Soul music isn’t nearly as celebrated
in mainstream music as it really should be. There are
a few exceptions like India.Arie, Jill Scott, Floetry
and Maxwell but, thanks to the internet, soul music lovers
can discover underground talents. There are tons and tons
of soul artists out there. Some might argue that the artists
on this list are more neo soul, but in my opinion, neo-soul
is really not a genre because when it comes down to the
basics, every artist classified as a neo soul artist is
really a soul artist. I probably have not done justice
to them all, but here is my list of 10 great artists you
should listen out for.
Dexter has been dubbed by her fans as "The UK Queen
of Soul." A classically trained musician, she played
clarinet, violin, piano, and djembe (African drums) before
concentrating on her voice as her main instrument. Her
work is a blend of reggae roots, yet maintaining her distinctive
soulful, jazz 'n' funk sound. Albums she has released
include A Peace of Mind, Dexterity and most recently Conscious.
McClendon is a great gospel soul artist. I cannot rave
enough about her; she brings a whole new dimension of
creativity, individuality and expression to gospel music.
I couldn’t help but include two of her tracks on
this play list. She takes soul gospel and fuses it with
worship. The blended sound has you on your knees and going
into the holies of holies.
is one of the most underrated talents. Her song Closer
did not receive nearly as much airplay as it should have.
It was also featured in the movie Honey with Jessica Alba.
I first read a review of her CD Even Closer on okayplayer.com
and another feature in Essence magazine. I particularly
dig the message in her song Closer which is the chosen
track for this play list.
is one of my favorites, maybe it is because she is Ethiopian.
Heritage aside, her voice is as beautiful as she is. She
just came on the scene recently, her debut album Moments
of Clarity: Book 1 is a collection of infectious, introspective
songs that fuse soul, world music and hip hop.
has been an estrogen party up in here, and the men have
decided to crash this party, first up is Donnie. A friend
and I were talking about soul music and he was appalled
that I did not know who Donnie was. I decided to really
check him out, because even though his name had popped
up from time to time, I never really paid much attention.
I am sorry that I did not and thankful he was brought
to my attention. His debut album The Colored Section is
as defined by the title, a political message.
in love with Dwele, his voice is cool, charming and as
someone put it hypnotically smooth. He started out rapping
and then a collaboration with Slum Village. He came on
the soul music scene when he put together an album Rize
and put out on the internet. It was gobbled up! He had
been quiet for two years after his 'second debut' Subject
but has now released his latest Some Kinda. He taught
himself how to play the Piano, bass, guitar and trumpet.
Now that is talent!
has a breathtaking voice; her music is an interesting
mix of jazz and eclectic soul. Her songs cannot be lumped
into one category really; they are so diverse from Smooth
to Leaving You to Come to Mama. I struggled with choosing
a feature song for this play list and originally picked
two to really show how eclectic her album The Inner Beauty
Movement really is, which by the way you should run to
the store to get! But I settled for one of the two songs,
Smooth, my all time favorite.
song on Just Because by Conya Doss is amazing. The whole
CD is a story you will want to get to the end of. Just
Because is her sophomore effort, I listened to a preview
of her CD and was hooked by her sound which is sensual
and funky. She is another hidden gem whose debut effort
A Poem About Ms. Doss was slept on.
One more for the guys! Van Hunt has a voice that will
make you want to dim the lights and make some babies…’nuff
wrap things up is Joss Stone. She is an insanely talented
musician with a very strong and mature sounding voice.
I found it very hard to believe that the owner of this
voice is a 17 year old British blonde. When I first heard
Super Duper Love, I thought this is really tight! It took
me a while to find out who she was and I have enjoyed
listening to her songs ever since.