I|E|G and Ginnen Group in association with Channel [V] and MAX are thrilled to announce Soulfest, Australia’s first ever Neo-Soul, Jazz and Hip-Hop Festival. This unique Music and Cultural Festival is a celebration of some of the world’s finest contemporary Neo-Soul, Jazz and Hip-Hop Artists across two stages in the serene settings of Victoria Park in Sydney, Yarra Park in Melbourne, and Riverstage in Brisbane.
The nine spectacular international artists have an astounding 52 Grammy Nominations combined. Maxwell, D’Angelo, Anthony Hamilton, Angie Stone and Leela James will all be visiting Australia for the very first time, and will be joined by Common, Aloe Blacc, Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def and Musiq Soulchild, plus some of Australia’s finest talent. Over 20 live acts and DJ’s will feature throughout the ten-hour day across two stages, and uniquely, there will be no scheduling conflicts allowing ticket holders to view every artist on the bill.
Soulfest will also feature an expansive array of cuisine with the eclectically named “Eat Street” becoming the central food hub, featuring authentic New Orleans Soulfood and Pop-up eateries, through to an official Chili Cook-Off featuring some of the cities leading Chef’s vying for the first prize. The Festival punters will judge the Chili Cook-Off with free taste-testings on offer. With an array of themed bars featuring fine wine, imported beers and spirits through to café’s serving some of the world’s best coffee, Soulfest will be a unique opportunity to see and hear some of the world’s finest artists in a relaxed atmosphere.
VIP Tickets will feature an exclusive front of stage area for a very limited capacity with access to a VIP bar, VIP food and VIP toilets all on offer for the ticket purchaser.
TOUR DATES & TICKET DETAILS (2014):
Saturday Oct 18th – SYDNEY, Victoria Park (Broadway) 12pm-10pm
Sunday Oct 19th – MELBOURNE, Arts Centre Melbourne, Sidney Myer Music Bowl 12pm-10pm
Saturday Oct 25th – BRISBANE, The Riverstage 12pm-10pm
Maxwell, the sexy ambassador of Soul makes his Australian debut at Soulfest. The prolific artist who bought us absolute timeless classics like “Sumthin’ Sumthin’”, “Ascension”, “Pretty Wings” and “Lifetime”, will be visiting Australia for the very first time and performing hits of his phenomenal albums, including his latest work “BLACKsummers’night”. In 1996, the Brooklyn born legend took the music world by storm with his debut “Urban Hang Suite”. The critically acclaimed CD received a Grammy nomination and went onto achieve double platinum status. Heralded as the future of Soul music, Maxwell proved his staying power by following up with albums “MTV: Unplugged”, “Embrya”, 1999’s biggest selling single “Fortunate” (Off the LIFE soundtrack) and 2001’s “Now”. After a hiatus, the Soul Legend returned in 2008 with a live rendition of Al Green’s classic song, “Simply Beautiful” at the BET Awards. The unforgettable performance was one of the most talked about performances of the year. His latest album BLACKsummers’night was recorded with an extraordinary live ten-piece band No synthesizers, no duets. Just Maxwell bare and in the flesh ready to give old fans and new ones a sensory experience that he never fails to bring.
Having touched the Neo-Soul genre with his sensual presence and stirring vocals some 15 years ago, singer-songwriter D’Angelo has become one of the most influential and key contributors to the rise of the Neo-Soul movement. Bursting onto the music scene in 1991, this Virginian native went on to incite vocal comparisons to the likes of music legends Marvin Gaye and Prince with his 1995 debut album, Brown Sugar and its subsequent hit singles “Brown Sugar” and “Lady”, a top 10 hot on the Billboard Charts, went on to secure the albums platinum certification for over 1 million record sales in the US alone. Following the success of Brown Sugar, D’Angelo took a four-year sabbatical from the music world and left fans yearning for a follow up to this Brown Sugar success. The year 2000 saw the release of his much-anticipated second album aptly titled Voodoo, on Virgin Records and it received rave reviews and a new legion of new soul fans, dubbing it “D’Angelo’s greatest work”. Voodoo debuted on the US Billboard charts at Number One, selling over 320,000 copies in its first week and went on to win a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album. After an extended break, D’Angelo emerged again doing various guest appearances on tracks for artists like J. Dilla and Common, and a rumoured new album and European Tours in 2012 saw D”Angelo re-enter the music world for another spin. This will be the singer’s first tour of Australia.
