The Top 20 ATL Soul Songs of 2016

Photo: Dejah Greene. Model: Raven Best.

Photo: Dejah Greene. Model: Raven Best.

The year 2017 is gonna be a big one for Slo*Mo Media. Now, that’s not some flippant prediction or straight-up boast — it’s just a fact, based on some carefully considered strategy. In other words, we ain’t bullshittin’ you.

Looking forward to next year, although we can’t reveal all our plans, we can safely say that you’ll be seeing a lot more of us: in print, on the web and in the flesh. Keep your eyes and ears peeled to all the stuff we make (the zine, the Mo Audio podcast, the website, our social media content, etc.) to stay in the loop on all of the newness and expansions.

But before we go knee-deep into 2017, we thought it would only be right to look back at the year in music — specifically the soul music that came out of Atlanta this year.

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Summer of Soul 2016: Latrese Bush, Anthony David + more artists to watch this season

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Latrese Bush (Photo by Dre Barnes)

As the hazy days of summer officially begin, the question for music heads quickly becomes: What new tracks will I be rocking for the hot-ass months ahead? Slo*Mo can help with that. Just check our handy list below — it features nine of our favorite artists (who just happen to dwell in Atlanta) and info about their latest releases (singles, EP and full albums). So take a look at what the local soul scene is offering, and then snag these dope sounds for yourself.

Latrese Bush
In a world of “microwave music,” where some of the dopest sonic creations by artists are too often seen as disposable, soul singer Latrese Bush is taking a novel approach to getting her tunes into the ears and hands of her fans.

Fresh off the success of her hit duet with Noel Gourdin, “Because of You,” it would be standard practice for Bush to drop a full-length album or even an EP. Instead, the Atlanta-based vocalist is embarking on a yearlong journey that will see her releasing one new single on digital platforms every few months — and it starts with the mid-tempo, soon- to-be steppers classic “Love I Can Sing About,” which went on sale in early June.

She sees the single campaign, aptly titled “Singled Out,” as a way to give fans the chance to find her music and, ultimately, extend the life of her new sounds.
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Summer of Soul 2016: The Brand New Heavies, ONE Musicfest + more of the ATL’s best live music

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The Brand New Heavies

You ready for a whole mess of live music this summer? Well, we understand if you’re overwhelmed by the sheer choices of bands/DJs/artists to check out in Atlanta. That’s why we did all the legwork for you, curating a collection of truly can’t-miss concerts — especially if you’re a fan of soul, jazz, house and true-school hip-hop. Read up and plan accordingly.

June 23: Underground System, The Dangerfeel Newbies, Daz I-Kue — Local soul/jazz/house heroes The Dangerfeel Newbies and U.K. born, ATL-based producer/DJ Daz-I- Kue take the stage with rising Afrobeat stars Underground System … which is sure to equal a genre-jumping night of high-energy music. Aisle 5. aisle5atl.com.

June 24: Jonathan Butler, Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle — Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. www.cobbenergycentre.com.

June 25: Black Milk & Nat Turner with Boog Brown, Yani Mo, DJ Kerosene, Hosted by Fort Knox — Aisle 5. aisle5atl.com.

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Slo*Mo Vol. 4, No. 1: Soul Preview 2016

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Photo by Shannon McCollum

A butt-load of great soul music is on tap for 2016, and — as always — Atlanta is the epicenter for a big slice of what you’re going to be listening to over the course of this new year. To help you navigate the sonic waters, we (the homies at Slo*Mo) have compiled a guide to some of the most anticipated works coming soon from a gang of ATL’s best and brightest artists. So, turn the page and dive in. The next 365 days are sure to be super-soulful. Read up via the links below:

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Soul Preview 2016: DJ Kemit returns with the dance-centric ‘Together’

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Photo by Shannon McCollum

If you’re a music head who likes to go out and cut a rug in Atlanta, chances are you know the name DJ Kemit. The Milwaukee-born, ATL-based turntable legend is responsible for hosting some of the city’s top ongoing parties (e.g., Kickin’ Up Dust, Soul Makossa, Spread Love and, most recently, the ATL Dance Sessions). But his talent doesn’t just end in the club; Kemit has been building a rep over the years as a go-to music producer. In this role, he’s crafted hit songs for local heavyweights like Algebra, Anthony David and Heston. On top of those tracks, in 2012, he released his beat-heavy debut solo album — “Everlasting” — featuring Eric Roberson, N’Dambi and Frank McComb, among other vocalists. And in this brand-spanking-new year, he’s emerged from the studio once again with a collection of tunes — this time in the form of the house music-tinged EP “Together.” The project is dropping in early 2016 via singer/producer Josh Milan’s Honeycomb Music label and co-stars artists such as Terrance Downs, Tasha LaRae and Milan himself. But before “Together” hits the streets, Slo*Mo checked in with Kemit to get the ins and outs on his newest release.

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Soul Preview 2016: Mo Upcoming Releases

Beyond DJ Kemit’s long-awaited new project, a ton of other Atlanta-affiliated artists are gearing up to drop music in 2016. Look below, for 12-plus records you should be checking for:

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Jermaine Hardsoul
Folks may recognize vocalist/musician Jermaine Hardsoul from his production work with artists like Eric Roberson, but now he’s finally taking the spotlight in a big way with “Lane” — his first full-length solo studio album. Taking a listen to “Lane” (available on all digital platforms January 22) you’d almost think it was a concept album — and that’s due to the 1980s/1990s-era R&B/soul influence that runs through almost every tune. The track “Oh Girl,” for example, channels the spirit of the Prince/Time Minneapolis sound, while songs like “The One Two” (featuring ATL expat singer Carmen Rodgers) is fueled by Chi-town stepper sounds. Look for this album to catapult Mr. Hardsoul deeper into the consciousness of music fans everywhere. More info: www.hardsoulsound.com.

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