SOUL11SOUL’S 3 original artists are back by popular demand to TRAK with SOUL11SOUL SOUND SYSTEM! Only Caron Wheeler and Jazzie B, with their Caribbean roots – into Reggae – into Acid Jazz – into Soul can treat us to this sound, along with layers of MC Chicakaboo.
SOUL11SOUL are the most successful and influential black British group ever – having sold 6.8 million albums in over 35 territories and have tracks on over 200 compilation CDs to date. They have had artists like Public Enemy, Destiny’s Child, James Brown, The Fine Young Cannibals, Isaac Hayes, Ziggy Marley and Destiny’s Child queuing up for their production skills. They’ve won 2 Grammy awards, an NAACP award, and have been given the keys to 7 U.S. cities….. And to think this all began with a north London sound system! The Soul II Soul sound system now tours the world, performing at festivals such as WOMAD and Glastonbury; playing in Jamaica, the birthplace of the original “big rig”. They were the embodiment of seismic cultural shift that saw 2ND generation Caribbean immigrants adapting to their surroundings to produce something as artistically unique as it was socially important.
Jazzie B once said, “We’re from the days when all you had to get your equipment around town was the number 14 bus and a supermarket trolley!” “We were playing more soul and funk and different kinds of music than we were reggae, but we came up with Soul11Soul as it stood 2 souls moving together.” Now, In 2005, Jazzie B is putting something back into his ancestral island home, and runs the annual Back II Life soul, funk and jazz festival in Antigua.
THEY created a dancehall environment that took the London warehouse party scene of the mid-1980s to a new level: “We were very arty as an early sound. We never had conventional speakers, we used pyrotechnics in a dance, we had banners and strobes in a house party!” From there it was only a short step to the now legendary Africa Centre dances where the Soul II Soul Experience was given free rein. Unlike other sound systems, Soul II Soul wasn’t about big name DJs or exclusive import tunes, it was about a vibe and the crowd as much as who was running the show. SOUL11SOUL took that notion of inclusiveness to a point at which the street met the mainstream at the grassroots of credibility. And everybody was invited in. “You had people from all walks of life.” In 1986 Soul II Soul signed with Virgin Records and translated that sound system vibe on to vinyl in a way that was as original as it was infectious. Soul II Soul quickly became a bona-fide movement, with 3 three shops in London selling Soul II Soul clothing, clocks, record mats, jewellery and by the end of the decade the Funky Dred logo was everywhere along with “A happy face, a thumpin’ bass, for a lovin’ race.”
Caron has since released two solo albums: UK Blak (1990) and Beach of the War Goddess (1993). Her biggest solo success single is “Livin’ In The Light” from her first solo album, which hit #53 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent a week at #1 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in 1989. It also reached the Top 20 in the UK Singles Chart. She also featured with Soul II Soul on the soundtrack to the Angela Bassett movie, How Stella Got Her Groove Back in 1998.
Jazzie B has since received an OBE ….among other accolades ……which is long way off from the number 14 bus!
DON’T MISS ALL 3 ORIGINALS IN THE SOUL11SOUL SOUND SYSTEM EXCLUSIVE MELBOURNE GIG ON THURSDAY 28TH FEBRUARY 2013. Ticketmaster.com.au/ 136 100
Doors @ 7.30pm
DJ Bobby Love – 7.30pm – 8.30pm
DJ Eddie Mac – 8.30pm – 9.30pm
Soul II Soul – 9.30pm – 11pm