Summer of Soul 2018: ONE Musicfest, Afropunk, A3C + more of the season’s biggest and best happenings

Teedra Moses — just one of the many (plenty) acts you can catch at this year’s ONE Musicfest.

Summer in Atlanta is known by many local denizens as an action-packed time of myriad dope cultural happenings — especially of the soul music variety — and, scanning the tons of activities on tap from now until the fall (and beyond), this year is proving to be no different. To help you navigate these hot weather months, Slo*Mo, via our annual Summer of Soul special, is serving up our picks for the biggest and best stuff to do. (Oh, and check our picks for top local summer tunes, too.) So be sure to take a look, take note and then take your boo-tay to some of these choice events.

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Summer of Soul Soundtrack: New music from Khari Cabral Simmons, Maleke O’Ney + more

Khari Cabral Simmons: “Soulbossa”
If you’re in the market for some breezy, tropical sounds for the summer, look no further than “Soulbossa” — the new EP from celebrated ATL musician/producer Khari Cabral Simmons. Music heads probably recognize him as the bassist who plays alongside India.Arie, but he’s garnered a reputation for crafting Brazilian-influenced soul sounds via his band Jiva, alongside singer Julie Dexter (on the album “Moon Bossa”) and as a solo artist (on albums like “Clementine Sun” and “Heaven and Earth”). With “Soulbossa,” Simmons continues his exploration into the sound — paying sonic homage to cats like Sergio Mendes, Quincy Jones and more.

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The Summer of Soul: Intro

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The first rule about summer in Atlanta is that it’s not over until, like, October. That’s partly due to the weather, which stays warm for a truly hot minute, and also because promoters and event organizers have must-do programming slated to pop off well into the fall. It’s that spirit of never-ending good times that inspired us at Slo*Mo to launch The Summer of Soul — a multi-month campaign designed spread the word about the season’s top local music, artists and events.

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The Summer of Soul: The best ATL events — ONE Musicfest, Afropunk Atlanta + More

Janelle Monae and her Wondaland crew (Photo by Marc Baptiste)

Janelle Monae and her Wondaland crew (Photo by Marc Baptiste)

A ton of stuff’s happening in Atlanta this summer; of course, not all of it is worth your time or your cash — especially if you’re a lover of soul music and culture. So, yo, to help you navigate the next few months, the super-dope crew at Slo*Mo has curated a list of the season’s best events (we’re talking concerts, art exhibitions and more). Check it out:

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The Summer of Soul: Summer Soundtrack — Kameron Corvet, Royal, St. Beauty + More

Royal (Photo by Kaya Faery)

Royal (Photo by Kaya Faery)

One of the hallmarks of any great summer is the summer jam. You know what I’m saying: I’m talking about that song (or songs) that drops in or around the hot weather months and is so funky/fresh that it becomes your de facto soundtrack … at least until it starts getting chilly. Well, it turns out that a handful of Atlanta-dwelling (and/or ATL-affiliated) soul artists have stepped up to the plate this year to provide the city, the nation and the whole damn world with some seasonally dope anthems. Here’s a look at a few of the folks behind some of our favorite music of the moment:

Royal: In the last issue of Slo*Mo, we covered the record release party for the hip-hop/rock duo Royal (which went down at Apache Café and was dope as fuck), but we’re back writing about the crew now that its self-titled EP is, as of July 7, in stores. Made up of singer/musician Devon Lee and DJ/MC Mikeflo, Royal channels heaping helpings of sexual energy and political commentary into this debut project — the result is a multilayered collection of songs custom made for unabashed rocking out and analytical dissection. Driven by the single “Crash,” which features drumming legend Lil’ John Roberts on the track and “Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta” stars Ariane Davis and Mimi Faust in the video, the EP represents a true colliding of worlds … and that’s just what Mikeflo and Lee were going for. “It’s all connected to the culture,” says Lee. “It’s liberation. You have to be inclusive of everybody if you’re gonna reach anybody.” More info: allthewayroyal.com.

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