Well I didn’t think that after nearly 2 years doing this, that I’d be bidding farewell to my readers and http://www.soulukblog.com so soon. It’s a decision I’ve been mulling over for some time, unable to reach a decision. However, my recent hiatus gave me time to think things over and I decided that now is the right time to move on to pastures new.
I’ve thouroughly enjoyed my first foray into blogging and have all the fantastic readers, artists, record labels, PR folk, fellow bloggers and friends to thank for making it such an enjoyable ride. I’m not giving up on blogging completely, in fact I’m happy to be moving on to bigger and better things as a contributer over at Soulbounce. The crew over there (along with retired fellow blogger Vivrant Thang) were my original inspirations to start the blog, so to now make the move over there is an honour.
Special thanks also go to fellow bloggers and/or supporters whose kind words and link-love have kept me going strong, they include PINBOARDblog, PutMeOnIt, Soulafrodisiac, Soulculture and Adventures Of An Audio Diva amongst others.
My existing email addresses will remain active for the forseeable future so music submissions/general chit chat can still be directed via the same channels, and of course I’ll still be on twitter under @SoulUK.
(NOTE: Strangely, as I write this my domain renewal notice came though on email … maybe it’s a sign? lol.)
Again thanks to all who have stopped by, commented, retweeted and/or shared links. Be sure to stop by Soulbounce and hit me up on twitter.
Apologies folks. What was meant to be a short break (to catch up) has turned into a temporary hiatus due to circumstances beyond my control (i.e. illness, a car accident, more illness).
A special aplogy to all the artists/labels/PR people who are submitting stuff left, right and centre. I will try and get through the submissions, however I get a HUGE number of emails daily so as you can imagine it’s easier said than done.
Folks I’m taking a week’s break from the blog. Loads of stuff on and loads of submissions to try and catch up on so, unless anything huge occurs in the meantime, you’ll be hearing from me early next week. For those people that entered the Mary J. Blige competition worry not. I will still be letting the winner know on Thursday.
As always you can catch me on email or twitter.
Have a good ….!
Mary J. Blige returns to the UK for a series of concerts not to be missed, starting on 2nd November in London and stopping in Birmingham and Manchester. Mary J. Blige will be performing records from her huge repertoire of Hip-Hop Soul anthems that include the hits; You Remind Me, Real Love, I’m Going Down, Mary Jane (All Night Long), Not Gon’ Cry, As, Dance For Me, No More Drama, Just Fine and the most recent, Each Tear (feat Jay Sean).
Tickets are priced from £40.00 (excluding booking fee) and are available from www.aeglive.co.uk / 08444 775 775
FULL TOUR DATES:
02 NOVEMBER LONDON THE O2 ARENA * with Gyptian
03 NOVEMBER BIRMINGHAM LG ARENA * with Gyptian
05 NOVEMBER MANCHESTER MEN ARENA
For a chance to win a pair of tickets for the BIRMINGHAM show, please email your full name to soulukinfo [at] gmail.com with the subject line: MJB COMP. The closing date for the competition is Midnight on Wednesday 27th October.
The winner will be picked at random and informed via the email address used to enter on Thursday 28th October.
[NOTE: winners will be required to pick the tickets up from the LG Arena Box Office, Birmingham prior to the show starting]
Over the last 6-12 months I have discovered an enormous amount of great soul music coming out of New Zealand and Australia. Artists such as Fat Freddy’s Drop, Electric Wire Hustle, Benny Tones, Isaac Aesili, Julian Dyne and Mara TK have all been getting regular rotation on my iPod, but one that stood out for me was singer/MC Ladi6 and her debut album Time Is Not Much. Full of catchy, hip-hop heavy soul music, the album was an instant favourite, but unfortunately it was only available in her home country of New Zealand. Luckily, BBE picked up worldwide distribution which saw it hit shelves globally earlier this year.
After supporting legendary artists such as Gil Scott-Heron and Mos Def in Europe, and spending 6 months working on new material in Berlin, Ladi6 will release her follow up album, The Liberation Of…, on November 1st. No word as yet on when/if this will get worldwide release (*fingers crossed*) but the first single ‘Bang Bang’ has now appeared on YouTube. I will be tracking this release down ASAP.
Another track from Jamie Woon’s upcoming album has appeared over on his soundcloud channel. After hearing the stunning ‘Night Air I have been itching to hear more from Jamie and ‘Spiral’ certainly does not disappoint! A great laid back, soulful groove with Jamie’s exceptional vocal floating over the top. This is going to be one helluva album!
A week or so ago I posted an interview that MERC80.com did with +FE Music’s ‘Director Of Operations’ Aimee Flint. Parts 2 and 3 of the interview have now surfaced (Part 3 after the break), where Aimee discusses growing up with music and shares some advice and experiences for those who want to get in on the music management/organisation game.
I am not familiar with hip-hop group The Beast or jazz singer Nnenna Freelon, however the release of their Freedom Suite album has been causing quite a stir amongst fellow bloggers so I thought I’d take a listen and see what all the fuss was about. Before pressing play I did a bit of research and found that the project was …
a 10-track collection of creative reflections on jazz and hip-hop
All sounded good thus far and the press release went on to say …
Freedom Suite follows in the tradition of other collaborative jazz and hip-hop projects like the late Guru‘s Jazzmatazz. The album features six original songs written and produced by The Beast, which are infused with both a live jazz aesthetic (drums, bass, piano, percussion, strings and horns were all recorded live) and an electronic/sample-based hip-hop aesthetic. Freedom Suite also includes four contemporary interpretations of “standards” from the jazz and hip-hop cannon, including arrangements of Mos Def’s “Umi Says,” Johnny Mercer & Hoagy Charmichael’s “Skylark” and Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop.”
I’ll be honest, the deal-clincher for me was the tracklisting which featured collaborations with 9th Wonder, YahZarah, Phonte, Carlitta Durand and Darien Brockington. All of the collaborations definitely add a little extra spice to the project however it’s the core acts, The Beast and Nnenna, which grab the attention on a full listen. Nnenna’s voice is a truly beautiful instrument, and the interplay between her and The Beast quartet works wonderfully. Production-wise it is also hard to find fault, as it pays homage to classic hip-hop/jazz crossover whilst remaining fresh and new.
The album will be released on October 26th via OkayPlayer’s new jazz-focused channel The Revivalist.