Music / Interview

Interview: We catch up with Soul II Soul’s Jazzie B

The legends play Glasgow's Barrowland in December 2017.

Grammy Award winners and frequent BRIT Award nominees Soul II Soul will be playing a headline show at Glasgow’s Barrlowland in December 2017, as well as appearing as Manchester’s Exhibition Centre in the new year. Their live performances have been captivating audiences since their formation back in 1988, making a dent on the UK charts with the likes of Back To Life and Keep On Movin’.

Throughout the years Soul II Soul have enjoyed success on both sides of the Atlantic, driving British soul, RnB and urban music forward. Founder Jazzie B, who already made music under the Soul II Soul moniker before the birth of the full band in the late ’80s, has consistently established himself as a musical pioneer. With considerable production credits to his name, his direct influence has spread far and wide.

As Soul II Soul prepare to return to the stage for shows over the coming months, including at Glasgow’s Barrowland on the 9 December 2017, we caught up with Jazzie B to find out more about things to come.


How are you feeling about returning to the road later this month?

The last couple of years we’ve been pretty non-stop with touring the UK and Europe and recently did a show in South Africa too. We’re very much used to life on the road but we keep going because this is what we love doing and are blessed to still do after all this time.

How do you think Soul II Soul shows have changed over time?

We obviously still perform all the classic hits that people want to hear at a show, but it’s been great to see that different generations are coming to see us live – our fans now bring their children along and you see them vibing together. That’s what it’s all about, bringing people together.

What is to you the most important aspect of a Soul II Soul show?

That people enjoy themselves, that the collective still sends out a positive message and good vibes through the music.

You’ve been instrumental in the development of black British music. What are your thoughts on the contemporary scene?

I think the music industry has changed so much in the last few years with digital, it sometimes blows my predominantly analogue mind! I think musicians have become more self-sufficient and anyone can release their tracks on streaming services and get it distributed these days. In some ways it’s the death of the album as you can just cherry pick songs but it’s good to be seeing a resurgence in vinyl and even supermarkets are stocking it these days.

Ticketmaster were recently involved in a comprehensive grime study. Do you have any thoughts on the importance of the genre?

It’s been interesting to see how this genre in particular seems to reach the younger generation and connect with them. This was most apparent on the influence an artist like Stormzy had, on getting young people out to vote in the last general election.

Are there any new artists and talent you have been championing, and if so, who?

Children of Zues from Manchester.


Soul II Soul will be playing live on the following dates:

9 December 2017 – Barrlowland, Glasgow
3 March 2018 – Bowlers Exhibition Centre, Manchester

 

Soul II Soul tickets are available now through Ticketmaster.co.uk.

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