A few years back I got a hold of a single by this talented artist and her smooth, sultry voice grabbed my attention immediately. Her cover of Alicia Keyes song ‘Unthinkable” did it for me and I’ve been a fan ever since. Here is the latest single off of her upcoming EP. I’m sure you will soon hear a lot more about her in the near future.
A talented singer-songwriter from the Bay Area, now residing in Brooklyn. SiairaShawn is creating waves with the premiere of her brand new track “Lamb,” which is the first single off her upcoming EP, We Are The Ones.
Following the release of her 2013 project ‘Ghost,’ SiairaShawn has formed a creative relationship with artist manager Keith White (Ro James, Wynter Gordon, Jade de LaFleur), and has much in store.
Imagine my surprise this morning when I received an email from a PR firm in England informing me that a new single had dropped and that this super group was made up of some of England’s dopest soul artists! Junior (Mama Used To Say), Lee John (illusion) ,Omar (This Is Not A Love Song) and Don-E (Stay A While) and Noel McCoy (former frontman of James Taylor Quartet) is now The British Collective!
To put into context the significance of the collaborative birth of ‘The British Collective’ we must take a journey back into the relatively short history of british R&B music.
Whilst, there were the odd record releases—as they were referred to, back in the day—during the sixties, by UK R&B based artists, it was not the dominant genre of the black british experience. That was reggae, which had a loyal and enthusiastic audience, who celebrated the sounds of ‘home’, in a way that sustained their cultural identity. There was at the same time, several jazz influenced artists who appealed to the older minority audiences, such as Georgie Fame and Dusty Springfield. Then of course—from across the pond—throughout the 60‘s and 70‘s there was the powerhouse ‘Motown‘, the more gritty ‘Stax‘ and other soul based labels that really grabbed the attention of black UK youth who were seeking to broaden their musical horizons.
It was not until the 70’s that we started to see british R&B start to shape it’s unique identity. That doesn’t mean there were no UK based artists, at the time. There was, in the late seventies, Billy Ocean, delivered the classic, ‘Red Light Spells Danger’, but as significant a milestone as it was, these type recordings tended to occupy the pop space.
The next milestone was the birth of british lovers rock in the 70’s. It was the urban expression of british born or based black artists in the reggae space. It had an authentic feel that was influenced by what went before, but was distinctly british. This flavour resonated with british fledgeling artists who were experimenting with a new sound, ‘The sound of British Soul’. A sound that took from it’s lovers rock reggae counterparts and fused it with soulful vocals, jazz and funk type arrangements, in a fresh and distinctly british way. It was now the 80’s and ready or not, the world was about to get its first taste of authentic ‘British Soul Music’.
Fast-forward to ‘The British Collective’. The core members of this landmark fraternity are Don-e, Junior Giscombe, Lee John, Noel McKoy and Omar, who have been amongst the ‘Torch Bearers’ of authentic british soul music since the 80’s. Between them, they have sold millions of records worldwide, recorded some of the most iconic british soul anthems and won many notable industry awards. They have performed, written for and recorded with many of the world’s R&B’s legends, such as Stevie Wonder and Phyliss Hyman through to Erykah Badu and Angie Stone in the neo-soul space.
The concept of ‘The British Collective’ had been an idea Junior had for a number of years but Don-e was the catalyst, making the collaboration a reality, when he recorded the track ‘Spiritual’ which was released in 2013 on his Little Star album and featured the core 5 members plus Carl McIntosh (of Loose Ends notoriety) and Rick Clarke. The response to the track kick started the project and since then the guys have been writing and recording.
This fully collaborative and iconic project brings together seasoned artists, musicians and performers who continue to carry forward the torches they lit several decades ago. There is no ‘lead’ singer, when it’s their time to step to the mic, they do so. True collaboration, that deserves its place in music history.
The first official ‘British Collective’ single will be Romantic, due for release in October 2014. An album will follow early 2015.
Live shows will be a full production with band…listen here:
Check out the video here:
Hugenottenhalle, Neu-Isenburg, Germany
Saturday 14 February 2015
Columbiahalle, Berlin, Germany
Monday 16 February 2015
Palais Des Congrès, Paris, France
Tuesday 17 February 2015
O2 Academy Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
Friday 20 February 2015
Eventim Apollo, London, UK
Tuesday 24 February 2015
Docks, Hamburg, Germany
Friday 27 February 2015
Sentrum Scene, Oslo, Norway
Saturday 28 February 2015
Annexet, Stockholm, Sweden
Monday 02 March 2015
Paradiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tuesday 03 March 2015
Paradiso Grote Zaal, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Friday 06 March 2015
Theater am Tanzbrunnen, Cologne, GermanyRead More