The Captain of Rare GrooveSoulpersona is a British soul, jazz funk, and rare groove producer, remixer, and arranger known for his trademark soulful sound.
The Captain of Rare Groove
Influenced by the Jazz Funk greats and the finest of Rare Groove
In 2001, Soulpersona caught the eye of soul legend Jocelyn Brown who heard his music at a listening session where she was looking for producers to work with.
This lead to him working day to day in her office and accompanying her to musical appointments and performances as her personal assistant. Jocelyn gave him his first break in the music industry and in return he got to cut his teeth with various well known and underground soul and jazz funk music icons, one of which was the late Oliver Cheatham who also called upon his services to accompany him on his musical performances in the UK and Europe.
“They seriously just don’t make music like this anymore, but thankfully Soulpersona is in an elite club who do” – Soulbounce.com
Synonymous for his remixes and soulful production style, Soulpersona made his album debut in 2009 with the highly acclaimed underground soul and rare groove infused album “Soulacoaster“, featuring songwriters and vocalists that had impressed him from Myspace musician profiles.
Featuring Princess Freesia, Replife, Sibel Thrasher (from the legendary RAMP), Deborah Jordan, Darien, Kia Bennett, and Juliette Ashby, the album was released independently through his own label Digisoul and through self-promotion and marketing went on to top the UK Soul Charts at the #1 position.
Following a period as a music tutor at Hertford Regional College, Soulpersona released his second album entitled “The Lapdancer“. This was a gritty and compelling tale in which he cast Princess Freesia in the leading role as fictional character Avalon Lexus – a high class erotic dancer and call girl who takes the listener on a journey through a snapshot of her complex, tragic and exciting life.
The album received high acclaim and again topped various UK Soul Charts in the #1 position. The album was written and performed by Princess Freesia following her previous work with the Soulacoaster album.
“His brilliance as a songwriter and producer, but also as a savvy independent artist; allows him the artistic freedom to produce great album after great album. Many independent soul artists could learn a thing from this man. We may have had a few brilliant albums from Soulpersona, but we’re already excited for the next one” – The Funk & Soul Review
Later that year, Soulpersona went on to release a new album under the name “Soulperfreesia” (Soulpersona and Princess Freesia) entitled “Amalgamation“,an album influenced by 80s soul and boogie, also written and performed by Princess Freesia.
It reached the #2 spot in The UK Soul Chart as well as having one of the songs (“The World Outside”) picked up by BBC 1Xtra as their “track of the week”. The album attracted the attention of International DJ Joey Negrowho remixed one of the tracks “Keep It Working” which features on his “Remixed With Love Vol 2” album.
“His arrangements leave the right amount of creative space, while the whole production has a luxurious soul / funk infused feel” – Blues & Soul Magazine
February 2015 saw the release of the crowdfunded album “Fast Forward“, composed again with long term collaborator Princess Freesia who featured on writing and performing duties. This highly rated album was a respectful nod to the 1980s soul, rare groove, boogie, and AOR scene and again reached the #2 spot in the UK Soul Chart as well as receiving rave reviews by the worldwide soul contingency.
“His music feels like cognac and cigars, like champagne toasts by firelight, like Riunite on ice. Sophisticated, liquid satin, and tasteful” – Soultracks.com
In October 2015, Soulpersona released his second crowdfunded soul, jazz funk, rare groove fused solo album “Momentum” (composed and produced over a two-year period) which reached the #1 position in The UK Soul Chart and stayed there for 4 weeks.
The album featured singer songwriter collaborations by Princess Freesia, Pete Simpson, Deborah Bond, Tahirah Memory, Dennis Bettisand Darien. Featuring various musician cameos by his friends Carl Hudson(Keys), Punk Pappa (Bass), Terry Lewis(Guitar), Marlon McClain(Guitar), and Chance Hayden(Guitar). The album received many highly rated accolades and reviews and was announced one of Soultracks.com‘s “Albums Of 2015”.
2018 saw the release of the latest concept album – Sunset City. A concept album, that explores the echelons of a society set in the idyllic fantasy land of Sunset City. The girls are pretty, the grifters play hard, the police force is female, but the underlying cracks beneath the glamour and glitz are evident.
Princess Freesia vibrantly colours in this musical canvas (set by Soulpersona) with her catchy hooks and vivid imagination, telling a myriad of fictitious tales and stories inspired by character studies, human nature, social media and the overriding themes of societal living.
The musical backdrop is inspired heavily by the disco, jazz funk, rare groove and soul of the late 70s and early 80s and features guest musicians Terry Lewis (Mamas Gun) on guitar duties and Andy Tolman (The Andy Tolman Cartel) on bass. The grooves are infectious and feature a mainly up-tempo score to suit the settings of a disco dancefloor, but worry not, there’s still a couple of mid-tempo head nodders to compliment and a slow burner to boot!
“Disco concept albums don’t come along too often these days, which makes Sunset City even more of a treat. I’m loving Aviator, Tryin’ and SCPD but really the standard of song writing and musicality is of a very high standard throughout this LP.” – Joey Negro
Soulpersona has enjoyed a long career in music adding to the UKs finest list of artists, with high quality production, superb compositions and exquisite writing through collaborations with Princess Freesia and other acclaimed songwriters and artists. However, times are changing!
Through 2018 Soulpersona has formed the Sunset City Orchestra, a 10-piece band with some of the UK’s finest musicians and vocalists. The intention? To share the sublimity of Sunset City to the Soulpersona fans that have been calling for a live performance and tour for a decade. The band includes musicians from Mamas Gun, Lisa Stansfield and Freak Power along with known independent solo vocalists Ray Estaire, Yvonne Park and Aisling Iris who have joined the band to compliment the lead vocals of Princess Freesia. A new chapter to an established name in UK Soul, Rare Groove and Disco, these performances are going to be glamorous and groovy!