Common is known as one of hip-hop’s most poetic and respected lyricists. The popular Actor, Author, TV & Film Producer, Youth Ambassador and Designer has released 9 successful albums which easily rank amongst hip-hop’s best, won three Grammy Awards and countless BET, MTV and Billboard Awards. Common released his ninth album “The Believer, The Dreamer” which was released to critical acclaim by Warner Bros. Records on December 20th, 2011. On September 18th, 2012 Common joined forces with the rest of the G.O.O.D Music crew to release the highly anticipated Cruel Summer Album, featuring additional artists including Kanye West, John Legend, Pusha T, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, and Kid Cudi. In 2007 he made his acting debut co-starring opposite Jeremy Piven and Ben Affleck in “Smoking Aces”, and has since gone on to star in many successful Hollywood movies including “Date Night”, “American Gangster” and “Wanted”. Common is currently working on expanding his literary pursuits, acting and producing in film and TV projects, completing his latest album and mixtape, partnering with brands and continuing to inspire youth across the country with his Common Ground Foundation.
With “Wake Me Up”—the 2013 mega-hit he sang and co-wrote for Swedish DJ Avicii and saw climb to #1 in 102 countries across the globe—Aloe Blacc proved himself a singer/songwriter with an irresistible power to capture the complexities of human emotion. Now with his third solo album Lift Your Spirit (Blacc’s major-label full-length debut) the rapper-turned-singer pushes further into a folk/soul/pop fusion that’s both undeniably joyful and eye-opening in message. Adding an of-the-moment twist to the music of legends like Sly Stone and Stevie Wonder, Lift Your Spirit is built on songs that pair Blacc’s poetic yet incisive lyrics with huge hooks and relentless feel-good grooves. The Southern Californian artist released his genre-defying solo debut “Shine Through” in 2006, and followed it up with 2010’s “Good Things” which sold more than a million copies worldwide, thanks to his first international hit “I Need A Dollar” with “The follow-up to his 2013 EP Wake Me Up—whose title track serves as an acoustic version of the Avicii single that’s emerged as the fifth best-selling dance/electronic song in SoundScan history—Lift Your Spirit finds Blacc teaming up with premier producers like Pharrell Williams, DJ Khalil (Eminem, Drake, Kendrick Lamar), and Rock Mafia (No Doubt, Miley Cyrus) to achieve a slick and smooth retro-soul sound. His current single “The Man” is currently riding up the Australian Charts.
YASIIN BEY AKA MOS DEF
He is one of Hip-Hop’s most iconic recording artists with a career that spans over twenty years. Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def hails from Brooklyn New York and was a major force in the early nineties underground hip-hop movement appearing on the albums of fellow rapper’s De La Soul and Talib Kweli. Forming his group Black Star on Rawkus Records in 1998 and releasing the successful “Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star”, the album went on to produce the hits “Respiration” and “Definition” which went on to become VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of Hip-Hop. Launching his stellar solo career with his album “Black on Both Sides” in 1999 secured Mos Def major industry love and respect for his socially and political aware lyrics and poetic style of storytelling through rhyme, which garnered him a mass of mainstream hip-hop fans in the process. His second album ‘The New Danger’ in 2004 bore the singles “Sex, Love & Money” and “Ghetto Rock” which went on to receive several Grammy Award nominations. As a respected rapper and actor, Mos Def has balanced the fine art of his craft and parlayed them into successful performance’s on Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, plus acting roles in Brown Sugar, Talladega Nights, Be Kind, Rewind and Cadillac Records to name a few, and has gone on to appear in the critically acclaimed HBO Film Something the Lord Made as Vivien Thomas, for which he received an Emmy Award and Golden Globe Nomination, and won an Image Award. Mos Def is a definitive performing artist and has become one of hip-hops most intriguing and historic emcees of our time!
