Remembering Great Records: Terence Trent D’Arby – Introducing the Hardline

April 19th, 2014


In honour of National Record Store Day, I look back at one of the most innovative Soul Records…

Artist Terence Trent D’Arby released his debut album ‘Introducing the Hardline’ In July 1987; a power force which stormed through the UK charts spending nine weeks at the number one album chart spot. The album produced four top 20 singles and earned Terence Trent D’Arby a Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and a Brit Award.

The success of The Hardline was hugely influential to the UK RnB scene, as the album was released whilst D’Arby lived in the UK we adopted him as out own! UK RnB whilst thriving in the 1960s and enjoying some success in the 1970’s was struggling in the 1980’s to gain pace above the underground scene with the exception of Sade. Terence Trent D’Arby was the full package, he had a strong iconic image with long dreadlocks, an undefinable golden skin tone, a sultry pout and of course huge shouderpads! He had almost complete artistic control over the album, writing seven out of the eleven tracks and producing the project; a rare amount of artistic licensing for a debut album. Terence Trent D’Arby was making a statement – he was not just a singer, he was an artist.

The album oozed influences from every area of urban music from reggae, blues, the funk of ‘Dance Little Sister’ to the stripped back soul of ‘Sign Your Name’ to the Motown nod in his rendition of ‘Who’s Loving You’. The production of the album is flawless, mature and at times boldly experimental; boasting layered and complex instrumentals on every track and the vocal range that D’Arby demonstrates is second to none.

The Hardline paved the way for many UK soul artists as it grabbed international attention, the couple of years that followed in the UK soul scene saw the arrival of Omar, Soul II Soul and many of the ‘acid jazz’ groups. Influences of this album also became apparent in the 1990’s during the arrival of the ‘Neo – Soul’ movement in the US, when artists such as D’Angelo, Maxwell and Erykah Badu appeared sporting similar sounds, experimental production and even styles as Terence Trent D’Arby.

Most importantly , Introducing the Hardline has retained its credibility and relevance. Dust off your old copy,or listen for the first time, it still sounds innovative and fresh and is in my opinion, a milestone soul album.

Carly – ann (@CarlyMond)


Terence Trent D’Arby – Sign Your Name

 

 

 

 


Enigmatic Erykah Storms the Cape Town Jazz Festival

April 9th, 2014


I have just returned from Cape Town bringing good news for all Erykah Badu fans; Erykah headlined the prestigious 2 day Jazz Festival on the main stage and I can confirm that she looks and sounds better than ever!

The atmosphere at the venue was intense with anticipation for Erykah’s arrival and she came on to stage to possibly the best crowd reception I’ve ever heard! Her style was understated; wearing over sized workman’s trousers, a simple black shirt and a mountain hat with her hair wrapped in a scarf underneath, she looked stunning regardless – no gimmicks or extravagance required, which mirrored the tone for the performance.

Here is an artist who does not need any extras, she gets by on talent and conviction of her lyrics alone. The Neo-Soul Queen was the ultimate eclectic ‘one man band‘; she sang, she rapped, she even had a multi platform electric pad on which she created synth melodies and added sound effects to her tracks. With a clear awareness of her fans she sang all of her hits; ‘Love of My Life‘, ‘Next Lifetime‘, ‘I Want You‘ and ‘Tyrone‘ during a set which lasted over an hour, before returning to perform an explosive encore of ‘Honey‘, ‘Window Seat‘ and ‘Bag Lady‘ finishing up with a crowd surf sending the audience into an excitement frenzy that left everyone on a high.

The show saw some tender and emotional moments too during some of Erykah’s more stripped back tracks and particularly during a birthday tribute that she gave to her backing singer sister , ‘Nayrok‘ who shared the stage with Erykah and who she thanked in a tearful speech for her continued support. Clearly humbled by the response from the Cape Town crowd Erykah expressed sincere gratitude several times and said she felt like she was ‘Home‘.

