Latino musicians help drive “souldies” comeback

Daughter of Trish Toledo Ecuadorian father and Guatemalan mother, Playing Old School Soul Tunes December 18, 2021 at Bank of California Stadium in Los Angeles.Photo: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

A new generation of Latino artists are reinterpreting old R&B classics and making new ones with soul music revivals popular on streaming services, YouTube and music venues.

Important reasons: Sometimes referred to as modern “souldies” or “brown-eyed soul,” this music demonstrates the deep historical impact black culture has had on Latinos.

detail: New artists like Thee Sacred Souls, Joey Quiñones & Thee Sinseers, Los Saturdays and former Kumbia Kings member Frankie J are adopting old sounds for new fans.

Performed by Thee Sacred Souls "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"
Thee Sacred Souls perform at “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” November 30, 2022. Photo: Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images

Background: ““Brown-eyed soul,” according to various scholars, refers to pre-Beatles rock and R&B performed primarily by Mexican-American artists during the 1950s and 1960s.

  • Inspired by Jazz, Blues, Rock, Latin Jazz and even Ranchera and Norteño music.
  • This music has become a preferred musical genre for lowriders in the American Southwest.

Yes, but: It’s been several years since a new performer entered the scene and gained a large audience.

  • William Nericcio, a professor of English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University, tells Axios that new artists are building new fanbases because the music feels more authentic and less fake. .
  • “The reason so many people are so moved by black soulful oldies, especially Latinos, is because they love love. This is the age of hate.”
  • Los Angeles Yesterdays’ “Bad” Vic Benavidez tells Axios that the pandemic may have helped older and younger generations reconnect with each other by sharing music.

conspiracy: Artists in these groups come from different races and ethnic backgrounds.

  • Thee Sacred Souls is fronted by black singer Josh Lane. Trained in opera.
  • Toledo is the daughter of an Ecuadorian father and a Guatemalan mother.
  • Bobby Oroza, whose popular cover of Sunny & The Sunliners’ “Should I Take You Home” was used in the video for Pachuco Supply, was born to a Bolivian mother and a Finnish father.
Malik Maro poses for a photo in a maroon shirt and brown fedora.
Malik Maro.Photo: Courtesy of Malik

What they say: Joey Quiñones tells Axios that he tries to maintain his musical credibility by creating lyrics that refer to writing love letters rather than text.

  • He and other artists look at old footage of James Brown to recreate his sound.
  • “But at the end of the day, if you sing from your heart and tell us your story, it will feel pure and soulful.”
  • Malik Maro, 30, says he started out singing modern R&B before turning to souldie on the advice of his manager.
  • “The feedback has been incredible.”

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