Is the soul industry stuck in the 80’s groove in the UK?
Has the impact of too much 80’s & 90’s Soul be played at clubs in 2017, had a reverse effect on new soul artists?
Life in the early 80’s as a “Soul Head” was amazing experience. Being part of a pioneering soul sound “Soul Incorporated” we had a weekly budget of up to to one hundred pounds a week to spend on “new music” at Bluebird Records (Paddington, London). Being around like minded people who pushed new soul music to the public, has been a lifelong learning experience.
I was educated by music people who strongly believed that a Dj was always in control of how to drop the right tunes, at the key times in events. It was part our mission statement of the sound system to play new soul music and spread the message as far as possible at all times.
Our music policy was to play latest tracks in a club or party up until at least two hours before the end of the event, thus leaving the last two hours for the revival selection. However, that has now changed in recent times, with too many Dj’s playing what has been termed as “Old Skool Soul”.
We are now seeing a new generation soul Dj’s, which are opting to play “Old Skool Soul”, when playing new soul artists tracks at their events would have a long term positive impact for the soul industry.
In my opinion this had had a substantial impact on promoting new soul artists who produce excellent soul music. “If you are a US, European and UK soul artist, and not selling the volumes of CD’s you expected, consider the impact of Dj’s not playing your tracks to their audiences in your end of project evaluation reports to understand why you could be making a loss on your releases”.
Traditional soul artists are no longer being head hunted by the big labels, being signed up on lucrative deals, so they now have to find a way to create a marketing strategy to reach a global audience. So a new plan needs to be put in place to create a way for their music to reach a wider audience.
There are a number of Dj’s and promoters who continue to promote new soul music, who are keeping the industry at breaking point, but the next five years could see this great genre disappear from existence without intervention. “A genre that was once a prominent force, has now disappeared from the major chart listings globally by nearly all of the music distributors and retailers worldwide”.
With genre’s such as Grime, House, Tech House continuing to grow in momentum, the soul industry which has produced some of the greatest artist of all time, continues to slide backwards in terms of financial worth leaving artists with no other options but to diverse into other ventures?