Column aiming to present 6 glowing with quality tracks, under the “future soul” genus; An amalgam of soul, contemporary R&B and even hip-hop and electronic elements.
-not to be confused with Daley’s “Future Throwback Soul” term-
NGAIIRE – ‘Moonshine’
Speaking on the focus single ‘Moonshine’, NGAIIRE explains: “I wrote this while I was high on Opioids. I just desperately wanted to feel like a whole human again. Most days I’d be writhing in pain on the floor screaming, or throwing whatever I could find near me at the walls because I was just so frustrated at how I felt. The neighbours must have worried. The painkillers helped sometimes but mostly never even touched the sides as my body had grown immune to the drugs. As a result I was mostly just in a constant state of stupor on top of the excruciating pain. I was popping about 8 top shelf opioids a day just to take the edge off but I was feeling increasingly out of control of my life, my career, my pregnancy and the life of my baby. I was in and out of hospital with no answers, hanging on the words of the revolving door of doctors that were sent to my bedside. The more questions went unanswered the more I felt trapped and so far away from what I knew of as my normal life. I’d watch the sun go down and then the moon would illuminate how delicate my mental capacity had become. All I wanted was to sit at my favourite bar and throw a few very stiff drinks back. Until the bar shut. With my lover who I’d just married. Just like the old days. Ironically I wanted to be reckless and out of control on my terms so as to not feel out of control by something that seemed to own me. I just wanted that moonshine.”
Having built a musical identity that effortlessly crosses genre and art form, her renowned vocals, tight beats and big pop sounds have seen NGAIIRE acquire countless accolades including four National Live Music Awards, an FBi Radio SMAC Award for best live act, Australian Music Prize and AIR Award nominations for her 2016 release ‘Blastoma’ and the inaugural Australian Women in Music Award for Artistic Excellence. Not to mention gracing the stages of Glastonbury through to Splendour In The Grass, and touring alongside artists from Sufjan Stevens to Flume to Alicia Keys and John Legend.
Raelle – ‘Wake Up Sunshine’
A stunning mix of neo soul with contemporary r&b, featuring some of Raelle‘s best vocals to date!
Raelle is part of a new refreshing wave of Neo-soul artists from London. She started her musical journey as a child growing up in a Jamaican household in south east London, listening to an array of musical talent, but what really seemed to speak to her was 70s soul. She nurtured this natural interest attending Live music Jams and jazz nights across the capital, which finally saw her releasing her first single in 2020.
Her last release ‘Purple Skies’ was selected for the Spotify editorial playlist ‘Fresh Finds: The wave’, amassing over 30,000 streams within its first month of release. It was also supported by BBC radio 1xtra, being selected to play on DJ Target’s UK touchdown tour, as well as garnering support from BBC introducing, DUMMY Mag, Earmilk, and TRENCH to name a few. Raelle is set to release her debut EP ‘Wake up Sunshine’ in July 2021 through DMY artists.
Chin Injeti – ‘Sparrow’
A stylish slice of funk, neo soul and boogie music by Chin Injeti…
Chin Injeti fuses his love of 80s funk and boogie music with a modern twist that encapsulates a unique yet nostalgic feeling, captivating his fans.
In the music industry, Chin has had a decorated career songwriting and producing with/for many household names. Chin spent years creating, touring and performing all over North America with the likes of The Fugees, The Roots, Jamiroquoi, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and so many more. During that time, Chin perfected his craft, working behind the board. He then teamed up with DJ Khalil, with whom he made music with and for the likes of Dr Dre, Eminem, Drake, Pink, Aloe Blacc, The Clipse, Lecrae, K’Naan and so many other artists. During this time, Chin received multiple awards including 3 Grammys and 2 Juno Awards.
In the last year, Chin has re-ignited his artist career releasing music under his name once again. He’s a force of nature – an inspiration, a teacher, mentor, leader, innovator, singer and multi instrumentalist, writer, collaborator, student; and yes, Icon.
