We all have a more or less defined idea of what soul music is. However, it changes, it moves, it gets more and more diverse each time an artist decides to interpret it in their own way. If some will remember soul music as being languid and sensual, some others with remember it as being committed to defending a cause or a minority. Today, soul music is expressed in thousands of ways, and it is good to listen to its latest interpretations to know where it is leading. Tinted with electronic, saturated, modern sounds or on the contrary with old school inspirations, soul music still has a bright future ahead of it and this comes as no surprise.

In our weekly curated playlist, we listen to the first or latest tracks of Sebastea, Naomi Cheyanne, Deborah Williams, Santi Forget, Mighloe and RUTHEE, six artists either coming from England, Canada or the United States, and each of them having a very specific vibe to share.

Sebastea Gemini

Sebastea – Gemini

We start off our curated playlist with the first ever release of Sebastea. Inspired among others by the work of Agnes Obel and James Blake – and it must be said, these inspirations are instantly felt, therefore making Sebastea an artist to follow closely for those who love these two artists – he develops within this unconventionally structured song a story as absorbing as a movie can be, and the story is told over repeated vocals and a very minimalistic melody, making for a very unique track !

“We took an oath to lose
We took an oath to choose.

– Sebastea – Gemini

The songs indeed mentions in short and abstract sentences topics like love, war, death and revolt. The song covers bits of memories of war history in a soft and calm way thanks to those vocal repetitions which are acting as background rhythms. The track then progresses gradually into something slightly more epic by playing a soft melody on the keyboard just like Agnes Obel would on her latest album ; “Gemini” is a cinematic lullaby which puts us into a rather dark atmosphere, but leaving us looking at a glimpse of hope at the end of the tunnel.

If you liked Sebastea’s “Gemini”, we recommend you to read : Walking through dreamland on “Moonlight”, the latest single of the mysterious duo Skycabin. 

Naomi Cheyanne

Naomi Cheyanne – I Know

Let’s keep exploring the latest additions to the soul music genre with “I Know” by Naomi Cheyanne. The instrumental of this track could have easily fooled us into believing we were about to listen to some lo-fi rap, however, when we get to hear Naomi Cheyanne’s voice, the song suddenly turns into a pop soul track with sensual R&B accents. The lyrics indeed gently explore feelings that are taken from past experiences and relationships : we get to hear about being under the impression that we can understand what the other person is thinking of or feeling like, and about the shyness induced by emerging feelings for one another. Naomi Cheyanne writes about these feelings that she herself calls “adolescent emotions” ; the result is very coming-of-age like, and is inherently relatable.

“I know what you need, what you need, let me do it
I know what you want, what you want, let me prove it”
– Naomi Cheyanne – I Know

Naomi Cheyanne is an artist whose debut was noticed by several media and by tens of thousands of listeners on streaming platforms. She is prolific artist as well as the founder of the label Smug Sounds, and she composes, writes and produces for several independent artists. Naomi Cheyanne is a complete artist whose soul infused pop is about to reach thousands and thousands of listeners.

Deborah Williams Show Me The Way

Deborah Williams – Show Me The Way

As we said before, sometimes soul music is mixed with other music genres, and this is the case here on “Show Me The Way” by Deborah Williams. Her song begins with somewhat of a trip-hop infused lullaby, allowing Deborah Williams’ soulful voice to take place in a muffled atmosphere filled with emotions. She tells a story about doubting yourself and about the need to be guided, to call for help. Little by little, the drums take over the electronic lullaby playing in the background ; Deborah Williams’ voice gets louder and stronger and explodes at the end of the song, the same way Portishead or Massive Attack – two of her major influences – would do. “Show Me The Way” is a progressive track with trip-hop, soul and an Imagine Dragons’ pop rock vibe that we highly recommend !

“I know for sure they can’t hear me
And now I’m holding on”
– Deborah Williams – Show Me The Way

Deborah Williams is from London, and she studied at the London International Film School. If she initially started working in the film industry, she practiced and played live during her evenings and week-end, before being spotted by artistic directors who wanted to sync her music to ads and movies. Alongside her own musical project, she has also produced a few albums for EMI.

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Santi Forget All My Life

Santi Forget – All My Life

We’re keeping trip-hop and soul atmosphere going with the very first track of Santi Forget, an artist that you will certainly want to follow closely even before her track ends. “All My Life” combines a lo-fi-infused trip-hop melody that is compressed the way tracks in the 90s would be with a warm voice that fills the space and keeps the listener enthralled throughout the track. While the verses have trip-hop accents, the chorus has soul and R&B characteristics – a suave and old school blend that has been revamped with Spanish verses on the second part of the song, making for an eye-catching and daring combination !

“I’ve been waiting for you all my life
And I just can’t keep going on, without your love for me baby”
– Santi Forget – All My Life

“All My Life” is the first track that announces her first EP, called “Dear My Love”, that is coming later this year. Entirely produced independently, she makes her way in the music industry as a composer and lyricist ; for her own musical project, she worked with a producer called HMLT, who has also produced the three other tracks that will be featured on her upcoming EP.

Mighloe Don't Call Me

Mighloe – Don’t Call Me

In the category of strong & singular voices and old school, full of character instrumentals, there is the latest single from the Canadian artist Mighloe, named “Don’t Call Me”. Mighloe’s voice is just as recognizable as that of Amy Winehouse or Jessie Reyez ; while being so particular, her voice tells in a languorous and paradoxically calm way something that in unfortunately common : being fed up with a possessive, narcissistic person, not letting her be free. It is a difficult subject to tackle but she talks about it calmly, in an almost sensual way, while a minimalistic melody that sounds like the R&B of the 90s develops in the background.

“Please don’t call me cause I ain’t got time for it
Please don’t call me, I ain’t wasting my time”
– Mighloe – Don’t Call Me

Writing ‘Don’t Call Me’ came from a place of being fed up. There are so many people that come in and out of our lives, and sometimes these people hinder our stability and sense of self. This song was my way of saying “enough!”” – Mighloe au sujet de “Don’t Call Me”.

Mighloe is a multidisciplinary artist from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is very active and has remained active during lockdown, which allowed her to perform live (digitally) several times. She performed for Flare Magazine’s digital concert series, but also for Canadian artistic platforms such as Artscape TO, The Remix Project and Brampton’s The Rose Theater. She is also popular on streaming platforms : Mighloe has been spotted by several R&B playlists, making her a talent to follow for the year 2021 !



We end our weekly curated playlist with “Drag” by the young American trio RUTHEE. We take a step back from soul music to go down a more indie-rock route still tinged with R&B sounds ; however, “Drag” is far from being the alternative rock track that gives you energy in the morning with the most joyful lyrics. Actually, the lyrics refer to an abusive relationship and to the virtual impossibility of getting out of it ; the melody and the saturated air of the guitars however gives the impression of being somewhere on vacation, on the beach, while the sun is setting. These contrasting choices make “Drag” as unusual as it is unique.

“This song was birthed out of the pain of an abusive relationship. The feeling of being dragged along by a toxic lover but having no will power to say stop. My favorite lyrics are “Keep what’s fragile on a tight leash” displaying the toxic mindset of knowing someone vulnerable so you keep them close cause you know you’re able to explode on them and they will stay.” – RUTHEE au sujet de “Drag”.

RUTHEE is a young trio from San Antonio, CA. They started to play together and work as a duo, but soon after forming, Olivia, the singer, joined them and brought another dynamic to the group. Born in 2021, RUTHEE’s only goal was to make music as a hobby at first. Today, the group shares their songs on streaming platforms hoping to reach a new audience, and are preparing to release three other songs throughout 2021.

More playlists are available on our Spotify account. If you enjoyed our playlist, we recommend you to give a listen to our “Pop & Alternative” playlist that we regularly update !

– Disclaimer : this playlist has been curated through MusoSoup #SustainableCurator.

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About the Author: Cloé Gruhier

As a music web writer for several years, I have developed a particularly devoted passion for electronic and alternative musics. From the ethereal melodies of Max Cooper to the introspective music and lyrics of Banks, my radar has me listening to the wide French and international independent music scene... all of this between communication plans for independent labels and artists !

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