Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Soulacoaster Live... The Aftermath

Ok, now the dust has settled and i'm getting back into the groove of normality, I just wanted to say a few things about the Soulacoaster show at Cargo a couple of weeks ago. First off, it was one of my lifetime ambitions come true, and I had such a good feeling being behind the drums playing live, something i'd not done since I was a teenager!
I'd like to thanks all the vocalists that came over and performed, Darien (who came from New York) Kia Bennett (Who came from Washington) Sibel Thrasher (who travelled from Vancouver Canada) Juliette Ashby for her valuable time and a massive thankyou to the background vocalists
Katie Leone and Jono McNeil (Who I met for the first time ever, only that morning) who did such a professional job that even Jocelyn Brown wanted to to poach them!...And of course a massive undiluted thankyou to Jocelyn Brown, my good friend and mentor who tore the roof off the house, with a special song we wrote together called 'In The Middle" (see footage below) it was such a special moment to play with Jocelyn as we have so much history, and this was the first time we'd ever shared a stage together... One of the highlights of my life, as was playing alongside Sibel Thrasher from RAMP!

Thankyou to all of my musicians, Nick Van Gelder for being humble and leaving his drumsticks to one side to supply some slick guitar parts, to Carl Hudson, one of the most talented keys players i've ever met, to my right hand man on bass Andy Toleman for keeping the groove in the pocket, and my percussionist Gabriel Nuzzoli for coming all the way from Barcelona especially to do the show...With no rehearsal I might add...

On The subject of rehearsals, I was really pleased with the way the show turned out as we had only practiced 4 times together as a band, and with over 15 songs to learn, if it wasn't for the professionalism and musicianship of every player involved then it might have been a different story! These players are my brothers forever, and to play alongside each and every one of them is an absolute honour!

Finally i'd like to thank my manager Michael Fountaine for making the show happen. For the first time in my career, this is the first time i've had a manager that actually does what he says he's going to do. And for that, i'm eternally grateful!

Onwards and upwards, next month on the 25th November, the
Soulacoaster show continues at Jazz Refreshed @ The Mau Mau Bar, Potabello Road, London. This time your in for another treat as Princess Freesia will be flying in from sunny Australia as well as Katie Leone standing in for Kia Bennett and Sibel Thrasher and Jono McNeil stands in for Darien. As I have already said, these two are brilliant singers in their own right, and gradually we'll be incorporating more of they're own material into the shows. Also my good mates Super Dirtie & Phase Wizz will be performing a track, these two in my opinion are Londons finest emcee's and you'll certainly enjoy their verbal gymnastics over some goosebumpy raregrooves. Anyways, hope you can join us for a bit of a jam! Tickets are £5 before 9 and £7 after.

Here's some footage of the Cargo show for those who may have missed it.

Jocelyn Brown performs our song "In The Middle"

Sibel Thrasher performs "In Your Eyes" from Soulacoaster

Juiette Ashby performs "Get My Shit Together from Soulacoaster

And here's a bit of footage from our first ever rehearsal, grooving with "So Natural"

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Soulpersona Presents Soulacoaster "Live" @ Cargo

When I put out Soulacoaster last October, I'd have never imagined that a year later i'd be sharing the stage with the artists involved on the album, and for some reason, that's completely beyond me, it's actually going to happen.

That's right, I am dusting off the drumkit and returning to my first instrument for this show. I've got my good mate Nick Van Gelder on guitar duties, don't have a bass player confirmed yet, but have a badass keys player who loves his Rhodes and vintage synths. Instruments that are vital in this show.

So what can you expect from this forthcoming Cargo experience? Well, with Darien (who you might have heard on the last Reel People album) Kia Bennett (backing vocals for D'Angelo) Sibel Thrasher (from the legendary RAMP, who gave us "Daylight" and "Everybody Loves The Sunshine) Juliette Ashby (Get My Shit Together) and Jocelyn Brown (My friend and mentor) all appearing on the same show, i'd say it will be a night to remember.

Tickets are £12 in advance & £15 on the door. Available from www.ticketweb.co.uk and Maestro Records: 0207 635 7299

Looking forward to seeing you there, for what is set to be a completely one off experience I'll never forget.


