Soul music arose in the United States in the African American community in the 1950s and 1960s. Soul music incorporates stylistic elements from rhythm and blues, jazz music and gospel music. Today soul music upheld by such contemporary successful singers as Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Usher and John Legend just to name a few. Soul music today is often referred to as neo-soul and there are many new up and coming neo-soul music artists that are around today. Neo soul originated in the 1990s and represents a blend of funk, jazz, hip hop along with classic soul music.
Aloe Blacc, born Edgar Nathaniel Dawkins III in California, is a singer and songwriter. He has been involved in several music genres including hip hop and jazz before entering into the neo-soul music arena.
Curtis Harding is another neo-soul singer and songwriter from America. Since 2014, he has been making music that combines several music genres but also has a soulful feel to it. Curtis combines rock, punk, soul, blues and gospel into what he terms “slop ’n’ soul” music.
Another American soul musician is Leela James. She is a soul, neo-soul and rhythm and blues singer who was influenced by such soul music singers as James Brown and Marvin Gaye. Many have stated that her voice is similar to Aretha Franklin. Leela has been climbing up the charts since she debuted in 2004 and even had a number 1 song in 2017 in the R&B charts in America.
Sunshine Anderson, Emeli Sande and Jaguar Wright
Sunshine Anderson is an American soul and R&B singer and writer who hails from North Carolina. Her music has done quite well in the charts since 2001 when her first music album debuted. Emeli Sandé is a British singer and songwriter who debuted her solo single in 2011. Like the soul singers of the 1960s, Emeli’s songs take on social injustice and have lyrics about equality and social change. In 2017 she was appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in recognition of her service to music. Jaguar Wright is an R&B and soul singer from Philadelphia in the United States. She released albums in 2002 and 2005 and is sure to be making more music in the future.
Kelela is an Ethiopian-American neo-soul music artist who released albums in 2014 and 2017. Her latest album entitled “Take Me Apart” has received critical acclaim and actually climbed to number 3 in the UK R&B charts.
Paperboy and Aaron Earl Livingston
Eli “Paperboy” Reed is an American R&B and soul singer from Mississippi who has been producing songs since 2005. He was strongly influenced by gospel music and even played the piano and organ in a South Chicago church when he was younger. Aaron Earl Livingston, stage name Son Little is an American R&B and soul music artist. He released his debut album in 2014 and released an album in 2017. What is clear is that soul music is still alive today, with many young singers incorporating classic soul into their lyrics and styles.