Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Time to shine some light on some upcoming soul talents. Music has been apart of my life from as far back as I can remember. I have always kept myself surrounded by music throughout my life. Over my years, I have been blessed with opportunities to meet some of my favorite artists. I won't bore you with a grocery list of names, but there has been plenty. Some of the artists were real cool to talk with in person, and others were nothing like I expected? Either way, it is what it is, so I except that fact. Recently, I got a chance to meet an upcoming soulful talent from my hometown of Detroit. He goes by the name Velben, and I must say that I feel that he is one of Detroit's next rising stars. Not only can he put it down vocally, but he's a real down to earth kat that you can just sit down have a decent conversation with. He currently has a musical buzz overseas, so I thought I'd shine some light on him to increase his fanbase in the United States. Being an independent artist can be challenging, so it's important that fans of the music show support whenever possible.

Velben has released an EP entitled, "Formless" to showcase his music. The title of this project is very fitting, because Velben's music is very original in the sound and content department. His music has a very soothing and hynotic feeling to it. One of my favorite tracks is the cut entitled, "About Love," which has a real (Kevin) spacey like vibe. Velben is definitely trying to put his own person spin on soul music, which is surely needed these days. For that reason alone, I encourage you to checkout Velben for yourself and hear what he's doing. If you are interested in his music, and you want to buy the Formless EP, you can click on the album cover (shown on the left), which links you to the CD Baby website to make it happen. Also, checkout his myspace site to learn more about him and his music.

Next up is the newcomer Chrisette Michele reppin' Long Island, New York. I surfing the internet and I came across a track she had done called, "Unconditional" under the Def Jam label. The song was pretty decent, so I did some further investigation and realized that she is definitely making some serious moves. Not only does she have a few tracks floating around on the internet, but she is a featured vocalist on both Jay-Z and Nasir's upcoming albums. That's pretty good for a 22-year old newcomer. It's no coincidence that both Jay-Z, Nas and Chrisette Michele are on all on Def Jam, so this move benefits everyone involved. Letting Chrisette get some shine on two of the most anticipated hiphop albums of the year was a genius business move! I guess that's the real difference between taking the independent route and being on a major record label? The right kinds of opportunities and promotion can make all of the difference in the success of a music career. One of the things that I really like about Chrisette Michele is that her music is not saturated with excessive sexual overtones and man drama. It's more heartfelt and uplifting type material, which is actually refreshing. She definitely seems to have a bright future ahead. If you are a fan of India Irie, you should definitely give a Chrisette Michele a listen.

Let me back track a minute before I close it out. I mentioned that Ms. Michele was featured on the (somewhat) upcoming Jay-Z album entitled, "Kingdom Come" that will hit the streets on November 21st. Great news for hiphop fans by the way! One of my favorite tracks on the new Jay album is called, "Lost Ones," which features Chrisette providing vocals over a Dr. Dre beat! That track is some classic ish in my book, so I wanted to give Ms. Michele some props for giving that song just what it needed to be great. They could have easily gotten Mary J. Blige or Faith Evans to provide the hook on that record, but Chrisette held it down! Oh yeah, if you haven't heard the bootleg by now, step ya internet game up just a little.

Checkout her websites below for more info:


As most of you soul music fans know by now, we have lost another soul singing legend by the name of Gerald Levert last week. It's always a shame when good people die too soon! Gerald Levert will definitely be missed....

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