Friday, 9 July 2010

Soulpersona Songwriting Competition

Thought I'd spread the net wide and see if there are any supa talented singers/songwriters under my radar that I should know about. What I am looking for is someone to write and sing they're own flavour over the below instrumental. All you have to do is email me on soulpersona@gmail.com and I'll send you the track, and then it's up to you to fill in the gaps with your goodness. The track already has a working title of Summer Heat, feel free to use it or make up your own.

The prize is to have the song as a part of my next album, and be part of my future projects. So if you think you've got some magic you'd like to drop over this piece of music, then here's your chance to shine.

Really looking forward to hearing what I hear, and I promise to listen to every one of them.

Good Luck!!!


Closing date for entries is August 31 st 2010

Monday, 21 June 2010

Soulpersona Interview For Soulm8online.com

Here's a recent interview I did.

Soulpersona Interview for SoulM8online.com

Soulpersona, Producer, Arranger & Remixer, thanks for speaking to SoulM8 online.

The name Soulpersona, how did it you get it and what does it mean to you?

It comes from my love of soul music, I suppose I'm a soulful individual, I have a soulful persona, hence the name Soulpersona... And with a name like Soulpersona, you kind of know what genre of music I’m going to be creating.

Give us an overview of your music styles?

I’m into producing anything soulful really, stuff that gives me goose bumps, weather it be soulful jazz, funk, hip hop, disco or just straight up soul. I try to incorporate all of these elements into my music. I have a love for the Fender Rhodes piano, I try and use it in everything I produce, just because I love how it sounds. When I produce, I try not to dabble with the latest sound technology, I like to keep it how it would have sounded back in the 70’s, so I just use sounds that would be used in the 70’s, like drums, piano, strings, synths, bass and guitar. I try to leave all the fancy production techniques alone.

You have a natural instinct for quality music when working with artists - where does that ability come from?

Thankyou! Haha, umm, I didn’t realise! Well I started off playing the drums and have always played piano by ear, so I suppose I've always had an ear for music. Also listening to Marvin Gaye, Leon Ware, Roy Ayres, Freddie Hubbard and countless other influences kind of taught me how a record should sound. I’m a groove kind of person, so as long as the groove is there, the vocals should be able to do the rest of the work.

How did you get in to the soul music scene and when did it all begin for Soulpersona?

I have always loved and listened to soul, jazz funk, rare groove and disco music from a young age and started off just making little demo’s on a Yamaha sequencer plugged into a midi keyboard. Through those demo’s I got signed to an awful garage music label where they expected me to produce garage music, every mix I did for them they told me it was too soulful, it became such a struggle to make music that I wanted too, so after a year of that I left and refused to make commercial music ever again. I then bought some basic production equipment of my own and decided to make music that I loved, just for the love, with no expectations. I then made a little demo which got into the hands of my friends manager who really liked my stuff. On the strength of that he called me one day and told me that Jocelyn Brown was looking for producers to work with. I went along to the meeting and she loved what id done and I ended up working for her company Joycee Music as her personal assistant. I spent the next 5 years going with her to meetings and shows, learning about the industry and gaining inspiration from her wealth of musical knowledge. I also got to hang out with some of my musical idols that often stopped over at her house when they were touring. It wasn’t unusual for me to turn up for work in the morning and find a legend in the kitchen making tea... I once spoke to Pattie Austin for about half an hour in Jocelyn Brown’s kitchen before putting two and two together! So I’d say, it all began there, and over the past 9 years it has given me the knowledge to create what I do now. Jocelyn Brown has been my mentor and friend throughout, and I have learned so much from her. She’s an incredible lady on both a personal and musical level, and i’ll always be eternally grateful for the knowledge, inspiration and support she’s given me.

On your myspace page it comments “Soulpersona has dedicated his life to soul music, a decision that paid off in 2001” tell us more about that?

I guess it finally paid off because I met Jocelyn Brown, she was my key into the soul music industry and opened doors for me that before were locked shut.

Your currently working closely with the brilliant Jocelyn Brown and other featured artists, with the intentions of releasing a new album, how is this going to differ from any other soul album?