Ibejii – ‘Happy Me’
Afro-retro soul artist Ibejii brings 2nd single ‘Happy Me‘ about reclaiming mental & emotional wellness – positive metaphor for rebirth.
A twin by birth and alter ego by craft, British born Nigerian Ibejii wears his Yoruba ancestry, and the musical origins it represents, as a mark of authenticity. With a fine balance of retro-West African sounds mixed with contemporary Global elements, his music is truly Global Africa and part of the innovative ‘Alte’ scene originating from Nigerian music culture.
Citing Marvin Gaye as a main inspiration, his palette has also been influenced by a wide range of musical genres and artists including opera singers Jessye Norman and Pavarotti, classical composers George Gershwin, Verdi, Vivaldi and Handel, soul and RnB artists Nina Simone, Lauryn Hill, Kendrick Lamar and Kanye plus techno-rockers Daft Punk and more.
Having performed live at various halls in Lagos and London’s O2 Islington opening for jazz / afrobeat artist Brymo, Ibejii has also shared the stage with many notable artists including Celeste, Dwin and Johnny Drille.
With an EP that expands on Gonto’s EndSARS concept on the horizon and a film about the subject now in production, Ibejii is an artist with a bold vision to bring a better world into existence as we emerge from aloneness, social isolation and unimaginable loss into a post CoviD world.
Sonny Southon – ‘Make Love Fall’
Sonny Southon‘s ‘Make Love Fall‘ is a song about having a desire for there to be more love in the world. To be able to take the pain away and to have love fall from the sky like rain.
Sonny left New Zealand at 18, after singing alongside her Samoan father in local bands, with a dream to see the world and become a singer/songwriter. It was a leap of faith that would see her travel to London and sing with luminaries as varied as Duran Duran, Bryan Ferry, Matt Bianco and Sir Bob Geldof. She has travelled as a musician to all four corners of the globe and set up homes in London, Los Angeles, Milan and Sydney.
Her favourite memories during this time; are Joni Mitchell joining her on stage in LA for a very unexpected jam session, being hired to sing at Jack Nicholson’s birthday party, hanging out at Bryan Ferry’s castle and playing piano alongside David Gilmour playing harmonica at a Pink Floyd after-show party – to name just a few.
Nov.47 – ‘Past on Fite’
CAn excellent retro soul/blues treasure by Nov.47 and lyrics like the following….
‘The house that we built
No longer stands
We no longer have plans
We did what we had to do
Now it’s out of our hands
Let’s just leave while we can
Pour the gas
Light a match
Ain’t no need in comin’ back
You and me go separate ways
All the love
All the hate
This is how we escape
Let it go
Let it be
Ain’t no more you and me….’
Before he knew it, he had been vortexed into living a mundane life – at least until the meltdown happened. Suddenly he found himself jobless – by choice – and in a foreign country who’s national language he did not speak. Fortunately, Nov.47 (he wasn’t called that at the time) had made a few good friends there who could help him out during those 6 months. During that adventurous time, he would discover that he was not the songwriter he once thought he was. He was not the producer he once thought he was. He was not the mix engineer he once thought he was. He was also not the artist he once thought he was. He once thought he was a typical black musician creating typically black songs and singing them in a typically black way. Tokyo, Japan taught him something different about himself. It taught him MANY things about himself but the most relevant thing to this writing is that it taught him who he truly was – someone who cannot be permanently matched to any particular definitions or descriptions. What’s interesting, though, is the broad scope of emotions, opinions, fantasies, scars, failures, and triumphs that he covers. In “Alarm”, an Alternative song, he begins with the lyric “So far away from freedom, a victim of the land”. In “Desperate Love Song”, an A Cappella ballad, he desperately and repeatedly confesses his love to a woman. It just so happens that is the very woman who lured him to Tokyo in the first place. But that’s another story for another time…
“Soul Professor”: Christos Doukakis