Celestial Soul Singer Kadhja Bonet's Voice Has the Power to Stop Time. At least, that's the headline from LA Weekly's interview with young-looking musician who claims that she was born in 1784 in the backseat of a sea-foam green space pinto. But as The Guardian puts it, "Sometimes it’s like listening to music ... from the 1940s, say – drenched as it is in Disney-sweet Hollywood strings. At others it seems as though it’s beamed in from the 2040s, from a science fictional future when soul has become completely deracinated and etherised." Enough talk, time for the music! Enjoy The Visitor, her debut album, and for a stripped-down sound, here's Kadhja performing Fairweather Friend live and This Love in April 2015, just her vocals, her guitar, and a backing vocalist/ guitarist.
Mndsgn is pronounced mind design. The law calls him Ringgo Ancheta. He says his music has dirty, dirty soul vibes, but after checking out his video for Eggs (2014) and Cosmic Perspective (2016), you might agree with this interviewer and think that he might be a mystic jazz player who traveled to earth with Sun Ra. Any way it shakes out, enjoy Mndsgn's music on Bandcamp, and his new concept album*, Body Wash (YT playlist), or just hang out and have some breakfast with Ringgo, Knxwledge and The Koreatown Oddity, the first of five such breakfasts, via Boiler Room. [more inside]
Wondercore Island is a Melbourne-based label/ artist management and PR company label that supports a range of future soul, alternative and hip-hop acts, including Clever Austin, Ainslie Wills, Jaala, Oscar Key Sung, Vulture St. Tape Gang, Hiatus Kaiyote, and Sampa the Great, to name a few groups and artists. You can check out more from this umbrella group/ thing on Vimeo, YouTube, Soundcloud and perhaps most conveniently on Bandcamp, where they have a number of mixtapes and other musical collections available to stream and download for free.
When he first started recording as the Weeknd, Tesfaye was an unlikely star. "I was everything an R&B singer wasn't," he says. "I wasn't in shape. I wasn't a pretty boy. I was awkward as fuck. I didn't like the way I looked in pictures — when I saw myself on a digital camera, I was like, 'Eesh.'" Instead of his face, his album art and videos featured black-and-white photos of artful nudes — a topless girl in a bathtub, a woman's ass in a party dress. The aesthetic was American Apparel-style hipster catnip, right down to the Helvetica font.
Taking on the dreamy, compelling sound of the lost soul decades is a damn high bar to set for yourself. Soul revivalists usually don’t get very far in my book, because what’s the point of competing with the likes of Sam Cooke and Otis Redding? Listening to Leon Bridges made me do a 180 on that stance. See, if you actually can hold a candle to legends like Cooke and Redding — and Bridges can — then there’s no reason not to indulge in some nostalgia.NPR has a first listen of Coming Home, Bridges' debut album, and you can see and hear plenty more of him on YouTube, from a live cover of Cooke's "Nothing Can Change This Love" to a solo performance of "Lisa Sawyer," a reflective song about his mother. [more inside]
Lenis Guess was one of the pioneers in the Norfolk recording scene. This self-taught vocalist and musician was cranking out records from his 35th Street studio in Norfolk for many artists, including his own and himself. This, producer, singer, musician, performer was at the forefront of the Norfolk sound. With songs like, “I was Born to Be A Drummer,“ his funk band, The 35th Street Gang, were mainstays of the 70s in and around the Hampton Roads area. Lenis himself had hits like, “I Keep Coming Back for More,” and “Working for My Baby.” [more inside]
The trick is to give without looking to receive - to give of yourself to your family, your friends, your community, and the world community with love. The King of Rock and Soul Solomon Burke, Archbishop of the House of God For All People and member of the Hall of Fame died on a plane (2) after arriving in Amsterdam. [more inside]
Amy Winehouse has Emphysema. The 24 year old artist, whose career has netted multiple awards but has often been overshadowed by her drug use, now faces a lung condition that can be slowed but never reversed, with effects ranging from shortness of breath to cyanosis and heart faliure.