The return of soul music

Do not get me wrong. Soul music never left, it has always been there. What is soul music? Combining elements of jazz, rhythm and blues, and traditional gospel music a�� soul is a genre that became popular in the 1950s and hasna��t looked back since.

Though there have been periods where soul has thrived more than others, the best soul singers are widely regarded as some of the most popular figures in music history. In fact, soul singers are considered by many to be the backbone of the modern music movement.

Though it may not seem obvious on the surface, soul music came from influential labels like Motown, and Atlantic Records, all of which played an important role in shaping the music business. That aside, the best soul singers have dominated the charts and their importance has spanned multiple generations and has led to multiple soul music subgenres (borrowed definition).

Here in Zimbabwe, we have enjoyed some of the sub-genres from this amazing genre for one; Mathonto comes to mind here in Bulawayo with their hit song Ncama�� Ncama��. The urban grooves era birthed a lot more young stars who loved the sound, but because of other influences like the birth of dancehall and house music none ever grew to national acclaim.

So ita��s exciting to write about one purely soul artiste who may just change the whole game. I first met this guy as a newspaper columnist and I was blown away by his amazing and creative writing skills.

He goes by the name Kay the Soul Prince. I have listened to his album called Black Love Project Volume One and I can safely say soul music is back and safe in his hands. He has a strong voice like Al Green or is it Isaac Hayes or Marvin Gaye?

The bottom line, his delivery compares to none. His eight-track offering features the hit track Breakthrough which is receiving massive airplay on ZTV. My favourite track though is Love Should be Stronger than Pride. If one did not know it was a local offering they would think it was Luther Vandross.

His album is pregnant with message and pure soul style is about love. The other six tracks are Keep the Fire Burning, Truth, Mending Fences, Everybody Needs Somebody, Stand Up for Love and Please Dona��t. The album is already receiving rave reviews after its debut on Skyz Metro and YAFM last week.

How I know this will work?

There seems to be a movement by local artists to deliberately take their products to the rest of the country.

First it was Mzoe 7 and Sandra Ndebele with their track Ingoma, they went haywire with their activations for the song. Ita��s now past 112 000 hits on YouTube in slightly over a month.

So I guess congrats are in order Sandra and Mzoe. Soul Prince got his road show under way with an appearance on YAFM. With enough airplay and vigorous marketing soul lovers will enjoy this masterpiece.

I think this shift will make stars out of our musicians. Instead of complaining, stand up and work. Until next week, be safe . . .

@nkuenkala