Category Archives: Soul

LADI6 – THE LIBERATION OF (Soul/HipHop – New Zealand)

Ladi6

A sultry voice with razor sharp wit and a stage show to match, Ladi6 is fast becoming one of New Zealand’s leading hip-hop soul artist and her international aura is also growing at a dizzying pace. After the sweeping success of her 2008 debut album Not Is Not Much, released her highly awaited sophomore album in early 2011. As a statement of intent, The Liberation Of… clearly grounds Ladi6 as willing to dive head first without fear into the sea of creativity with her collaborators (fellow Kiwi producer Parks and German hip hop artist Sepalot), without ever forgetting where she comes from.

Ladi6 - Like Water     

Recorded mainly in Europe, over the six months Ladi6 spent touring with Parks, The Liberation Of… was certified gold in New Zealand in July 2011 and single “Like Water” spent 22 weeks on the charts and was certified platinum.

For news and tour dates, head over to Ladi6’s official site or MySpace. Buy the album on

BODY LANGUAGE – SOCIAL STUDIES (Electro/Indie – US)

Body Language

Brooklyn’s own Body Language has risen from the underground armed with synths, vocoder, glockenspiel, percussion, and three graceful voices. Their original music was born from weekly dance parties set up by Grant Wheeler and Matt Young, who quickly enrolled glockenspiel guru Angelica Bess and drummer Ian Chang. Their efforts, which illustrated their life in Brooklyn, were delivered in the five-track Speaks EP.

After collaborating with such wildly different artists as Theophilus London, Machinedrum or Passion Pit and sharing stage with the likes of Zero 7, Sia, Little Boots and SVIIB, Body Language released the Social Studies EP last October. This mini album is a fitting followup to their 2009 debut, applying a refined pop palette to their synth-laden melodies, head-circling hooks and neon-lit grooves.

“The title sums it up perfectly,” explains Grant Wheeler. “Depending on the day, we’re producing indie music, DJing house, disco and Detroit techno, or writing pop songs on the piano. So we wrapped our record up like a tidy textbook of genres, or different cultures in a social studies class.”

Body Language - Social Studies (Plastic Plates Remix)     

Body Language - You Can (Willy Joy Remix)     

Check out Body Language’s official site or MySpace for more info. Download the album on their Bandcamp or on

NNEKA – SOUL IS HEAVY (RnB/Reggae – Germany)

Nneka

On the heels of her highly praised sophomore album, No Longer At Ease, Nigerian-born Hamburg-based singer Nneka is back with a brand new full-length!

Released on September 27th, Soul Is Heavy is further proof that this talented young lady is an artist to be reckoned with on the R’n’B scene. Hailed by critics as the new Lauryn Hill, Nneka started out in 2005 with her debut album Victim Of Truth, considered by the UK’s Sunday Times as good as the ex-Fugees brilliant solo debut The Miseducation.

The first single off Nneka’s new album already sets the bar pretty high. “My Home” combines reggae-tinged arrangements, a brass-laden hook, an irresistibly bouncy bass line and a clinky piano sample! Four seemingly disparate elements blended together with incredible ease to produce a song that hits you deep and leaves you yearning for more.

Nneka effortlessly plucks from soul, reggae, hip hop and rock, to create a fusion that is bigger than the sum of its parts. Her songs breathe and evolve at their own pace, rarely maintaining a singular theme or beat strain throughout. Soul Is Heavy is a fine example that amongst the autotuned, radio friendly, disposable pop stars, there are still artists who make earnest, creative music with a meaning, and who can sing about politics and social issues as convincingly as love and heartbreak.

Nneka - Lucifer (No Doubt)     

To find out more about Nneka, check out her Facebook or visit her official site. Buy the music on

THE MILLION DOLLAR ORCHESTRA – BETTER DAYS (Soul/Funk/Disco – US)

The Million Dollar Orchestra

The Million Dollar Orchestra is the crazy project of Al Kent, an avid record collector and self-confessed disco geek. It all started sometime in 2005 when Al, bored with chopping up disco loops to bosh over house drums, and even more bored with the deluge of pointless disco re-edits flooding the shops, decided to take things a step further and create something that sounded like the music he loved, something authentically disco.

So he knocked up some rhythm tracks using drums and percussion sampled from some old disco records and set about looking for musicians to jazz things up a bit… After recruiting Charlie Milne (keys), Stephen Westwater (bass), Kev McShane (guitar), Colin and Alan Train (sax), Gary Kainth and Ryan Buchanan (percussion), Jim Gash (drums), Douglas West (trumpet) and a few guest vocalists, the band played their first triumphal gig at the Glasgow Jazz Festival. The Million Dollar Orchestra was now officially complete! They all headed towards the studio a set out to record what would become a cult album: Better Days.

The Million Dollar Orchestra - Don't Cha Wanna Get Down     

Recorded in the most traditional way, mostly one take, in an all-analogue studio, the album recreates the sound of the 70s with amazing authenticity. The sound is rich, lush, string laden, beautiful disco music, full of joy with phenomenal musicianship. It is Al Kent’s biography told in Music. Soulful, funky and totally ready for the dancefloor, the CD and the limited edition double vinyl in gatefold sleeve were well received by disco heads and music reviewers alike.

Fans will be pleased to know the follow up is currently being written, and Al’s building up the strength to start the recording process again. Find more info on The Million Dollar Orchestra and the Million Dollar Disco parties on the official site and sample a few tracks on Soundcloud. You can buy Better Days from BBE’s online store or download it from

JESSE BOYKINS III – WAY OF A WAYFARER (Soul/Pop – US)

Jesse Boykins III was born in Chicago, grew up between Kingston (Jamaica) and Miami and is currently based in Brooklyn. His interest in music started from an early age, already at the age of 9 he joined his local school choir and soon began auditioning around Miami and performing with local artists. In High School Jesse was invited to perform in the Grammy Jazz Ensemble and recorded a full length album with them. After graduating, he joined the New School University in New York City, where he refined his skills as a writer, performer, arranger, producer and, last but not least, as a vocalist.

Jesse Boykins III’s first EP, Dopamine: My Life On My Back, was released in February 2008 and his debut album, The Beauty Created, was released in November 2008 through NomaDic MuSic. Three years and a handful of EP’s later, Jesse is back with a new project the Way of the Wayfarer EP and the first audio taste from this EP is “Back Home (Mermaids & Dragons)” produced by Gold Panda (it also appears as an instrumental on Gold Panda’s album Lucky Shiner).

Jesse Boykins III - Back Home (Mermaids & Dragons)     

JBIII is definitely exploring new territory with Way of a Wayfarer, showing us a more electro-tinged and heavily processed brand of soul. Jesse’s perfectly controlled smooth tenor adds a touch of emotion to these five slightly experimental synthesized tunes.

Jesse Boykins III - Light To Dark     

Check out more music on MySpace or visit Jesse Boykins III’s official site. Buy his music on Jesse Boykins III