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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?
Article 1 (February 2017)
Why music mentors are important for Dj’s
We welcome 2017 by saying thank you for the people who used our services for three decades and enjoyed our selection in music for your events. My journey in music started when I was four years old, being inspired by three people who have a great vision for music.
Having two brothers who are pioneers of the sound system era, and having a view of music from two different perspectives which has allowed me to take a third option in how I select music for the public. In my life I have had three music mentors; the third music mentor gave me a 4k perspective in music.
Truth is I studied all genres of music for 10 years before I attempted to Dj live to an audience in 1981, which for me is maybe one of the reasons why I still can stand today and produce performances in different genres and receive positive feedback.
I still stand tall with the two noble gentlemen (Big Steve, “H”) who stood on the stage with me in Oasis (East London) on our inaugural performance for Soul Inc Roadshow; I still stand tall with the noble gentleman “VP” who has educated me in how to select the finest music in the soul genre, since 1971. I made the decision to marry my third music mentor for whom I understand that learning about music is a lifelong skill, “Love In Action” has one of the most holistic minds in music in the world today.
As a Dj you are simply a messenger, without the artist who make the music you are nothing, but without the people who inspire you and give you the insight, you are simply a listener.
Have a great 2017
If you missed the pre-launch at The Vortex (London), Monday July 15th 2013 for the new sophomore album INDEPENDENT (USA) and the new EP release on Expansion Records called ONE SHOT AT LOVE (UK) then you missed a fantastic night!!!!
But…… before we get to the night let’s give you some background information on the build-up to the Pre-Launch night and what was involved!
The theme for July 15th 2013 was acoustic based allowing for the full orchestral support when the official launch for the album takes place and the planning for that has already taken subtle shape and BASHIYRA can’t wait to share more of that as the process firms up!! So staying with the Pre-Launch energy, as an independent BASHIYRA is heavily involved in the creative output of her performances and her pre-launch was no different, in fact it was perhaps more intense as there were a number of angles to cover. Fortunately she had great administrative support and was in good hands to have her pre-launch event regulated from a high vision range. The little things really made all the difference like food menu cards containing her logo and information links where people could find out more info about her, to interviews being conducted by her band members outside in the glorious sunshine with interested spectators looking on with joyous wonderment. BASHIYRA recalls her backing singer Josie Platt commenting on camera “Wow BASHIYRA, I didn’t know that!!” in such beautiful awe, in relation to a specific around her biography and who she’s been fortunate enough to share a stage with, but for more info on that visit:- http://www.bashiyra.com/biography/
The idea of a pre-launch was born out of a personal need by BASHIYRA to let her fans and supporters know “Hey listen my sophomore album ‘INDEPENDENT‘ is definitely happening but whilst my team and I cultivate some more of the logistical sparkle to the entire project, let me give my faithful and true supporters/fans an insight musically of what to expect from this album!” Additionally in the background to this foreground was another great opportunity actually taking shape and that was to emerge during the planning process of BASHIYRA’s pre-launch event for INDEPENDENT by way of an EP release called ONE SHOT AT LOVE via Expansion Records (UK). The release is set and music lovers all over the world will have access to this new music from August 5th 2013 and BASHIYRA is super excited at sharing her songs via the great production compiled by Amar Naik (UK) with song-writing credits to BASHIYRA, Amar, and SoulMusic.Com founder David Nathan.
Throughout the 3 month planning process BASHIYRA would wake and sleep Pre-Launch, Pre-Launch Pre-Launch and so in effect, literally gave birth to the project live on Monday July 15th 2013 at The Vortex Jazz Club. Along the way were some definitive challenges that BASHIYRA and her team had to find the best possible solutions around and simply stay focused on the end goal. The blessings far outweighed any challenges (challenges which ultimately only set BASHIYRA up for more determined pro-activity anyway!!) and meeting people like UK singing sensation Beverley Knight and USA Charlie Wilson who both took the time out to listen and speak with BASHIYRA (ahead of July 15th) offering her a wealth of supportive advice were really classic cherries on an already sugar sweet experience.
