Category: Music

If the superb interlude ‘Astral Projection’ from Adriana Evans’ current album ‘Walking In The Night’ was a true reflection of astral travel in its purest form, then I guess that would be quite an experience! I have had it on good authority in the past that astral travel is not an experience that is truly beneficial to the spiritual development of man. However, on the basis of the gentle groove that the Soul songstress delivers here, I have to 100% agree with my man Soul Jones when he describes it as…… ‘a soulful piece of vibes-led magic’!



Back in early 2010, I reported some news that came in via Defected Records that futuristic funk, dance and soul music artist and producer, the prolific Osunlade, had re-launched his Yoruba Records with a slew of classic releases old and new, under the new Yoruba Gold moniker. These releases were available via the usual outlets, by way of Defected Records. If you missed them then, here’s your chance to re-acquaint yourself with the super-talented maestro! Investigate!

Born with an unusual name that is eclipsed only by her talent, Yewande (pronounced Yay-wán-day) has been recognized as one of the most sought after independent artists in the world. When she first burst onto the music scene in 2004, her socially charged brand of Alternative  Soul won over a legion of fans and critics alike. The release of her debut EP “Evolution” (Lotus Records, 2005) quickly led to appearances on MTV, BET and a coveted debut at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Performances with the likes of the Black Eyed Peas, Enrique Iglesias, Maroon 5 and Sean Paul followed soon after as she earned countless international songwriting awards, headlined concerts from the college circuit to Europe and Africa, and walked red carpets with the “who’s who of Hollywood”. But in a business that thrives upon conformity, Yewande began to question whether she would ever fulfill her greatest dream through the music industry — to change the world. And the music simply  stopped.


During a nearly 5 year hiatus from the recording industry, not only did Yewande pursue her dream, she ignited a one woman movement across the globe and she’s back to tell us stories of that journey on her highly anticipated recording, “Rebirth” (Phoenix Records/Lotus Records, Summer 2010). Her messages still unapologetically speak truths about issues that many artists shy away from — poverty, war, race, love — and with powerhouse vocals that harken back to the days of Tina Turner and Pat Benatar, she’ll make you a believer! Much like her progressive contemporaries – Prince, Lenny Kravitz, Seal, Kina, Black Eyed Peas, Outkast – Yewande’s music continues to defy genres. “Life is colored with so many emotions — joy, loss, struggle, triumph,” she explains. “My music is simply a reflection of that raw human thing we all share! It’s not about Black emotion, not White emotion, Homosexual or Heterosexual…I want to write music that touches everyone!” One part storyteller, two parts kick ass live music backed by Angie Stone’s band, Soultron, the angst of Rock, a dash of Hip-Hop and a whole lot of Soul, “Rebirth” is a welcomed departure from formula driven artistry that so often trumps innovation. Her bold, new sound reflects the journey of a lioness who’s been patiently waiting to capture her prey. The target is aimed squarely at your heart and based on early response, will undoubtedly land in heavy rotation on your mP3.


The world has come to know Yewande as far more than a singer-songwriter but an award-winning lecturer and passionate humanitarian. While touring the U. S. college circuit, Yewande began to observe an alarming trend among students. After nearly every concert, she was overwhelmed with questions about identity, discrimination, violence and other deeply personal issues they seemed eager to reveal. Why her? “I guess somehow they thought I’d be more empathetic because of the topics I sing about. They just needed someone to tell them things would get better.” In 2005, Yewande responded to this urgent outpouring by launching a series of programs ( that promote tolerance, leadership and social justice. Today, her programs (“Best Diversity Event”, “Best Solo Artist”, “Top 20 Campus Programs”, “Top 10 Hot New Acts”) have reached over 40,000 students across the globe. And with the upcoming launch of her Change Rocks Youth Ambassadors student activism project and college tour, disciples of the MTV generation are beginning to harness their own power to change the world. When this University of Sheffield (Sheffield, UK) Ethnomusicology grad student isn’t rocking the stage or addressing lecture
halls, her humanitarian organization ( is furthering the dreams of some of the world’s most vulnerable children. While headlining the Lake of Stars Festival in Malawi, Africa in 2006, Yewande began teaching AIDS orphans in the local villages where she witnessed miraculous transformations using music to teach AIDS prevention and sustainable skills. Today, participants from Africa to the Americas are beating the odds one song at a time. Recognized as an honorary United States Cultural Ambassador for her commitment to music and social change, listeners may wonder what inspires this artist turned lecturer and activist. Is it her love for music or simply the destiny of a little girl with a dream? A legion of fans already know that it is likely Yewande’s Yoruba birth name, which means “reincarnation of mother”, that foretold her story long before this journey even began. They’re just glad she’s back to give them what they’ve been waiting to hear.

Hello good people, I’m going to have to throw away my objective reviewer’s hat for the next half hour or so, as I once again bask in the soulful glow of this wonderful album that was released back in 2005 – and you’re going to have to forgive me for doing so! I’m going to allow myself the luxury of waxing lyrical like never before, first because I love this project for all the right reasons and second because the music is that good and deserves glowing praise.

Metropolis! Metropolis! Metropolis! What a beautiful album!