This album is something that I am so passionate about, It’s an honour to work with the most incredible female singer in the world, and I’m still waking up and having to pinch myself that it’s really happening. This album is going to take the listener back to the late 70’s and early 80’s when Jocelyn was often going under the name of Jocelyn Shaw singing sessions for Kleer, Change, Luthor Vandross, Cerrone, George Benson and so, so many other acts that we now consider to be rare groove. The album is a 50 50 collaboration, I have produced all the music and Jocelyn is writing and singing all of the songs. We are currently recording the vocals and she is sounding totally beautiful, she is also a brilliant songwriter too, a skill which so many producers have overlooked in the past, always preferring to get her to sing their lyrics and songs. I particularly wanted her to write her own songs on this album because I believe in her writing ability, I mean, she did write a hit song “Somebody Else’s Guy” and I believe she can write many more. She has a wonderful gift for writing good hooks and catchy chorus parts and I just love hearing what she has done with all of the songs we’ve done. I think people will have a bit of a shock when they hear it, because it’s the kind of music that every soul music fan would wish from a Jocelyn Brown album. I’ve also used some fantastic, talented musicians on this album. my good mate for over 20 years Paul “Punk Pappa” Lancaster plays all the bass and guitar parts and my other good mate Nick Van Gelder (Who was the original Jamiroqui drummer) is doing all the live percussion. It’s all sounding really good and I can’t wait for people to hear it. It’s also being done with no record industry intervention, myself and Jocelyn are funding the whole thing ourselves and releasing it ourselves, in the hope that a distributor will see the potential and help us out on a larger scale.

When can we expect the next Soulpersona instalment?

That would be the Jocelyn Brown & Soulpersona album... Hopefully it will be ready for an Autnum 2010 release.

Tell me about your recent debut album – SOULACOASTER describe the music, working closely with the artists via the web and how long it took to produce?

The Soulacoaster album took me about 3 months to do all of the music, and it took three years to get all of the vocals on it. I was mainly working with Princess Freesia at the beginning, her songs were done really quickly, she wrote and recorded the vocals and sent me back the accapellas to sit on top of my music. I then met Darien, and he did the same format. Replife came to the UK and stayed with me for a couple of days and recorded his songs. Through Replife I met Deborah Jordan and co produced “Home” with Marc Rapson for her “The Light” album and through that link I gave her a couple of tracks to sing on Soulacoaster. Thing is, “Soulacoaster” wasn’t really an album as such, it was just a collective of songs I was doing for the love that gradually grew bigger and bigger. I them met Sibel Thrasher from working with RAMP, and she did a couple of songs too... Then last Summer I thought I had about 15 songs that could potentially lead to an album. I decided I’d just put this collection of songs together and get some CD’s pressed up, my brother Tukka designed me a nice bit of album artwork and that was it. I remember picking up the box of CD’s and expecting to only sell a dozen at the most. I honestly thought they’d be in that box, in my my loft for the rest of my life. I had no expectations, and then suddenly it took off. Not massively, but enough for me to tap into listeners that loved my kind music.

What do you offer that’s different to any other producer / arranger / remixer?

I wouldn’t know how to answer that question, you’d have to ask people who like my music. I just try and keep things simplified and create good honest soulful music that comes from the heart. I suppose as long as I give the listener goose bumps, my job is done.

If you had a chance to work with any other artist (passed on or still with us) who would it be with and why?

I would have loved to work with Marvin Gaye because he just epitomises soul music for me. Leon Ware would be nice too as would Jean Carne and Marlena Shaw... Todays artists would be Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Q-Tip, Dwele... I remember always wanting to do a track with Hinda Hicks back in the 90’s cos I adored her voice...And had a crush on her! So many to choose, but if someone has a great voice or can play an instrument well, no matter who they are, where they come from, or what they look like, I’d love to work with them.

Where do you see yourself placed in the music industry in the future, where do you want to take Soulpersona?

I don’t see myself in the music industry, I see myself as a free agent working with people that I enjoy working with. In my experience the minute the “Industry” gets involved, the music seems to get diluted. I’d like to get my band together and do live studio recordings on reel to reel and record using the same philosophies used back in the 70’s using traditional vintage instruments and recording desks. I also want to play drums more and play live... In the next 5 years, if I can have a nice big studio where I can record live music every day, and do loads of gigs, then I’ll be happy. My ambition is to run my company Digisoul using elements from the Motown blueprint, have a bunch of in house musicians where we develop the next generation of soulful singers and produce beautiful, supa soulful music for the masses to enjoy.

