By Kyle Francis
We live in a world where, in the past year, a major war has started, causing the deaths of thousands. We live in a world where hundreds upon thousands of people die every year from terminal illness and thousands more children die every hour from hunger or hunger related diseases. In light of this, it would be very hard to say we live in a wonderful and happy place.
Funk and soul music has always been very political, artists like James Brown on the forefront of the black rights movement back in the sixties and seventies, but the entire genre sort of flittered off after that funktastic era. With all the political turmoil in the world today, soul is ready for a comeback.
And come back it shall. James Brown is back on tour and no less political than the hardest working man in show business himself is his opening act, Jacksoul. Unlike many modern recording artists, Haydin Neale of Jacksoul believes the world is a beautiful place despite all the political turmoil and ugliness plaguing it.
“That’s what soul music is about. Real people get hurt, real people get shit on, real people worry,” sighs Neale. “Nothing is clean, nothing is simple. The world is a shitty place, but I love it anyway, and I think that all good music touches on that in one way or another.”
Neale expresses his love for the world with melodic beats and rich, powerful vocals. Jacksoul brought the love unto the world for the first time in 2000, and follows it up this year with their second bountiful release.
“The new CD isn’t just club jams, its about true, real, soul music,” says Neale from the heart. “Any music that moves you, that’s soul music. I think you could call the flavor of it bitter sweet, just like everything. That’s the way the world really is.”
Although Neal speaks about the state of the world, coming off as a political cat. He never lets his music fall into the trap many mainstream artists do, criticizing the people in control of the world as if they have a better idea. Instead, Neale optimistically makes beautiful music, noting that the world is simultaneously both amazing and horrific.
“You see it all the time. I mean, you can be at a club having the best time of your life and the next minute an ambulance is right outside because a kid just got shot,” solemnly states Neale.
“Different things are happening to different people all the time, and they can be wonderful and awful. If you’re an optimistic person then you hang on to the good things, and I think that’s what my music speaks to.”
With all the nastiness in the world, Neale admits it would be easy for some to give up hope. But according to the soul artist, we need to only look at history as reassurance, noting we’ve always had political turmoil, and some all-seeing big brother watching over us.
“I think that we’re definitely going through some turmoil, you know, we’ve already got one foot in the bucket,” declares Neale. “But if we can just get more people to sit down and talk about things, I think that we could definitely come up with some saner solutions.”