It is the year 2012 and the 21st century is well under way. New genres of music, like dubstep, are becoming popular. Technology and production is quickly advancing and people are creating new and exciting ways to express their musical talents. But one aspect will always stand the test of time…Soul.
No matter what performance you are watching, be it dance, singing and even interpretative art, the main objective of an artist is to communicate through their soul. The passion and heart in a performance is what makes us human beings. To feel sad, happy or fun is the epitome of entertainment.
For this reason, much credit should be given to the performers that wear their hearts on their sleeves without the help of production, sound and lighting.
The Women of Soul are just that! Divas from the nooks and crannies of Melbourne’s finest live venues.
Chelsea Wilson, the founder of Women of Soul, came up with the brilliant concept of organizing a collective of powerhouse singers to do a weekly showcase for the month of February.
Left: Chris Drossos – Australia Red Cross and Soul Enthusiast, Right: Chelsea Wilson – Founder of Women of Soul and Singer
The infamous Cherry Bar on ACDC lane was the venue for the weekly live act. A group of individual artists would perform their own originals each Thursday and then come together to perform classics such as ‘Whatta Man’ made popular by Salt N’ Pepa.
ACDC LANE – Cherry Bar
On the warm summer’s night of their last showcase, Milan, Karen Morales, Candice Monique and Alphamama graced the stage with their funky tempo ballads and sassy attitudes. Chelsea Wilson, also a singer, performed every Thursday alongside her fellow musicians.
Women of Soul – Opening all together with ‘Good Feeling’ – Etta James
Deep Street Soul was the house band for the event. Every singer performed with the same band which left the audience with a mixture of laughter, improvisation and ad-libing. The crowd couldn’t help but start to dance regardless of the sweat drenching their shirts. The Afro haired drummer and beret wearing guitarists only enhanced the funky atmosphere.
Deep Street Soul Band Members
Miss Chelsea Wilson was the first to perform. Her music was very memorable as her song Through With Loving You was one that i kept singing to myself on the way back to my car. Not only is she savvy with organizing events, she is also quite the performer. Her vivacious energy filled the room as she sang with a little rasp and danced with a ‘bop’ and ‘grind’.
Next up, the piano playing Karen Morales. She sat down through her performance as she led the house band with her keyboard playing skills. It was a bit difficult to hear her through her performance, not sure why, but from what could be heard, Karen has a sultry and delightful voice. It will be exciting to see what Miss Morales can bring in the future.
Candice Monique was next to grace the stage. The minute this tall and exotic lady stepped out in front of us, you knew she was a force to be reckoned with. Her voice was like red velvet cupcakes, rich and filling. This woman really had something to say and oh how wonderful did she say it. A true poet, mixing spoken word and intricate melodies. Candice Monique is someone to look out for.
Milan, the tall long-haired raven, owned the stage with her amazing juggling act – singing, playing the electric guitar and using the vocal pedal. Her reggae bass line and ‘cool’ swing really made her performance powerful. There were no flaws, just pure soul. It was mesmerizing to be in front of this lovely Sydney-sider.
Finally, my personal favourite, ALPHAMAMA came out with a kick and a punch. The crowd, feeding off her energy like a solar panel, danced, clapped and even sang along. This hot mama really knew how to speak to the crowd and get them involved. She was an absolute natural. Her strong women-anthems like, If Ya Gon’ Lie had everyone thinking about that one ‘ex-lover’ that needed to be shut down.
After all the performances, I was able to speak with some of the singers to get an idea of who they are as a person. All of them, as the lovely ladies they are, were more than happy to meet and talk with such a new blogger as myself and even give me a copy of their EPs.
ALPHAMAMA and her Stylist
ALPHAMAMA’s latest EP
May Johnston, another diva who played on a different night, was there to support her fellow musicians. She was also there to cheer on her band, Deep Street Soul. Towards the very end, she even hopped on stage and belted a few notes.
Left: May Johnston – Member of Deep Street Soul, Right: Chris Drossos
Now that we have established soul is what keeps those back alley cats singing, I can’t wait to see what else Melbourne has to offer. The one thing I took away from this gig was that music and passion is truly shared within a family and that even though some of these singers had never met, music is truly universal. Until next time, be nice to one another 🙂