Soul Girl, Soul Boy

April 2022
Words and playlist by Shola Aleje

As we continue to explore the Soul Girl & Soul Boy scene, we look back on the last 15 years, celebrating the influence Soul continues to have on contemporary music.

We start with the incredible Curtis Harding; his single ‘Hopeful’ is a soulful and gospel return to form. SAULT, Little Simz and Cleo Sol are a special corner of the UK Soul scene at the moment. The rest of the playlist features UK soul artists who are currently really making waves.

There’s a nod to the sound of the Daptone and Truth & Soul label from Charles Bradley, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings and Lee Fields & The Expression who were part of that soul resurgence (retro-soul) sound in the mid-2000s.

We then feature artists from Hiatus Kaiyote, Nubya Garcia, Ezra Collective - artists who Gilles Peterson has championed on a huge scale - and which showcase his direct influence on them. Many of the artists featured are a wonderful mishmash of the genres - mixing in elements of classic soul, jazz and funk. Emma Jean Thackrey’s track ‘Sun’ is a perfect example of that Roy Ayers soul and funk sound.