Words of wisdom also from the notable Cosmo Morgan, Jay Prev, Steve Ripley, Amar Naik, David Nathan and BASHIYRA’s right hand person the one and only Angela Reynolds (her PA) all of whom were the ‘potent wood logs’ for her fire and they all kept BASHIYRA inspired and focused. Her band led by MD (Musical Director) Nick Norton-Smith (on saxophone and flute) was further creative happiness as her new songs took on a beautiful life away from the sound recordings whilst actively retaining the original integrity, and with the additional magic drops of Fin Crowther on piano, Josie Platt on backing vox and Tello Morgado on percussion BASHIYRA was magnificently up, up and away……..
BASHIYRA acknowledges the wonderful and phenomenal support of Sound Fusion Radio, FilmFeet Productions, Jenni Steele and Mary Egunyu at Whoa FM. She’d also like to thank Heaven Sent Consultancy, Onita Boone and Xenia as well as Solar Radio and Black Women in The Arts.
BASHIYRA was now officially ready to sing her heart content!!!! And sing was just what she did, (9) new songs of melodic and lyrical enticement both in expression and musicality to a full packed venue of music loving recipients who travelled far and wide to be with BASHIYRA on her special night. The applause was rapturous, the love in the room breath-taking and the skill and talent undeniable. To quote one of BASHIYRA’s media partners Sound Fusion Radio:- “WHAT A FANTASTIC NIGHT IT WAS AS WELL. BASHIYRA DELIVERED A PERFORMANCE OF AWESOME PROPORTIONS, IN AN ACOUSTIC SETTING WITH THE AUDIENCE UP FRONT AND PERSONAL. BASHIYRA USED ‘THE VOICE’ FOR SURE, SHOWING SHE IS EVERY BIT THE RECORD BREAKER WE KNOW HER TO BE. A DEFINITE 11 OUT OF 10 FROM US AT SFR.”
David Nathan went on record to say “ BASHIYRA ‘The Voice’ – brilliant show at The Vortex tonight…felt so proud that I brought you and Amar Naik together to produce great music and hearing those songs come to life on-stage was absolutely thrilling!!! Thank you Ralph Tee for supporting this project with the new EP “One Shot At Love,” coming out on Expansion Records on August 5! All my peeps, once it’s out, you gotta buy it!!! (I actually co-wrote a song on there myself)!”
So there you have it!! And what better way to share in the extended experience of BASHIYRA ‘The Voice’ and her multiple chart successes than to join her this coming Fri Sept 6th at The Island Bar, Pipers Island. See you there!!
Gorgeous weather and wonderful people surrounded me last night (July 6th 2013) at SMOOTH GROOVES in Chigwell, Essex.
On entry I met with the very charming DJ Bigger, the host and headline DJ for the evening, who also carries a very big smile and a big heart (Smiles). With music pumping some classic ol skool soul and the rooms abuzz with people dancing and laughing, it was indeed a great recipe for success.
The night was set at Woolston Manor Country Club on green plush acres including an outdoor pool and large sprawling rooms filled with guests from all over the country.
I was in my zone dancing away when a lady tapped me and asked “Are you Bashiyra?” I replied “Yes” and she continued “I’m coming to see you on Mon July 15th, I recognise you from your photo’s”, and she smiled warmly and finished by saying “I’m looking forward to seeing you sing”, I thanked her kindly and we both twirled away and continued dancing, with big grins to boot! That was a lovely moment 😉
July 15th 2013 is my Acoustic Pre-Album Launch (USA) and also a new EP release that will be on Expansion Records (UK) taking place at The Vortex Jazz Club, London, N16, where they’ll be a big party, and I’ll be singing live, backed by my awesome musicians and I’ll be joined by special guests.
As I continued dancing the DJ announced Beverley Knight was in the building and would be hitting the stage shortly. I smiled as I knew Beverley was going to be awesome, having seen her perform live at The Paralympics Opening Ceremony in 2012, where we both shared a stage in our own right as performers for the London 2012 games. Beverley graced The SMOOTH GROOVES stage effortlessly and warmed her crowd with that effervescent smile she shines with so beautifully, paying homage to her fellow UK soul singers as she sung her set with the power vocals, that have rightfully earned her the prestige she owns. This is a songstress who commands respect with humility and elegance.
