I'm a South Londoner now living in Sweden. I'm also a part-time DJ/ founder of Urbanlife Radio and co-founder of Scandinavian Soul. Music has always been my soundtrack to life and although I listen to everything, soul is always in my playlist.
And in fact, where are all the bands?
Good question, I'm sure you'd agree. However, I'm not going to start disassembling the music business and demonstrate how the major corporations have a monopoly on all commercial music. That's a discussion for another day.
However, I do want to talk about a band who've released their new EP Genuine, and a singer who's voice cannot be mistaken for anyone else.
The band are The Napkins with lead vocals by Charlotta Kerbs.
So, with our Scandi Soul Mustang parked outside our favourite night spot in Stockholm, I recline in the leather seats, press play on the album - Addicted, and shine our reverse lights on Adée.
We first heard Swedish producer Jimmy Kuf production on his debut track 'Spela Roll'. A wonderfully mellow, Swedish sung track that resonated with our soul loving ears. We spoke to Jimmy (Jimmy Agvén) to discover more about him and his music.
Directed by Emil Wahl, the video captures Amanda against the beautiful backdrop of Norwegian nature, graffiti-styled murals and in the springtime sunshine.
Since their debut, Saint Cava, Andreas Vasegaard, Erika de Casier, have turned heads with their dark R&B beats, soulful lyrics, matched with intriguing videos. Their new track 'Deeper', continues that theme. 'Deeper' opens gently before a deliciously deep bassline kicks in, and the sweet haunting vocals synonymous with Saint Cava draws you in.
Coco Rouzier and Swedish producer Freddie Cruger aka Red Astaire recently released a 7" single with a stunning A & B side, and the demand for it has quickly grown, making it one of the most sought after vinyls in the UK.
However, it's hard to deny there's a whole lot of soul in US singer/poet Dean Bowman vocals. Together with an exquisite Finnish production, it steers this track directly into our waters.
Produced by David Mørup, the joyous harmonies, tight R&B riffs and Mikala's assured vocals this track leaves you feeling optimistic and hopefully. In a world decidedly bereft of uplifting sentiments, it's a delight to hear.
The video marks the point Nordic R&B rose to a new level and immediately becomes a classic of this new alternative genre.
We weren't alone as it led to critical acclaim amongst independent music lovers who also took to the intricate and compelling vocals of Finnish singer Dea Juris with producer FLWRS (Emiliano Flowerman) smooth synths and beats.
Now the duo returns with their latest single Rough Terrain, and you'll experience an evolving sound with more swing than previous.