The New Sound In Soul
In today’s music world, the soul scene tends to be one of extremes. Either the genre is geared towards hip-hop with beats, loops, and samples over sounds. Or the music is formatted with a smooth jazz vibe that dominates the sound. And while both extremes have good artists that produce excellent music, there seems to be a middle ground that’s been lost in the mix.
Enter Wade3 into that mix. With his debut CD, “Dreams,” Wade3 brings techni-color to the black and white soul music scene and launches the genre to the next strata, delivering a style he dubs as, “Trip-Hop Soul.” Indeed, the Raleigh, North Carolina and Los Angeles based vocalist/songwriter/musician/producer and composer injects quite a bit of the Euro trip-hop sound into his music, accompanied with some down-tempo and even dub, ala Sweetback, in a Sly Stone and Hendrix-esque 60’s psychedelic package. “The overall goal for my music is to bring together conflicting elements of music genres and do something fresh and new,” Wade3 says. “I wanted to do a record that sounded like a Salvador Dali painting; something that expressed realism…and I thought it would work well with soul and the trip-hop sound.”
But “Dreams” deviates from the current soul music norm mostly by bringing back a long-lost instrument and making it a key focal point: the funk/rock guitar. The CD is heavily influenced with a rock sound, reminiscent of 1960’s free-love power bands like the Doors and the Rolling Stones. By intertwining sixties rock with the pure soul of the 70’s, “Dreams” creates a post-modern sound and groove that’s fresh for today. “I’m a child of funk and rock,” Wade3 says. “I didn’t feel like the music on the radio captured that sound so I wanted to dig deeper with my music.”
But if you examine the album further, you’ll find that “Dreams” is actually a concept album. From the first song to the last, there are distinct sounds that bridge each track to the next, and moves the album forward in much the same way drama and action in a screenplay moves a film along. Wade3 accomplishes his goal by bringing his music to life, giving his sounds colors, hues, and textures, taking the listener on a music journey that connects genres of the past and present. From the James Brown-influenced “Stoned” to the acoustic/electric soul/pop of “Right Now” to the trip-hop/jazzy “Electric Lullaby” to the grooving Minneapolis-sounding funk of “Beautiful Fool” to the drum-and-bass spacey-soul of “Kisses & Tears” to the rocked out title track, Wade3 gives you a complete music experience interwoven with lyrical messages of life, love, and the depiction of a flawed socio-political system that affects us all in our everyday living.
Once signed to Herbie Hancock’s Transparent Records label, Wade3 has endured the many changes in the music industry to independently produce and release his own music on his own terms. So get ready to expand your minds. Wade3 is the new artist on the soul scene; “Dreams” is the new sound in soul.
Gabriel Rich for Soulinterviews.com