After the show we met backstage and she was a wealth of prettiness in both her physical presence and her heart, she hugged me warmly, asking me how it was all going with my music and that she was very proud of my representation of British soul music. She encouraged me to continue to persevere with my God given talent and affirmed that she backed me all the way! I was and continue to be so very inspired and touched by Beverley’s conviction of me, as a fellow UK soul singer and her public declaration and stand for me in such an emotionally uplifting way. Along my journey I’ve heard wonderful comments Beverley has made about my music, and so to hear it first hand in this way was magical and a moment to remember!
Beverley Knight continues to stand the test of time as a first class British soul singing sensation, but I don’t just revere her for this rightly deserved accolade. I also acknowledge her for being one of the most warmest and heart genuine spirits within music that I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. Standing firm in who she is as a performer, Beverley embraced me with love and offered me words of wisdom that I shall carry as a singer and songwriter for all my creative days to come. Beverley’s inner beauty is a quality very bright, reflecting a light, for singers such as myself to walk this creative path knowing and remembering that any obstacle is overcome with the right attitude and inner knowing and application of one’s true self.
This woman is simply amazing, she is stunning, and I love her as my fellow soul sistar and feel honoured to hold her respect, support and love of my music. This is what it’s all about, a circle and foundation of endorsement and loving support for a fellow creative, with integrity and gentility.
Beverley Knight is a STAR in more ways than one and I wish her the very best of all that is to come!!
Thanking and sending love to DJ Bigger, Mr Jay Prev, Cosmo and the unforgettable Beverley Knight.
With Love Bashiyra ‘The Voice’ 😉 x
Birmingham was a bustling hive of activity as I arrived to its town centre en route to perform at The Penthouse Loft Lounge on June 29th 2013.
As I entered the venue it was Penthouse by name and indeed Penthouse in nature, as the venue was stunning! I was greeted by warm smiles which continued as I was escorted to the main club area to be introduced to Mr Kevin J of Soul Steppers, Birmingham.
Sound-check complete I was guided to the Green Room to chill before my performance. I watched as The Penthouse filled up with the nights party-goers and enjoyed the smooth selection of soul music occupying my eardrums.
A lovely welcome greeted me as I entered the stage area and met with my audience, where it was also my pleasure, to gift the very charming, Angelina Nicolette, who has followed my success on-line with a passion and sincerity that is most heart-warming, and it was great to finally meet with her in person.
During each song I performed, I witnessed the party-goers engaged and enjoying my music and themselves, as they danced the night away, singing along to the songs they knew, with fixed smiles on their faces.
I have some wonderful memories of the night including my performance, entertaining a great crowd and getting to meet new fans and supporters on a one to one basis after leaving the stage area. Pictures taken, the signing of autographs, informing a new fan base of how they can stay in touch with me, CD’s sold and smiling faces, is my job, well done, and I simply love what I do, so thank-you to Birmingham for embracing me x.
All that remains is to say nuff love to my wonder-man Cosmo, for getting us to Brummie, safe and sound and back home again. With gratitude also extended to Kevin J, Marcus Bee, Mellow A, Richy J and all the Soul Steppers crew members for being such gracious hosts. To Mr Jay Prev for playing such an instrumental role as well as supporting my performance in Birmingham.
“I’ll Be Back” (in my best Arnie voice – Lol!!) so until the next time Birmingham, much love, Bashiyra ‘The Voice’ x
“The Truth” every Saturday (20:00 – 22:00) onwww.soulgrooveradio.co.uk with more classic tracks from DJ Mr Jay & Love In Action who have selected some of the finest in Soul/Neo-Soul and R&B. Our featured artists for podcast 138; Big Brooklyn Red, Maverick Gaither, Brian McKnight, Kadice, Ralf Gum, Tammy Jones, Sosha Oshaye, Bosra Sham, Regrooved, Postive Flow and Drizabone.
Melba Moore live at the Jazz Cafe 2nd and 3rd of May
Tony Award Winner, Star of Broadway, hit music maker and all round living legend Melba Moore returns to the UK after her first ever headline UK show for soulgigs April 2012. Don’t miss Melba performing all her classics “love’s coming at ya”, “standing right here”, “this is it”, “it’s hard not to like you” and many more. And with a mystery special guest to be added the show promises to be a on of the highlights of 2013. All takes place at the World Famous Jazz Cafe in Camden London. Tickets are priced at just £25.00 + b/f through ticketmaster. However save 10% by booking direct on http://www.soulgigs.comvia the online box office.