As the music world continuously changes do you think you will eventually venture into a different style of music?

Never! I will only ever do what I know best. I want people to know that whenever they buy a Soulpersona record, they’ll know exactly what they’re going to be getting... Soulful music.

Do you live and breath your work?

To a certain extent, because most of my songs start as emotions that reflect my day to day life, music is a kind of therapy, if I'm sad, i’ll make a sad song, if I'm happy i’ll make a happy one... But I do like to do other things apart from music. I’m a massive Chelsea supporter and if there was the choice of studio time in the best studio in the world, or watch a Chelsea game, id pick the Chelsea game every time. Love my football, when I'm not making music, I'm either watching it, or playing Fifa 10 on the PS3!

Can you name a personal standout track from your own album or some else’s?

Freddie Hubbard “Little Sunflower” from his Love Connection album... It’s a musical journey that always leaves me speechless and goose-bumpy.

What are you personally listening to at the moment?

Hmm... Just looking at my “Last Played” in my itunes... Randy Brown, Alphonse Mouzon, Dwele, Ana Mazzotti, Azymuth and Kool G Rap.

Personal taste, Old Skool or new?

My main preference is music from the 70’’s to early 80’s... But I like artists out now who try to give a respectful nod to the old skool.

What other projects have you got on offer?

I’ve just finished mastering an instrumental album I've called “The Lapdancer” it’s a collection of sampled grooves from the 70’s and early 80’s that I've added instrumentation too, ranging from disco, soul, jazz funk and old soundtrack music. Sounds very pornographic and ideal for the bedroom, or for simply just putting on when your driving, or walking along with your ipod. I’d ideally like to make a film to accompany it, but that’s another future ambition all together!

Thursday, 10 June 2010

...Update June 2010

I've not been updating my blog for a while as there's been LOADS of stuff going on musically lately. Only yesterday I had a 17 year old singer come to my studio to record his first ever track. I met him whilst teaching at college (which I do once a week) his name is Smithy and all I can say is that his voice made me stop dead in my tracks first time I heard it... So after a few weeks, I finally had time to invite him over. This kid is so humble that he's never even told his closest friends that he could sing!.. Now I think I know a good thing when I hear it, and according to my goosebump barometer, his voice just activated them, immediately. He kind of sat here listening to what we had recorded, and he announced that he'd never recorded his voice before and that this was the first time he'd ever heard his voice on a track... It was a pleasure to be there to witness the magic. He was blown away by it all and it was almost like he'd received validation that he could actually sing. So slowly but surly I will be working on an album with him whenever I get a free bit of time!

I'm, also in the process of getting my band together. The idea is to take a Soulpersona show out on the road, performing a few Soulacoaster tracks, mixed with some of my re-edit versions performed live, and some other good stuff too. I have some very, very talented singers joining me, all of which have passed my goosebump test. Also, an important part of my band line-up up my best mate Punk Pappa, on bass. He's the butter on my toast when it comes to bass and drums interaction, and we've literally been playing together since our teens. Anyways, I'm really excited by it all and I hope to be out there performing by late August/September time. For bookings you can contact me on soulpersona@gmail.com

Then there's the Jocelyn album. It's taking a bit more time than we thought, but don't worry, this is very high on both mine and Jocelyns agenda. It's just that we made a decision that we didn't want to rush it just for the sake of it. This album is really important to both of us, and our priorities it for first and foremost get it right. Also, Jocelyn has been working doing loads of shows lately, so finding the time to squeeze in vocal sessions has been quite difficult! But rest assured, this album will be done, we're about 7 tracks deep into vocal recording as it stands, and it all sounds wonderful. Rest assured I promise that when this is out it will defiantly be worth the wait!

Other news is that I've been doing loads of remixes lately, the latest one being for a band out of the Czech Republic called "Navigators" and I've remixed their single "Do Something" This band is wicked, they sent me their albums and I was blown away by the goodness on it. It's like a mixture of Incognito and Reel People, real feel good music. So look out for them, they're HOT!

I'm also in a re-edit FRENZY at the moment! This is now my new hobby, I just LOVE doing them. They're not in any way trying to take focus off the original songs, it's just so often when you hear the opening bars of a song, there will be a delicious groove that would last about 10 seconds, and whenever I hear those grooves I feel compelled to repeat that groove, over and over and build on it. I'm getting really good support from deejays all over the world, so thanks for playing my shit, I really appreciate it!

