 million CD’s worldwide garnering 18 Platinum and 15 Gold Albums and over 200 Gold and Platinum Singles and they are making their way to Australia in June 2014, proudly presented by Abstract Entertainment and Metropolis Touring.

Maizie says that she is looking forward to the group’s upcoming Australian tour. “I’m looking forward to seeing the fans and the country and just having a good time. We’ve been there twice before. The last time was six years ago, I think.”

Boney M was a disco phenomenon in the 70s. Their extravagant, glitzy¬†costumes and their very catchy dance tunes made them a household name of the era. With worldwde sales of over 159 million CDs, 19 platinum albums, 15 gold albums and in excess of 200 gold and platinum singles, their popularity aroun the globe is sill evident today, 4 decades after they burst onto the disco chart with¬†‘Sunny’. And Australian fans have proved to be among their most devoted, says Maizie in this interview I did with her recently,

On this tour, Maizie tells me, fans can expect to see a real Boney M show, with the group performing all the Boney M hits, from ‘Sunny‘ right up to ‘Ma Baker‘, ‘and¬†Rivers of Babylon’. “We hope to give them a great show, great stage performances, costumes, and a lot of energy. Australia is one of our major fanbase countries,” Maizie points out, speaking over the phone from the UK. “It’s wonderful that even though they don’t see us that often, they always welcome us when we go there.”

Boney M’s music appeals not only to the older fans who remember them from the days of hits like¬†‘Rasputin’¬†and¬†‘Rivers of Babylon‘. Maizie is thrilled that their fans these days also include a wide range of ages, including some who were not even born when the group was riding high on the charts with those songs.

Maizie’s involvement in show business started at a fairly young age. “I started modelling and modelling led me to other things like theatre work; performing and modelling took me all the way to Germany and that’s where I was discovered to become a part of Boney M and the rest is history.”

Her work these days is not strictly limited to performing with Boney M. Among other things, she has recorded a gospel album. “Gospel is very close to my heart. I am also doing an album this year of easy listening classics.

Maizie recalls the early days with the band fondly. “My time with Boney M was one of the best times of my life,” she admits. “I am truly thankful. I had a great time. When we met each other, we were all strangers. None of us knew one another. We were all in Germany doing different things and when we first thought of putting the group together, I was the only member there and we were looking for other members and then I found Bobby who we lost not so long ago and then we found Marcia and Luke and so the group was complete. It really was a great time. We were having fun and having that fun gave us success as well.”

Bobby passed away in 2010. “I had seen Bobby prior to that a year before and we were often on the phone, speaking to each other but he was always busy touring. At his funeral was the first time that all of us were actually together, including Bobby spiritually. I miss Bobby. I wish he was still here.”

Maizie has never stopped performing and she is grateful that the group’s music is still popular, even now. “You know, the music is out there even after all these years,” she says. “The fans are out there and it’s a wonderful thing to know that after all these years.” She pauses to think about how many years it has been since Boney M first began. “What is it? About 37 years?” she laughs. “It’s a long time. When you think about it, it seems a blessing that we are still touring on such a scale.”

So is there one song in particular that gets the crowd on their feet and singing along? “Well, it’s funny,” says Maizie. “Everyone has their favourites in the Boney M repertoire but I think it’s got to be ‘Rivers of Babylon’¬†that is the one that everyone gets up to dance to and reacts to. Everyone has their own favourites but, at the end of the day, I think it would be ‘Rivers of Babylon’.¬†I do look forward to performing ‘Rivers of Babylon’¬†at the end of the show because it gets everyone up, and having a really good time with that song. But I do love performing all the songs because they are all so different and they all have a different character which is wonderful.”

by Sharyn Hamey

 

 

Copyright © 2014 Sharyn Hamey. All Rights Reserved

For full details of Boney M’s Australian tour dates, click

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