Right in the heart of Sydney City, between Newtown and Broadway lies the spacious and vibrant area known as Victoria Park. Last Saturday, this outdoor setting was home to Australia’s first annual Neo Soul, Hip Hop and Jazz festival, Soulfest. With a lineup that was sure not to disappoint, a marvelous turn out and sunny weather, the mood was immediately set for the day. Among the lineup were acclaimed artists Common, Mos Def, Leela James, Musiq Soulchild, Angie Stone, Aloe Blacc, Anthony Hamilton, D’Angelo and Maxwell also including local Aussie talent Nathaniel, Miss Murphy and Ngaiire. Due to missing his flight over from The States, Mos Def was unable to attend the first day of this nationwide tour, leaving fans disappointed that the rap phenomenon wouldn’t be making an appearance.
Luckily the rest of this unique lineup was able to deliver stellar performances that made up for the absence of Mos. Blacc, Hamilton, James, Musiq and Stone graced the stage in the early afternoon with sets that blew the crowd away. Aloe was the underdog for me that day, but he really did step up and surprise everyone. Adorned in a well kept suit with a purple undershirt, he danced his way smoothly across the stage, psyching up the audience with the help of his tuxedo-esque band. They funked up the stage and had a great vibe about them, enjoying themselves and bringing their own fusion of soul, it was a great feel for both the artists and fans.
Chicago native rapper Common began his set in the evening, getting the crowd moving and even coming down to the front row of the audience which really set the fans off. His minute long freestyle about Australian’s and Sydney had the crowd hyped and ready for more as he kept delivering hit after hit from his 10 album discography. He was also joined onstage by his two DJ’s Dummy & Aktive, keyboard player Johnnie Smith and the beautiful, talented singer Maimouna Youssef, a vocal collaboration that made Common’s set easily one of the best that day.
Grammy award winning D’Angelo was the second last performance of the evening and put on a great show, although it was difficult for the crowd to hear his mellow vocals over the extremely powerful band for the first part of his set. He opened with the tracks ‘Left & Right’ and ‘One Mo’ Gin’ off of Voodoo, also performing his major hit record ‘Lady’ off of his debut album Brown Sugar, which had a sea of fans grooving all over the park.
Maxwell was definitely a major highlight of the day, finishing the event off with a soulful, sexy touch on his first ever Australian tour. His live band and incredible vocals had himself and even some fans in tears, most notably during his performance of Kate Bush’s ‘This Woman’s Work’. At a time when everyone had been standing for hours in the heat, Maxwell’s performance gave you SOUL! It was soothing, beautiful, nurturing.
It didn’t matter if you didn’t know the lyrics word for word, he made you feel his passion for the music and to me that is the true essence of what this festival was created for. Not to just see artists you enjoy listening to, but to keep that soul alive! Australia has such a huge Soul, R&B and Hip Hop music fan base and to witness all these people from different walks of life come out to be apart of this experience was something truly wonderful. To see Soulfest continue on as a reoccurring event would be a positive prospect for the Australian fans and international artists who are passionate to spread the joy of their music, since the shows have proven successful in Melbourne and Sydney so far. An amazing day, filled with lots of sun, food and soul….
Do you believe Australia should keep the soul rolling?
All photos are my own and were taken on my iPhone & camera and edited by myself.
It was announced August 13th 2013, Daniel Dumile (MF Doom, aka DOOM) & Markel Scott (Bishop Nehru) would be working on a collaboration together. Almost two years since MF Doom’s last works: ‘MA DOOM’ with Masta Ace & ‘Key To The Kuffs‘ with Jneiro Jarel (as JJ DOOM) as for Bishop Nehru he released an EP earlier in the year and has another release already penned.
This album does have some MF Doom nostalgia, like every MF Doom release I am attracted to odd parts in the song. In ‘Mean The Most’ it is a relative chilled track with Bishop Nehru holding down the most of the vocal duties. However a three minutes in it’s as if another song is starting and this is where my interest starts to climb, this funky bass and what sounds like some samples from a movie scene… “ahh DOOM!!”
There are a few…
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I’ll keep those Meatless Monday recipes flowing with this my latest offering…Spicy Lager Lentil Tacos! Everyone loves tacos right? We love all spicy food around here and tacos are not exception. I must admit though, usually when we have tacos they are stuffed with some sort of spicy grilled meat. Just take a look at these Carnitas Tacos, Double Decker Taco Cupcakes, and Carne Asada Tacos. I think my Breakfast Tacos are the only meatless variety I’ve mentioned thus far, and they are stuffed full of egg, which I know is off limits for some folks. So here is a spicy, flavourful meatless taco that everyone will love…Spicy Lager Lentil Tacos!
I found this recipe over at Delish Knowledge. Now the recipe as they posted it is very healthy and vegan. Mine, well…..I’d like to think it was a bit healthier than your average meat-stuffed taco, however I…
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Been a long while since I’ve updated my blog here. Keeping myself preoccupied with work, friends and family. Although, I am unsure of the next few steps I want to take with my career. Feeling confused and complacent but I have the knowledge and power within me to be where I plan to be. Motivating myself is essential.