And finally, I've started work on my follow up album to Soulacoaster. I'm currently in the blueprint stage (as I call it) This is when I write all the arrangements and play about with grooves. I've done about 6 so far and these ones have been for Darien, and Kia Bennett so far. Of course, a Soulpersona album wouldn't be complete without Princess Freesia, so she's the next in line. Hopefully I can get Sibel Thrasher to feature again, and even Jocelyn Brown wants in on this next one. So fingers crossed it will all come together as soon as it's time.

Anyways, I'm off now to prepare for all this World Cup business. I plan to watch every game that I can, and even though I'm a Welshman, I'm behind England all the way. England to win the World Cup I reckon!... We will wait and see.

I will leave you with a little jam I had with my good mate Nick Van Gelder a few weeks ago, we spent a few hours at his house playing drums and percussion along to some of our favorite songs, enjoy!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Jocelyn & SoulP Album Update

...Well yesterday was a wonderful day, It was the first day of recording the vocals for the album. I made my way to a beautiful studio in leafy Hertfordshire. Jocelyn arrived a bit later on with her good friend and fellow singer Kym Mazelle who came along for the ride and to hang out for the day. It was really brilliant to see Jocelyn sit in the studio for 3 and a half hours doing nothing but singing, and the results sounded nothing short of SEMINAL!... Her voice still sounds as good as when she first started singing, and I must have lost count the amount of times I got goosebumps! We recorded a new version of "Somebody Else's Guy" and put down 3 other tracks, which sound as equally good as each other... Really exciting times, and we are both loving every minute. Anyways, here's some footage I took at the studio yesterday.... There's even a little off the cuff duet by Jocelyn & Kym Mazell.... Enjoy.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Jocelyn Talks About Forthcoming Jocelyn & SoulP Album

Here's some footage that I took whilst on a visit round Miss Browns, where she talks about our forthcoming album, and loads of other stuff...

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Jocelyn Brown Album Update

...Well, it's been a good couple of weeks, i've been back and forth up and down the M4 motorway a few times to Royal Berkshire where bass legend Punk Pappa resides to get all the bass parts completed for the album... We don't know what we're gonna call it yet though... Anyways, Paul 'Punk Pappa" Lancaster has really stepped up to the benchmark on these sessions, his "In the pocket" playing is prevalent throughout the album. I was sat in a room writing with Jocelyn on Wednesday, and she currently has disco producer and engineer extraordinaire John Morales staying with her. He gave me some props about the tracks, which coming from him is a real compliment, considering he did many of the Salsoul, Change, Kleeer engineering sessions back in the day... He heard the basslines and he was instantly like "Who's playing bass"?... Haha, Punk Pappa I replied... "Nice work" he replied... "In the pocket"... Which is exactly what I wanted to hear. Seriously Punk Pappa has really pulled some bass heaven out of the bag, and I am so looking forward to finishing off the tracks next week (see and hear his work @ http://www.myspace.com/punkpappa )... I've done 9 so far, including a remake of the classic "Somebody Elses Guy" (wait till you hear the bassline on this one)... I know some will say it's a sacrilege to do such a thing, but I have hopefully nailed it as the lady herself loves it... Don't worry, it's not smooth jazz or cheezy, in fact it sounds a bit like a Bond theme... Wait and see...

Jocelyn has written to five or so as it stands, she's doing her homework at night and at weekends (as she tells me) Love the way she records her ideas, she sits down with an old skool Sony Walkman with a record facility, presses the record button and just freestyles riffs, hooks and verse ideas then plays them back and picks the bits she likes best and writes around them... Really good to see her writing songs again, I see an excitement in her eyes that i've not seen for a few years, and it just seems apt that we're doing the kind of tracks she was doing when she first started out as a session singer in the prolific New York disco era of the Studio 54 generation.
point is, they are really beginning to take shape and everything is sounding just as I want it...

Miss Brown requested that she's like a ballad yesterday, so last night I set about starting it... Found some nice chords and have finished it off today. It's got heart string tugging chords and i'm really into it at the moment... Will put the live bass and guitar down on it next week and bring that son of a bitch to life!

