From the Eyes of a Soul Singer
I can feel every note that is played on a keyboard just by closing my eyes and tracing the rhythm with my ears and my mind. My fingers are my biggest blessings as they can compose patterns of music from the piano to the guitar that resound with the deepest and most primal parts of the human sensibility.
The music I make evokes the deeply sheltered sensitivity of men and the equally hidden sexuality of women. My voice is my tool as well as my tool box as it is all I have to make the music in my head and the tones and tunes I play become a reality. A reality that I then gift the world as I tell you all my secrets, my fears and my wants in a single repeated pattern.
My heart, my body and my life I give to this force that controls me, pushing me towards any means of representation. I cannot help this life that I have chosen, and in fact I have made no real choice because the life has called me and I had no means to refuse. I am an artist, I am a story teller, I am a musician. And I live and breathe Soul.
Before I explain to you why I have chosen to dedicate my life to the art and creation of soulful music, let me try to explain why the people before me did it. Soul is an art form that can be traced back to the late 1950s and early 1960s and it takes precedence from parts of jazz, rhythm and blues, as well as the African American gospel music style. It originated in the civil rights period when African Americans were fighting for their rights and it became a solace for them to express their pain and suffering while embracing the things that made them who they were.
The raw emotion from the voices of artists who created and are the pillars that soul music stands on today like Marvin Gaye and James Brown pushed the music style from nonexistence to top of the charts in countries from the United States where it started all the way to the United Kingdom and even to Africa. Singers like Solomon Burke, Michael Jackson, Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin paved the way for soul music to become its own genre and lifestyle that it is today.
Honestly, only very few lucky people make it big as soul artists in this day and age where the radios and streaming services are filled with electro-pop and dance music. Not to say that jumping and flaying your arms to music with beats that run at 200 miles per hour is bad, and in fact some of that music has included elements of soul and jazz that make them even better.
But much can be said for music that takes us back to a time where technology was simpler and pain was expressed in clear forms of lyrical innocence. However, the artists who do make it as sold singers prove that the art is anything but dead and has just evolved into a more modern and contemporary style.
Take Adele example, the 27-year-old English singer who has been making strides in the music industry for close to decade now. Even though her voice differs in intensity from the classic soul singers who have a smoother and more silk like element to their vocal reaches, and her music is arguably more experimental than original soul music, she is still a beautiful singer.
Her voice expresses every strand of pain she has felt from past experiences and pushes it out in a rhythmic sequence of beautiful soulful music that millions have come to love and adore. She is not the only one making a contemporary twist of soul.
Others in the field now are Sam Smith who also combines his naturally soul filled vocals with blues which will make any hard-hearted man fall to tears, and Amy Winehouse who had the power to make anyone immediately feel and appreciate her pain. These artists are proof that not everyone who does soul ends up poor, although quite a few do, but none of that matters when you are making music that makes even the smallest amount of people realist that their pain is not singular.
Soul is, as the name suggests, music from the soul and for the soul, and you don’t have to look farther than the music itself to find the benefits you reap.