All Articles Tagged "soul"
Springy, kinky, coily, curly, crinkly haired sisters are all over the place now. Black women are embracing their natural hair like never before. No longer are we shying away from our natural roots. For many of us, straightening our hair with a relaxer will never again be an option. Why straighten when our lives aren’t even straight and narrow? Life is full of kinks, just like our hair, but we work through them on this journey called life.
But the natural movement isn’t just about hair. It’s about embracing ourselves – mind, body and soul. A total lifestyle change, if you will. So if you’ve ever felt like you can’t clear the negative feelings of self-worth and doubt from your mind, this is a must-read for you. Sometimes, we all need a gentle nudge to fall head-over-heels in love with ourselves again.
Banish Self Criticism
Turn a deaf ear to the tiny voice in your head that whispers nothing but words of negativity. Refrain from berating yourself and feeling like you are worthless or stupid. Make a conscious effort to stop criticizing yourself.
Sometimes Solo artists and even band members want to branch off into new directions and when those talented folks hook up with other established artists to form a new group, its called a supergroup. And when they’re good, the music is even better than the sum of their talented parts. Check out some of our favorite solo artists who banned together to form groups and groups who broke up and formed new ones with other singers.
When a song can make you want to shed a tear, the artist has done his job. Simply put, Gregory Porter is my new obsession.
A few months ago, I was sitting around watching videos when I saw a video for a song called “Be Good (Lion’s Song)” by Gregory Porter. He had a great voice but I kept thinking that a voice like that doesn’t seem like it would come from a man who likes like a football player (silly me, I know, but oh well). I never thought to look up his music until late last week.
I. Have. Been Sleeping.
Gregory Porter is a gem of an artist. He’s a jazz singer, and that’s pretty clear when listening to his latest album Be Good, but that’s not all he is. Porter mixes jazz, R&B, soul and gospel into his sound that gives him such a rich tone that all you can find yourself doing is closing your eyes and zoning out.
Be Good is one of those albums that you can play from start to finish without stopping it. Even if you’re not a jazz fan, you will likely find something to enjoy about the album if you open your mind a bit.
It is amazing that he’s been out since 2010 (when his first album, Water, debuted) and is just beginning to get a little more mainstream notice. His song, “Real Good Hands” was nominated for best R&B traditional performance at the 55th Grammy Awards.
Here’s the bottom line, because I could go on and on: You really need to check out his music. If you love him like I do, you’ll see if he’s coming to your city soon. Here’s the thing: Porter is booked straight through February 2014. That’s what happens when you do something organic and real and people appreciate it. But don’t let that stop you from looking to see if you can get some tickets anyway!
Check out “Real Good Hands” and you’ll hear why I got my tickets as soon as I saw he was coming to my city!
Well, look what we found!
Kelis is known for her loud and eccentric style making you love her when you’re not always sure why. But a few days ago, she very quietly dropped a song on Soundcloud titled “Jerk Ribs.”
Now, we are not even going to take a guess at why she named it “Jerk Ribs,” especially since she repeats “Call On Me” during the chorus. Then again, artists come up with song titles all the time that are never in the song. But we can tell you that she’s giving a mix of dance, funk and traces of calypso in the beat. There are whistles and steel band sounds all through it.
So what’s it about? The best we can tell it is about Kelis’ love of music and always hearing and feeling the melody in everything, including music and possibly love.
Oh and even better news? Kelis tweeted that her album is done and sounds like “love and summer balled up into one.” We haven’t had a Kelis album since 2010 when she released Flesh Tone to not so rave reviews.
So check out “Jerk Ribs” below and tell us what you think! Are you ready for the return of Kelis?
There are some artists who just do not make it “big” in the way we think they should. Singer Alice Smith is absolutely one of those people.
Her style is eclectic, mixing rock, funk and soul music into one sound. Her first album, For Lovers, Dreamers and Me, was a critical success with many publications dubbing her the “next best thing.” She even reached daytime status when she performed on Ellen. But despite having an undergound following, Alice’s career never fully took off.
Over the last seven years – when her first album was released – Alice has been signed to a major label and finally was able to get off in or around 2010. Fans didn’t know if they’d ever get any new music from her and all they could do was replay the debut album and watch live Youtube videos. Oh, did I forget to mention she has a four octave vocal range? Yeah, she does…and it might even be five on a good day. But anyway, it could have virtually been the end of a career that didn’t have a fully chance to develop.
And then, Alice took to Twitter in 2012. She informed her fans that she was now an independent artist and was ready to start recording an album tentatively titled She. In order to get it done, she would need help with funding and to do so, Alice started a Kickstarter fund to gain financial help from fans and supporters. She ended up raising about half of the money needed and She was officially a go!
