As one of Canada’s most successful and influential Hip-Hop artists, Wes “Maestro” Williams was selected to be the guest speaker for the former Governor General of Canada’s Summit on Urban Arts when Her Excellency visited Vancouver, BC.
Wes has received two Juno Awards and his albums have reached gold and platinum status. His signature song ‘Let Your Backbone Slide’ was the first Canadian Hip Hop single to ever go gold. After establishing himself as one of Canada’s top musical artists, Wes decided to expand his resumé, took acting classes and pursued another artistic career. With each role his reputation grew stronger and stronger. He is one of Canada’s premier multi-media personalities.
Already a Juno Award-winning recording artist and Gemini Award nominated actor, Wes is also the author of the critically-acclaimed book, Stick To Your Vision. Endorsed by the former Governor General of Canada, Michaëlle Jean, as a “plan for action”, the book shows individuals how to define their vision, how to achieve it, and what to do once they are there. Stick To Your Vision was shortlisted for the Forest of Reading – White Pine Award. The White Pine Award is an annual literature award sponsored by the Ontario Library Association (OLA) that has awarded Canadian young adult books since 2002.
Wes has always been community-oriented and has made a serious impact on the country in many different capacities. He continues to support several charitable organizations such as War Child, Save The Children, Covenant House, Special Olympics, Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS), and The African AIDS Society.
His 2015 single I Can’t Breathe speaks of how both external and internal forces are stifling the Black community. The song was inspired by the Eric Garner story in the US. Wes has also won two Juno Awards, four MuchMusic Video Awards (including People’s Choice) and has 12 Juno nominations.
He is the first Canadian rap artist to go gold (album & single), recorded the first Canadian Hip Hop single to go gold, has a platinum selling album (Symphony in Effect), and was the first hip hop artist to perform at the Juno Awards (1991). Wes’ inspirations include athletes, his community, other artists such as actors and musician and anyone who has a vision and the drive to make it manifest.
Wes hopes to be the inspiration for many by expressing himself through his music, acting and speaking. With his new book, Stick to Your Vision, Wes hopes to empower his community because his community has empowered him in many different ways.