The brainchild and debut release of super-producer Dee Majek, former CEO of Mapp Records USA and a good personal friend of yours truly, “The Voyage” is exactly what is says – a true voyage back to the good old days of quality soul and R&B music from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, but with a very contemporary twist. It’s the album you would have expected Eric Benet to release as a follow-up to “A Day In The Life”. It is choc-full of grooves, dance-floor jams, beautiful mid-tempo burners, without a single filler track in sight, out of the 19 or so tracks that make up the album. Unlike a lot of sets that tend to fold after about 6 or 7 songs, the very high quality of the music is maintained throughout. A rare feat these days on the R&B music scene!

The timing of release of such a good album could not have been better for the group at the time, as Metropolis could have stepped into a large vacuum created by the absence of quality male soul “groups”, except for a few exceptions like Mint Condition, Boyz II Men and perhaps Jermaine Dupri protégés, Jagged Edge. There are so many tracks to choose from, and selecting a personal favourite becomes a nigh-on impossible task. But if my hand was twisted, I’d have to list ‘Soul Train’, ‘Lovin’ You’, ‘Drunk Love’, ‘Found You’ and the list goes on. The pace is slowed down a tad towards the end, as the album closes off nicely with the Marvin-influenced ‘Time Of Your Life’, the chilled ballad ‘Watching You’ and the 80’s sounding ‘Be My Girl’. Without question, one of the classic forgotten R&B albums of the year 2005.

Now, if this album has no pride of place in your collection so far, do yourself a favour and hunt it down!

News just in, courtesy of Chris Rizik at SoulTracks —


Hey SoulTrackers! It’s the day you’ve been waiting for. It’s time for you to choose this year’s SoulTracks Readers’ Choice Awards winners!Between now and November 2, SoulTrackers will be voting for this year’s winners using email ballots like this one. If you have friends who are not on our email list, they can sign up at the top left hand corner of any page at and they will receive a ballot by email within 48 hours. Only one ballot is allowed per email address.

You can check out all the nominated artists before voting by visiting

This year’s SoulTracks Readers’ Choice Awards will be broadcast on Monday, December 8th, hosted again by the team of Jodine Dorce and Nina Morena. And we’ll have a network of stations that will be co-broadcasting it, so you’ll have plenty of ways to hear all the action! More information on that to come.

So with all that out of the way…are your ready to vote? Just click below to go to your personal ballot.

V o t e N o w!

The Soul Survivors Music Awards

The 2010 Soul Survivors Music Awards was one of the first of many, in what has now become a staple of the UK Soul music scene. A great time was had by all and the photos and full listings of runners up etc, were fully displayed in the subsequent issue of the magazine. However, here is a quick reminder of the 2010 winners, for the benefit of those who weren’t able to be there on the night.
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Agree or disagree, these were the results from the Soul Survivor readers who took time out to vote. Anna and Fitzroy remain grateful for their support and have since delivered better and better events!
Contact: Anna Marshall

The Soul Survivors

PO Box 377

West Malling, ME6 9DQ

Email Anna



I’m reminiscing and remembering the day a few years ago when I received the news from David Nathan at Soul Music, that the first (9) volumes of the official SOUL TRAIN DVDs had become now available from Time Life! As many of you, who like me, grew up watching these fantastic series will also know, Mr Nathan has been a shining star on the soul music scene for the past couple of decades and he wrote the liner notes for each of the DVDs, featuring enduring performances by the legends of soul music – including Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Barry White, The Jacksons, Stevie Wonder, Teddy Pendergrass and many more! These should still be available via the usual online outlets – and David created a link at The Soul Music Store, so you can probably still order your complete set – or individual volumes here

Huge thanks to Ray Hayden at Opaz for sending me a copy of Martine Girault’s new album promo sampler – just at the time when I was wondering what was going on with one of my favourite “daughters of Soul music”. From the moment the sampler dropped into my hands, I just couldn’t stop playing ‘Can’t Leave You Alone (Remix)’. That track still takes me back to the 80’s with fond memories of all those familiar elements of vocoder synths and backbeats, with Martine’s sweet delicate vocals dripping gloriously over the top. On this promo package, she also has the bravery to put her own perspective on Omar’s evergreen classic ‘There’s Nothing Like This’. You know that saying: If it ain’t broke….

For me, this was an interesting development on many levels. Firstly, it was the very first time anyone anywhere had attempted to cover this classic. Secondly, the attempt involved one of the UK’s own and best loved music producers in the form of Ray Hayden of the legendary OPAZ Studios in London. Last but not least, the singer is none other than Martine herself, who is one of London’s own adopted vocalist and daughter, by way of Brooklyn New York/Haiti.

It has to be stated even now that Martine stays true to the original vision behind the song and yet brings an added Latin feel to it, while retaining its original Jazz-loungey groove. In the chorus, she sings with an innocence and yet a fullness that brings a smile to your face. As cover versions of classic tracks go, it remains an excellent effort.

Most importantly, she does not fall into the temptation of totally dissecting the original in some radical fashion in order justify the decision or to develop a sense of having achieved something extraordinary. That is a temptation which might have befallen a less-versed singing and production combo than these two. And in that sense, they are forgiven for daring to take on the challenge – and thankfully they do it justice.

And just in case you still don’t know very much about the singer I’m talking about here, check out her classic signature tune Revival

Martine on MySpace