The show was mesmerizing, energetic and humble and what was so evident was that Erykah Badu has maintained a huge global passionate fan base. The demand from fans and crave for new material is there, the talent is clearly still there, possibly stronger then ever, the love of music from Erykah is still there, so hopefully we won’t have to wait to long for this exceptional artist to be back on the scene with new material.

Until then we relive the classics….and there are so many….enjoy!

Carly – ann (@CarlyMond)


Erykah Badu – Love of My Life

 

 

 

 


S. Chu ft Terri Walker | “Closure” [Plugged:In]: SBTV

March 25th, 2014


Hey Soulquarians,
here’s a killer jam to warm you up for the incoming summer vibes.
It’s a powerful and emotional delivery by one of my favourite singers and people on the planet, Terri Walker.

Producer S.Chu has captured a T.W classic vocal performance that’ll have you fully engaged in the groove as well as the song.

Keep your eyes and ears open for a brand new Terri Walker project linking up with UK Hip Hop heavyweight producer Joe Buhddha coming soon.
I can give you the heads up that it’s absolutely sick!!

Watch this space and i’ll keep you fully posted.
In the meantime…check this!


The Robert Glasper Experiment Raise the Roof at Eventim Apollo

March 13th, 2014


So last night Ronnie Herel and I were lucky enough to spend the evening with The Robert Glasper Experiment, and I use that terminology deliberately…I will explain later.

For those of you who are still not familiar (shame on you) Robert Glasper is a musician and producer who recently released two albums; ‘Black Radio ‘ and ‘Black Radio 2‘ with his band under the title ‘The Robert Glasper Experiment‘ and who treated London to a live performance at The Eventim Apollo last night.

From the start of the show one thing was clear – this was going to be a night of effortless, unapologetic musical authenticity. Robert and the rest of the ‘Experiment’ band came on stage sporting their own unique styles but sharing the same laid back vibe with Robert on keys, Derrick Hodge on guitar, Casey Benjamin on lead vocals and saxophone and Mark Colenburg on drums. This collaboration should be re launched named ‘The Robert Glasper Masterclass’ as all 4 members are exceptional, world class musicians who played with finesse and have an incredible chemistry together. Mark Colenbug gave without a doubt the best drumming performance I have ever seen, his sticks did not rest for the first 30 minutes of the show, he was effortless yet so full of energy and I’m pretty sure we could solve the Global energy crisis by using the power which he emulates from his drums!

The night felt like everyone there had been invited to a private jamming sessions in Robert Glasper’s basement, he explained that the group suffer from ‘Musical ADD’, an excellent description as they flowed across genres, mashed and riffed contemporary and classic songs, going from Cyndi Lauper to Janet Jackson to Bill Withers then to J Dilla. The Robert Glasper Experiment were on stage doing their thing – at many points with their eyes closed just feeling the music and that is why I say I spent the evening with Robert Glasper because it didn’t feel like a performer / audience scenario, it was everyone in the room together celebrating their passion for music.

What made it feel even more unique was the way that special guests Raheem Devaughn, Laura Mvula and Emeli Sande all casually joined the band on stage at points to jam with them. Each guest provided roof raising vocals; Raheem Devaughn performing a number of tracks including ‘Worries‘ and ‘Woman‘, Laura Mvula joined for ‘Calls‘ and Emeli Sande for ‘Somebody Else‘ all sounding even more incredible live than on any of their recordings.

Robert Glasper was the ultimate charismatic front man; funny, genuine and infectious, he was clearly having the time of his life on stage and you couldn’t help but feel the same. This experience was unique and exquisite, I would challenge anybody who is passionate about music regardless of genre not to be in awe of the performance that The Robert Glasper Experiment gave last night and if you were not fortunate enough to be there then make sure you don’t miss out next time!!

