AMP FIDDLER & CHOKLATE SOUL!
Who said that there is no "orginality" left in soul music? I did say soul music, not R&B? Some folks don't really feel that there a difference between the two, but I beg to differ! In my opinion, soul music is a music that touches a person's inner soul, with daring originality, deep substance & uninhibited expression. Rhythm & Blues is where rehashed concepts meet predictable gimmicks with a goal of making a quick buck, while intentionally sacraficing creativity for the goal of radio airplay! Yes, in your local music store, these two genres may share the same space on the shelf, but they are two totally different things. Today, I bring you two artists from the soul genre. Both of these artists are great talents in their own right, but they will probably never get the exposure they deserve through video and radio airplay? First up is one of my Detroit brethren, Amp Fiddler. He is definitely not new to the music scene, but I am guessing that most of you have never heard of him? Joseph "Amp" Fiddler has been doing his thing over the last decade, while working with artists like George Clinton, Prince, The Brand New Heavies, The Dramatics and The P-Funk Allstars. Amp is more than just a singer, but he produces and writes, plus he plays several instruments like the keyboard, piano and the organ. He released his first album back in 1990 entitled, "With Respect," which was a solid album overall, but commercially it suffered. After that release, he took an hiatus from his solo endeavors until 2002 when he released a the 12" record, "Basementality" that featured a popular remix of the track by Moodymann. This release displayed Amp Fiddler's true musical talents, which blossomed into a full album release in 2004 entitled, "Waltz Of A Ghetto Fly." It had a raw and gritty feel to it! That album was a sleeper for jazz, funk and electronica fans around the world, but here in Detroit it became an underground classic! It was the start of his cult like fanbase that still supports him today.
While "Waltz Of A Ghetto Fly" still remains on classic status by true Amp Fiddler fans, he's finally back to bring us more soul with his upcoming album "Afro Strut." The album drops on August 29, 2006. Hopefully, this great album will get the promotion that it deserves? His new single, "Right Where You Are" has that unique Amp Fiddler feel to it, but I sense a little growth as well? His sounds on the new album seems a little more polished this time around. If you are seeking something new and funky, give Amp Fiddler a try. His sound maybe an acquired taste for some initially, but I think he is definitely worth a listen.
Next up is Choklate hailing from Seattle, by way of California. Another soul artist that is basically unknown in the mainstream arena, but this lady is a great talent as well. What I like about her the most is her ability to sing and rap convincingly! Many have tried it, but most have gone down in flames. Choklate puts me in the mind of Queen Latifah with her approach to making music, but I think she is deeper on the soul tip in my personal opinion. Choklate developed her musical style while working exclusively in her brother's studio in Seattle. Outside of perfecting her musical skills, she also learned important lessons about professionalism, punctuality and industry politics. After some networking and the development of several business friendships, she was introduced to three of Seattle's top hiphop producers Vitamin D, Bean One & Jake One. These katz really developed Choklate's musical sound. Choklate's writing abilities combined with their hypnotic beats blossomed into something special.
Choklate's debut self-titled album, "Choklate" was released back in May of 2006. I just came across this album back in July, but it's better late than never? This is some good stuff here! The title of the album fits perfectly because it is actually her coming out to the musical world. We are getting to know Choklate as the person and the artist. I will admit when I first found this album, I was thinking it was going to be some trash rap?? Her stage name is deceptive? I figured Choklate was on some of that Trina-Khia..My Neck, My Back type ish?? I was totally of track! Choklate brings soul music influenced by hiphop's rawness. The essence of what hiphop soul is all about. That saddest thing about this album is that it will probably be slept on by the masses, as so many other great albums have been in the past? If you are a fan of soul, hiphop and music in general, do yourself a favor and don't let this album pass you by.
All of the skeptics that believe soul music is dead, and there is no good music being released these days, here are two albums that will hopefully change your views? If not, don't give up on searching for great music. The music industry has definitely changed over the years, and so should your approach to finding good music. It's out there, but you have to find it! I will continue to bring forth albums and artists that I feel are making unnoticed musical strides in the right direction, with the hope they will gain a larger fanbase and maybe even sell a couple more CDs? Either way, please get to know these artists better and tell your friends and foes what going on over here at SoundNexx!
Here are some sites that you can checkout to hear music and further your knowledge about these artists.