Well there's my little update...As i've been writing this the twat next door has been pissing about with his smoke alarm and it's been constantly ringing incessantly in my ears for the past 20 minutes... I'm about to go round and smash it with a hammer!

Over & out,


Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Coming soon...Jocelyn Brown & Soulpersona... The album.

...Not left any news on here for a while, figured I'd wait until I had something interesting to say...

Well, one of my dreams has come true, after knowing and working with Jocelyn Brown for many years, we are finally writing an album together. It happened quite by accident. I was at her annual thanksgiving back in November and at the end of the night, I played her a couple of tracks I'd been working on. These were tracks I had made, inspired by the the disco, rare groove, jazz funk movement in the 1979-1982 era... Instantly, Jocelyn started singing over them and making up lyrics and asked me if I had any more.... I mentioned that I had a couple and we arranged to meet the week after she could hear them... After listening to the five songs I had, I suggested that maybe we should put out an EP, the came the earth stopping moment as these words came out of Miss Browns mouth ...."Let's do 12 songs and put it out as an album"

...After thinking about it for a millisecond, I said "Yeah...Alright" and immediately took my ass home to write some more. From the tail end of December until now, I have written another 7 tracks all inspired from the 1979-1981 era when Jocelyn was known as Jocelyn Shaw, working as session background vocalist for legendary acts and artists such as Salsoul, Kleeer, Change, Bobbi Humprey, The Mizzel Brothers, Luthor Vandross, Cerrone, David Ruffin and countless others. So with that in mind, I realised that I really have to step up to the plate and try to create some music like I was living back then, in those wonderful times...

I immediately realised that the whole thing needed live bass and enlisted my best friend for many years, Mr Paul "Punk Pappa" Lancaster... I have been driving to his town of Newbury for the past few weeks and we've been laying down some bass line and guitar picking goodness, and the tracks have been brought to life. Plus I have got live percussion from a good friend and former Jamiroqui drummer/ producer extraordinaire Nick Van Gelder...

In a nutshell, I'm really excited and honored to be able to work with possibly the greatest female vocalist of our time. Jocelyn is like a second mother to me and I have learned so much from her in so many ways. I'm also really happy that Jocelyn will be writing all the songs, this is something I really wanted her to do as I know she's a wonderful writer as well as a singer... Also, Jocelyn has never done a full album of her own material with anyone before, so this is a first for her, and I'm soooo honored to be given the production responsibility...

I hereby promise that this will not be any smooth jazz, undiluted bullshit, this will be all about grooves, hooks, goosebumpy arrangements and delicious vocals... Jocelyn will also be singing all her own background too, which I cannot wait to start recording!!!

Hopefully the album will be ready for the Spring/Summer, we are trying to get it ready for the April- May period... Will keep you updated.

Love & Goodness,


Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Soulacoaster Reviews

As a general rule, I am usually slightly wary of albums by producers that feature nearly as many different vocalists as it does songs. In a lot of cases the result is disjointed, confusing and difficult to listen to as a whole. Thankfully this is not the case with Soulpersona’s Soulacoaster.

In many ways this album reminds me of Eric Lau’s (masterpiece) New Territories. Rather than simply filling the album with beats and picking so-so vocalists to sing a hook on top, Soulpersonahas chosen the vocalists carefully and has held back from over-producing the songs. The balance between production and letting the vocalist shine is just right.

I’ll admit I wasn’t familiar with many of the vocalists on this project. I have albums by Deborah Jordan and Darien, and i’ve heard a few tarcks by Replife but that is about it. However I will definitely be checking for each and every one of them from now on, especially Kia Bennett whose ‘So Natural’ is one of my favourite cuts on the album.

I’d have no hesitation in recommending this album to anyone who is a fan of soul, funk, jazz or hip-hop. All elements are expertly combined and the result is an album you can put on repeat and happily listen to all day (I should know, I’ve done it!).