Alice released She in March and it is a gem. From the opening a capella of the “Cabaret (intro)” to the end of the album which closes with “She,” the title track, Alice takes the listener on a journey of a love lost and also find the love of your life. You feel every emotion and every note has the ability to pierce right through your heart. She even remade Ceelo Green’s “Fool For You” which is, arguably, better than the original…just don’t tell Ceelo I said it.
Let’s get to the bottom line here: I know I can’t turn everyone into a believer, but you have to give Alice Smith a chance.
You can trust me…I wouldn’t steer you wrong. But if you don’t believe me, check the “Fool For You” video below.
Well, this is turning out to be quite the year for Prince so far – and it’s only January.
We told you that Carnegie Hall will be paying tribute to the Purple One in March with performances by The Roots and Talib Kweli. Now, it was just announced that he will be honored at the 2013 Billboard Awards, according to EURweb.
Prince will be awarded with the Billboard Icon Award at the show which will take place in May in Las Vegas. While we know – or he’s led us to believe – that Prince doesn’t ever release music for the sake of winning any awards, this is a great honor.
Here’s the even better part: he’s agreed to perform on the show. Fans know that he doesn’t do this quite often – although he did show up on Jimmy Kimmel Live to perform new music late last year – so this will be quite the treat.
Last year’s Icon honoree was Stevie Wonder so Prince is certainly in amazing company.
The Billboard Awards are calculated by fans’ interaction with music based on radio play, track and album downloads, touring and social media interaction.
The show will air live Sunday, May 19 on ABC.
As we move through June, we continue to celebrate Black Music Month. If you’re anything like me as an R&B/soul music fan, when you are introduced to an artist who you think is amazing, you want them to succeed. But then again, you don’t want them to blow up so much for fear that the music will change or become watered down. Today, we take a look at some of today’s best and brightest in soul who’ve received lots of attention but haven’t really allowed the music to suffer in the process. Who’s your favorite R&B/soul artist of today?
Note: This list certainly is not the sum of all the artists we love because as an R&B lover, I could go on for days. This is just a “to wet your appetite” list and this could be never ending. That’s why we want you to add your favorites in the comments. Enjoy!
There are two artists I might end a friendship over if you speak ill of them, and Jill Scott is one of them. For years, Jill has proven herself as a musical force to be reckoned with – there are few who can match that voice and those songwriting abilities. She sings in different languages, she sings her songs in operatic tone, and her range is amazing. We’re always ready for new music from Jilly from Philly.
Mary just released her newest video for the track, “Why” off the album, My Life II…The Journey Continues (Act I). This time around, Mary gets a guest appearance from Ricky Rozay (you low-key crush), who always makes songs a bit smoother (though I noticed his bars have nothing to do with what the track is about…). Mary is decked out in some fabulous fashions, as is the big man, and they switch from wearing all-black everything to looking fresh and clean in white ensembles. Mary sings about–you guessed it–a love gone wrong that she wants to get back on track, but somehow finds herself in the club when she looks like she’d rather be in the house crying. But once again, at least she looks fabulous in all her angst! Loving the song and the video as a whole isn’t bad. But what do you think? Check it out and let us know below.
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My music loving heart just can’t and won’t let some artists go. A few times a week, I’m on the hunt for new artists to fall in love with (musically speaking, of course) but in the meantime, my mp3 player always goes back to people I love.
These are a few artists who we haven’t had an album from in quite some time – some you know and some you may have forgotten about – and hopefully, they’ll grace us again.
It doesn’t happen often, but every once in a while you’ll play the first chords of a record and you know immediately that this piece of art is going to become a part of you. Not just something you listen to as background music, not something you dance, absentmindedly in the club, but something you internalize. You find yourself recalling the lyrics to songs and applying them to the real life situations you face. We all have these gems. So let’s dig in with the masterpieces that I carry with me.
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill – Lauryn Hill
No need to beat around the bush. Quite a few black people born after 1970 would include this national treasure on their list. Lauryn was preaching in her first solo album. The Miseducation is the perfect combination of righteous and real. It always amazes me how perspective-changing art makes it’s way into our lives. A friend of my mother’s gifted me with this album for a random occasion and for months it never left my discman. I was only a fifth grader when this album hit the streets but even as a youngster I knew it was profound. I can’t tell you how many hours I sat, in my room, in my back yard, on the school bus, absorbing the knowledge Lauryn was dropping. The album made me laugh, cry, dance and think. It was perfection.