Anthony Hamilton’s voice just keeps getting better with time. The Grammy Award winner’s arresting voice – a favourite staple on the scene since 2003 – recently hailed at No. 1 for 4 weeks on Billboard’s Urban Adult Contemporary chart with his soul-stirring single, “Pray For Me”. The Babyface-produced track is the second single from his fourth studio album, “Back To Love”. Hamilton’s “Pray For Me” and his “Back To Love” album were both nominated for Grammy Awards. Fans began paying attention to Hamilton in 2002, when he sang the infectious hook on Nappy Roots single “Po’ Folks”. That performance netted the singer the first of 12 Grammy nominations for best rap/sung collaboration. After signing with So So Def, Hamilton scored a platinum debut with “Coming From Where I’m From” in 2003 and two years later followed it up with “Ain’t Nobody Worryin”. Then in 2008 came “The Point Of It All”, and 2009 saw Hamilton win his first Grammy Award for his collaboration on Al Green’s “You Got The Love I Need”. He has contributed to the works of artists from Dr. Dre, Tupac, Young Jeezy, Angie Stone, Jadakiss and Jill Scott through to Santana and Josh Turner. Between his own album sales and collaborations, Hamilton has sold more than 20 million albums. This is Anthony Hamilton’s first trip to Australia.
Grammy Award Nominated Singer-Songwriter, Producer and Actress Angie Stone, is the Grand Dame of Neo-Soul. With four Top 10 albums, including a number one album and ten singles, Stone has sold over 1.4 million albums in the US and over 5 million albums worldwide. Stone was born in Columbia South Carolina and starting off her singing career singing Gospel music at her local Baptist Church. Dreams of singing stardom led Stone to Arista records and the debut of her first solo album in 1999 “Black Diamond”, which went on to be certified Gold. This was followed up by “Mahogany Soul” in 2001, also going Gold. Third album “Stone Love” followed in 2004 and her fourth studio release “The Art of Love and War” emerged in 2007. She followed this up with “Unexpected” in 2009 and “Rich Girl” in 2012. Angie Stone has successfully held court as a Queen of the Soul Music sector and through various label changes in her career has always managed to deliver music and live performances heralded the world over. A celebrated actress as well, Stone has appeared in a number of VH1 TV shows and movies, live theatre alongside fellow singer Brian McKnight in Chicago on Broadway, and also stars in Season Two of TVOne’s R&B Diva’s in 2013 as a mentor and life coach. This will be Stone’s first visit to Australia.
Australia couldn’t get enough of this mega talented Philadelphian musician during his electric live performances in 2013, and will no doubt welcome Musiq Soulchild back with open arms for Soulfest 2014. A consummate professional, this Neo-Soul Singer/Songwriter has been creating soul stirring music for over 15 years, garnering a legion of mainstream RnB and neo-soul music fans far and wide. His brand of effortless song-writing blended with infectious soul music has made Musiq the leader of the new soul movement and it is a talent that has taken him from scatting at Philadelphia Jazz clubs to achieving 2 x Platinum albums, 2 x Gold albums and 7 x hit singles including “Just Friends, “Love”, “Halfcrazy” and “B.U.D.D.Y” to name a few. Musiq has been lorded with numerous nominations and awards from Billboard, BET, ASCAP, BMI and Soul Train, including 11 Grammy Nominations, MTV and American Music Awards. Since the debut of his career in 2000 with his first release “Aijuswanaseing” to his seventh and most recent album “9ine”, with Syleena Johnson released in September of 2013, Musiq has showed consistency and growth as a recording artist and songwriter who has achieved the fine art of blending contemporary R&B, Soul, Funk, Jazz, Hip-Hop and Gospel into a music lovers paradise. In his own words of who Musiq is, he says, “Musiq Soulchild is technically two ideas. Musiq is the front man and Soulchild is the idea behind it”.
Soul and Blues songstress Leela James changed the Soul game with the release of her debut album “A Change Gonne Come” was released. The LA native has a style and flow likened to that of the old school Soul Music era of the 60’s and 70’s and singers like Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder to name a few appear to channel through her. James has churned out a consistent discography that has seen her remain a firm favourite with her peers and fans alike and has received critical acclaim for her four studio albums released from 2005’s “A Change Gonna Come”, 2009’s “Let’s Do It Again”, 2010’s “My Soul”, which reached Number 7 on the US R&B charts and her 2012 release “Loving You More …..In The Spirit of Etta James”. She is a powerful and soulful female force to be reckoned with, writing lyrics condemning materialism and misogyny in today’s urban music genre and calling for a return of a bygone era where the artistry and dedication of musicians were of great importance. James has toured as opening act for The Black Eyed Peas and Macy Gray and also featured on famed Hip-Hop Producer and Emcee Pete Rock’s album “Soul Survivor II”. Leela James has been nominated for the Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul New Artist and the NAAC Image Award for Outstanding New Artist both in 2008 and continues to be an artist of intrigue and purpose her chosen genre. This is Leela James’s first trip to Australia.