Friday, April 11, 2008

11 Apr: Duffy defends 'blue eyed soul'

This article by the BBC appeared today:

Duffy defends 'blue eyed soul'

By Kev Geoghegan

Duffy insists that when it comes to soul music, the colour of an artist's skin is irrelevent.

The chart topper has reacted to claims by Estelle, another number one selling artist, that the British music industry is unwilling to market black artists.

Estelle also claimed the music of Duffy and Brit winner Adele is not genuine soul.

But Duffy told Newsbeat:"If the talent and the desire is there, I don’t really think it matters what colour you are."

In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, Estelle - currently enjoying chart success with American Boy - attacked the state of the music industry.

She said: "I'm not mad at 'em - but I'm just wondering, how the hell is there not a single black person in the press singing soul? Estelle

"Adele ain't soul. She sounds like she heard some Aretha records once and she's got a deeper voice - that don't mean she's soul.

"They keep trying to tell me in the media what soul music is and I'm like, we KNOW what soul music is."

On the subject of how black artists are marketed, Estelle speaks from some experience, having left the UK for America following a brush with success in 2004.

She's since worked with major US artists like Kanye West and John Legend.

But speaking before she performed at London's Royal Albert Hall, Welsh singer Duffy defended British soul, claiming Estelle may not be looking hard enough.

She said: "We don’t live in the 1950s any more, we're in a multicultural country.

"So no, I think that’s pretty far from the truth, look around and I think you'll see that it [Black Soul] really does exist."

Musical influences

Duffy admits she's influenced by a wide range of artists.

She said: "I like a lot of obscure stuff. I think the darker and more mysterious and the more unknown something is, the more you can make it your own.

"I like to dig deep into northern soul and motown and blues.

"I saw the Rolling Stones film the other night which was mind blowing and I remembered the first thing I really saw of music was The Rolling Stones on a video tape.

"I was 6 years old, no one told me they had been around since the 60s, so for all I knew they were current.

"I remember seeing it and thinking it was the most important thing I'd ever seen.

"So, they're up there as one of my biggest influences because they married blues and rock and roll."

Duffy's debut album Rockferry spent five weeks at number one in the UK album chart.

Estelle's Shine is a new entry, this week, at number six.


Bad_Girls_Lament said...

Wow... I just listened to clips of her on iTunes and "Estelle" has an AWFUL voice... her vocals are harsh and off key .. and her music IS NOT soul its Hip Hop and R&B ... so maybe she DOESN'T know what SOUL is... *shudders*

Anonymous said...

To be fair Duffy knows nothing about soul music because if she did she wouldn't make the comment she did about skin colour. I'd be surprised if she knew who Stevie Wonder was! Duffy has a good voice and the album is very retro but what can she do on the follow up. Duffy is pop music not soul music and estelle is urban music as its not soul. Soul music hasn't been sung in the charts since the 1990's. Soul music is about African-American history and there are some good white copies out but alas they do share the history.

danyelle6974 said...

Hey Anonymous - how about you leave your name when you are making comments. I happen to disagree with what you have said. Syrup & Honey isn't soul then?!... So you agree with Estelle then that one has to be black in order to sing soul?

BG, I agree that Estelle is R&B and not soul!

Dani said...

I agree with danyelle. Duffy is soul and to imply that she doesn't know who stevie wonder is seems quite ignorant too me. What can she do on the follow up? What the hell? There hasn't been soul music on the charts since the 1990s where the hell have you been? Soul has evolved hince the term "Neo-Soul" just as there are many forms of Jazz.. New Jazz, Free Jazz which originates in black culture and history. We created it yes but it doesnt mean that another race can't feel it understand it or create as well. Soul music is a part of african american history yes but thats not all its about. Soul music Jazz all of that transcends skin color. Nobody cares its about what you are singing. Billie Holiday was once asks why in the Jazz circuit does race not seem to matter Why is it that musicians seem to get it when it comes to over looking race? Maybe anonymous should go look up her answer.