On DâAngelo and the Birth of Neo-Soul

On D’Angelo and the Birth of Neo-Soul

Soulchild, Legend, Badu, even Scott (as in Jill) should thank their lucky stars for this cat

Michael A. Gonzales

by Michael A. Gonzales, January 14, 2012

On DâAngelo and the Birth of Neo-Soul

radio, retail or the media as “Black” artists. In 1995, the concept of neo-soul was sold to an audience who was already R&B fans, but had grown tired of acts like H-Town, Chante Moore, Shai, Silk and MoKenStef being their only choices. If nothing else, neo-soulsters were on a mission to make Black music that broadened the definition of R&B while exploring its sonic possibilities. Experimenting with various textures, vintage instruments, old-fashioned microphones and sometimes even Analog recording methods, these artists created a sub-genre of soul that was determined to take Black music back to its roots. Yet, while the term proved catchy to both critics and fans, most of the musicians rejected the term. “I always felt that the term neo-soul applied more to the making of music, but not the sound,” India Arie states. “We were just young Black artists looking for wider musical parameters to express ourselves.”

As for the originator of the neo-soul sound, sources close to D’Angelo, including his friend ?uestlove and guitarist Jesse Johnson, who has been jamming with him, claim that a third album will be released sometime in 2012. Currently, D’Angelo is on a European tour.  

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