The Evolution of Soul Music

Soul music is one of the most interesting and complex music genres in history. As the names says, it is a music genre that really touches you when you listen to it. The popularity of this style reached the peak in the 50s and 60s and managed to be one of the main promoters of race equality and cultural diversity in the United States. The main singers of this amazing genre were major activists for the African American community and contributed to its evolution. The soul music has a very interesting story that is definitely worth knowing. We have listed some of the main moments in the evolution of this amazing music genre in order to better understand its beauty and importance.

The Roots

Soul music has its roots in the African American music and it is considered one of the most complex music genres in the world. It combines traditional rhythms from Africa with strong clapping and jazz. The term soul defines the way the African American community felt in the United States. It is very important to note that this music style started in the 50s, a period of great turbulence in the United States. There was a lot of tension between the African American and the white communities regarding human rights and integration of the African American citizens. Many of the early soul’s songs referred to this period when American citizens still had to fight for their own basic rights.

In the 50s began the true popular period of the soul music. The gospel inspiration mixed with blues and influences from Africa shook the music world with originality and innovation. Sam Cooke is one of the earliest soul singers and he is considered one of the parents of the genre. In the 60s Motown label started to really make soul music. Big names like Stevie Wonder began to record here for the first time. This music label managed to help lots of aspiring soul artists and it was considered the main hub of this music genre. The Motown trend soon became popular and many artists were knocking on their doors to try their luck.

Recent Years

In the 60s the major names of the soul music became very popular. Famous people like Aretha Franklin appeared on the stages of music festivals all over the world. Aretha is considered the queen of soul music and she managed to appear on many TV stations that usually showed only white artists. She became one of the main voices of the soul genre and the African American community.

In the 70s and later the soul genre mixed with other new music styles like rock and roll and this is how new and amazing songs were born. The soul music slowly evolved in the contemporary R&B that it is now extremely popular world-wide. Soul music was one of the most amazing music genres in history and it managed to influence many artists and music styles.