Carly – ann (@CarlyMond)


The Robert Glasper Experiment and Laura Mvula – ‘Calls’

 

 

 

 


Hot New Track – Brandon Williams feat Robert Glasper & Jesse Boykins III

March 2nd, 2014


Soul and RnB fans if by this point you haven’t discovered Brandon Williams – get familiar. Brandon is a multi-talented Grammy award winning producer, musician and and composer who has collaborated with the likes of Amp Fiddler, Janet Jackson, Talib Kweli and Musiq Soulchild to name a few.

This week Brandon dropped a new track ‘Now I Know‘ feat Jesse Boykins III and Robert Glasper and the high expectations I had of a track with such powerful soulful artists have been met and exceeded. The track is neo soul / Jazz at it’s best, Glasper and Williams bringing instrumental and production finesse with Jesse Boykins III smooth and hypnotic vocals blending it all together. You can download the track for free on Brandon Williams site www.bwilliamsmusic.com/music or donate ‘your price’ for a download – although frankly I cant afford how much I think the track is worth!!

These 3 artists are big names in the soulful game and definitely ones to watch. Robert Glasper delivered arguably the album of the year last year with ‘Black Radio 2‘, Brandon Williams is putting the final touches to his forthcoming album ‘XII‘ set to drop this Summer and Jesse Boykins III just released his new single ‘Plain‘ from his forthcoming album ‘Love Apparatus‘ due for release April 22nd.

2014 looks set to be seriously soulful!!

Carly – ann (@CarlyMond)


RH Interview with Eric Roberson @ Mi-Soul.com

February 12th, 2014


Hey Soulquarians
Check our exclusive Eric Roberson visual interview at Mi Soul radio towers where he breaks down his brand new collaborative project,
“B Sides, Features & Heartaches”
He reveals news on a highly anticipated and exciting duo album landing in 2015.
What’s Erro’s perspective on that next possible D’angelo album?
Plus check out one of Erro’s legendary freestyles.
If all that wasn’t enough…Check out the whole interview for your chance to win a signed copy of his new album “B Sides, Features & Heartaches”
Enjoy
RH


A Week of Music BIGNESS!!!!!

February 8th, 2014


I just had to write about everything that’s been going on in music this week! For RnB fans, especially those of us that love the 90’s vibe this week has been colossal in the world of music. So if you’ve slept all week or been working too hard to take note, here’s what you’ve missed:

The week began with the return of Babyface and Toni Braxton on their collaboration album, ‘Love, Marriage & Divorce’. No doubt people will have misconceptions that an album by these 2 artists will be full of ballads but don’t be mislead the album is Fresh! Babyface and Toni’s voices have never sounded stronger and the vibe of the album is slick, sophisticated soul; ‘Sweat’ and ‘Heart Attack’ in particular are great up tempo tracks.

Then came the Timbaland leak during an online fan chat that he is in talks with Devante about working on the new Jodeci album!!! It’s been 18 years since the RnB sensation released a new single and the music world is so hyped about the return it even made a feature in the Guardian newspaper! Maxwell teased and excited fans with the news that he has finished recording the second installment of his ‘Blacksummer’s Night’ trilogy tweeting, ‘#Summers #recording #finish‘. Jermaine Dupri has also been tweeting from the studio this week, he’s been reunited with Mariah Carey, P. Diddy and Trey Songz and promised us all he’s working on ‘#somuchnewmusic’

As if that wasn’t enough Eric Roberson dropped his new album, ‘B-Sides, Features and Heartache’s’, Miguel released an incredible new track, ‘Simple Things’ and in hip hop Nas announced that he will be releasing a 20th Anniversary 2-disc special edition of ‘Illmatic’, entitled ‘Illmatix XX‘ expected to drop on the 15th of April.

The hottest track of the week for me has been ‘Take It’ by Amp Fiddler feat Rapheal Saadiq from his latest EP ‘Basementality 2’ and if you’re a Raphael Saadiq fan you can catch him live with Tony Toni Tone, Blackstreet, En Vogue, Mint Condtion, Total, Silk and Kut Klose at Wembley Arena on the 15th of February for the ‘RnB Superstars Valentines Special.