Review by Souluk

Soulful music from Soulpersona -- a warm and just smooth enough ride on the Soulacoaster! Soulpersona is the producer, arranger and instrumentalist behind the curtain -- a genuine talent who has attracted an impressive roster of singers and collaborators for this set -- including Sibel Thrasher of the legendary Roy Ayers Ramp group -- plus Deborah Jordan, Darien of Reel People, Kia Bennett, Replife and Juliet Ashby. This is a fresh, timeless modern take on classic and cosmic soul, with a breezy and moving sound, bits of 70s soul jazz and keyboard funk and programmed beats with real heart and soul! Titles include "Flying Easy" and "Weightless" feat Deborah Jordan, "Candy Wrapper", "Walk On Through" and "Perfect Life" feat Princess Fressia, "In Your Eyes" feat Sibel Thrasher, "Can't Hide" feat Darien, "Lifetime" and "So Natural" feat Kia Bennett and more...

Dusty Groove America

The soulful heat coming from across the pond has been keeping our ears nice and toasty with beautiful beats, sultry voices and universal subject matters. UK-based producer extraordinaire, Soulpersona (aka SoulP), has collaborated with a number of talented singers from around the globe. The result is Soulacoaster, a profound LP that captures the essence of soul, jazz, funk, disco and hip hop.

The album features the vocal stylings of Princess Freesia, Darien, Kia Bennett, Sibel Thrasher (from the Roy Ayers Music Project) and a host of other artists who make great additions to your playlist. Soulacoaster was produced virtually--with SoulP's tracks and artists' vocals being transferred via e-mail before being mixed and mastered. "Candy Wrapper" is a sexy, soul-hop single with an irresistible beat and solid performance by Princess Freesia. Her invitation to "make you sweat and sautee" will cause your eyebrow to raise as your inhibitions do the opposite. Be warned, this one is solely for the grown and sexy.

Darien and SoulP deliver an ambient, groovy vibe with "Don't Go." The snare pops and the synths dance in the air with Darien's declaration that he's willing to do what it takes to make love work.

Overall, this project is a sincere voyage through a collective passion for soul music. I encourage you to join the journey when the album drops on October 19th.


This is...expansive, ethereal, cosmic soul. And Soulpersona is originally from from Wales! Well, there's lovely for you! Appealing to fans of 4Hero, our man, Soulpersona, treats our ears to a chilled set of songs that bodes us well for the coming new decade. Exemplifying this further, if you really warmed to the more futuristic, sensual modes of soul on Marva King's latest set (think "Lovely") the you will very much know what you are in for. match to this the more lkeft-field moments from 4Hero (aided and abetted by the legendary Larry Mizell) then sonically you bang this album on the head. I defy anyone with an ounce of soul and sensuality in their body to not seriously dig "Flying Easy" featuring the wispish, seductive Marva King-ish Deborah Jordan. This isn't a cover of the Pete Escovedo classic, but a brand new jam of real note. To be honest, the whole album is a weighty item and well worth your serious consideration. Attracting positive comments from the likes of Oliver Cheatham, Patti Austin and Leon Ware, it will be mere seconds of your listening time to hear exactly why the Legends have such positive things to say about this gentleman.

pastimes thinly into your subconscious...if this song doesn't grab you then shame on you!!! The glorious 70s sounding "Walk On Through" complete with flute is simply delightful, and the brilliant "So Natural" featuring
Come, check out the dirty, sexy groove "Candy Wrapper". Complete with heavy bassline and guitar this could easily be Mtume for the 21st Century. The slinky vocals courtesy of Princess Freesia lays open more sensual, warm and wet feelings, the emphasis on pleasure and tantalisingveiled under the notion of unwrapping a candy. Such naughtiness so early on in a recording. Very promising indeed! The risque lyrics are veiled in metaphor and yet very sexy indeed. No lewdness or filth here, pure imagination only required! Darien appears on the KILLER "Don't Go". Oh, this is SUPERB! A futuristic yet traditional groove that simply flaotsKia Bennett cannot be beaten. The vocal harmonies easily on par with Zhané, this is a great, great tune. Fans of Liquid Spirits or Jazzanova will so feel the rap vibe of "Alright" - an Erykah Badu type of jam, and a strong rap paying homage to the soul greats. It gets no better. "In Your Eyes" pays such homage to the Ubiquitous soul sounds of Roy Ayers / Ramp and works magnificently. The delicious Deborah Jordan again pleases with the summery "Weightless" and Kia Bennet's "Lifetime" adds some real cold chill to proceedings. The closing call, "Imagine" is yet another KILLER that pays homage to the Roy Ayers sound, and draws to a close one of the most essential albums of the moment. Please do not let this homegrown gem slip away.


Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe