It’s a risky business to get into, the old hip-hop/rnb/motown festival game. Countless hip-hop tours, rnb super-festivals and boutique underground events have offered so much promise, only to leave eager punters disappointed due to distracted talent, poor ticket sales or undeniably amateur organisation.
This is where Soulfest may have just settled into the sweet spot and shown us all how to succeed in such a volatile market. Never mind the big names like Diddy and Rick Ross, whose penchant for courtside seats and runway tantrums puts them way up in the ‘high-risk headliner’ category, or overly flashy promotion with little substance or integrity to hold it all together- Soulfest have brought it all back to what it really should all be about..The music.
Bear Family cannot wait to head along to Victoria Park in Sydney on the 18th of October to check out what Soulfest has to offer, and to help you ingrain yourself in the myriad of talent within the Soulfest lineup, we have put together a list of the ‘Must-sees’ at the inaugural Soulfest, 2014.
Anthony Hamilton is everything you want from an RnB artist. A voice to die for, a strong knack for writing hooks and hits, and the versatility to work with artists as diverse as Dr.Dre, Mark Ronson and Talib Kweli. You may also recognise Hamilton from his song Freedom, which featured on Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. Never has a bloodthirsty western been so sexy. Hamilton’s voice is like a hot tub, bubbling away at you until you gently drift away, and is sure to get you a’ swayin at Soulfest 2014.
Listen Out For: Cornbread, Fish and Collard Greens
Mos Def, or Yasiin Bey as his Mum knows him, is without doubt one of the most influential and recognised hip hop stars of the past 20 years. Starting his career with Talib Kweli in their project Black Star, Mos Def has gone onto a hugely successful career in not only hip hop but in Hollywood, starring in a number of blockbuster films such as The Italian Job and Talladega Nights. Mos Def has an insanely addictive flow and one of the most creative lyrical minds in hip hop. On a bill with a lot of baby makin’ music featured, Mos Def is one of the acts to get you off your feet and raising your fist to the sky.
Listen out For: Auditorium
Ngaiire (or Ny-ree) is a solid omen for the future of Australian soul and roots music. Featured as one of Triple J‘s next crop in 2010, Ngaiire has cemented her spot as one of Australia’s strongest vocal talents. A fresh face amongst a highly experienced bill, Ngaiire is sure to turn the heads of not only the Soulfest crowd, but might also attract the attetion of some her more experienced peers on the lineup.
Listen to: Dirty Hercules
Sticking to the theme of powerful voices and outstanding female talent, Angie Stone is a woman who has seemingly done it all. She has been a vital cog in a best selling Broadway musical, played Saxophone for Lenny Kravitz and co-written a hit album or two with another headliner you may have heard of, ‘D’Angelo. A powerful stage presence and a whole lot of hip shakin’ is what Angie will bring to the Soulfest stage, and you better be ready!
Listen Out For: U-Haul