How will the world of RnB top this? Looking forward to next week………….

Carly – ann (@CarlyMond)

Amp Fiddler feat Raphael Saadiq – Take it

 

 

 

 


The Grammys – Still Relevant??

February 1st, 2014


Ive always enjoyed watching music award shows, The Grammys being the one that seemed to be most respected and widely encompassing. It seems to me though that over the past couple of years music award shows have become increasingly repetitive – opting to hand out the same awards to the same artists year upon year and making bizarre winner choices which seem to go against critical and public opinion.

Most recently this year’s Grammy awards saw Macklemore and Ryan Lewis take home 3 out of the 4 awards in the rap category with Kendrick Lamar being awarded none. Whether you are a fan of Kendrick Lamar’s music or not there is no denying that he has reignited rap and hip hop with the release of ‘Good Kid Maad City’ and his ‘Control’ verse along with the controversy that followed it. However the voters of the Grammys (music industry professionals) overlooked his contributions this year despite impressive album sales and critical acclaim to instead award an arguably more ‘mainstream’ act. India Arie described her frustration by tweeting “Kendrick Lamar WAS robbed, BUT he was not the only one who was robbed, though it’s called “Music industries biggest night” the Grammys are NOT about the music, it’s a popularity contest.” Even Macklemore and Ryan Lewis admitted that they wanted to see Kendrick Lamar win an award. I understand the impact of their song ‘Same Love’ and agree it was Grammy worthy but I doubt there are many people who would agree that they should have won the Best Rap Album award!

Best RnB album went predictably to Alicia Keys for Girl on Fire, with 15 Grammys being won out of 28 nominations in a 5 album career is it not time to hand the award to another deserving artist? Admittedly 2013 wasn’t the best year for RnB albums but the soulful offerings of Charles Bradley, K. Michelle and Raheem Devaughn were all overlooked in the RnB category, is this just because they are less well known than the other names nominated?

I had a lot of respect for music award shows, mainly because I enjoyed great music being celebrated, now it feels like the awards go to the biggest name on the nomination list in the hope that the most popular artists are present for the crowd shots and red carpet. If music awards are becoming less credible by the year and failing to reward the diversity and artistry which is now more present in music than ever, then have they become irrelevant?

One person did get it right at the Grammys this year – Kendrick Lamar delivered an explosive performance, if you haven’t seen it yet take a look online! On the more soulful side check out the below video, a track from Charles Bradley’s ‘Victim of Love’ – an album which definitely would have made my Grammy nominee list!!

Carly – ann (@CarlyMond)

Charles Bradley – You Put the Flame on It

 

 

 

 


The BIG R&B Show – Jan 27th 2014

January 30th, 2014


Ronnie Herel / Mi-Soul Radio / Mon 9pm – 12am / 27-01-2014 by Mi-Soul Radio on Mixcloud

The BIG R&B show – THURSDAY PULL UP!!
Enjoy the bigness R&B family
Peace & Love
R x


New Track: Eric Roberson

January 12th, 2014


Erro gives us the perfect start to 2014 by releasing his new single ‘Anymore’, a soulful infectious track about the breakdown of a relationship, it has an old school vibe with Erro’s contemporary twist. The single is the first release from his upcoming album ‘B-Sides, Features & Heartaches’, a collection of previously unreleased singles and songs by other artists which Erro features on, set for release on February 4th. He then promises to release his 9th studio album featuring all new material later in the year.

Enjoy the new track and for those of you in and around London, you can catch Erro performing live at Clapham Grand on Friday 7th February. He is one of the best performers I’ve seen, outstanding vocals, amazing band, he’s humble, really interactive with the crowd and he’s got jokes too – a 2014 must for Soul and RnB fans!

Carly – ann (@CarlyMond)

Eric Roberson – Anymore

 

 

 

 


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