It’s fair to say I’ve been planning this for a little while. The first time I landed in Los Angeles was in 2006 and I passed a billboard overlooking the freeway in my taxi that I’ve never forgotten. It was advertising a radio station that played “everything from Marvin Gaye to Alicia Keys”.
“They’ve stolen my idea!” I remember thinking. I could never understand why a soul / R&B station that played the established legends of the genre alongside the modern up and comers had never existed in New Zealand.
Sure, those stations can be found in the States – the billboard was proof – but from that moment onwards something triggered inside me that one day I’d like to bring that concept to my own country. And so here we are with the launch of ‘Soul’ on iHeart Radio and ‘Coast Soul’ on Sundays 6pm-8pm on Coast FM.
The basic philosophy of ‘Soul’ is that feel is more important than era. For example, play Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk to a bunch of young R&B fans and then play them Stevie Wonder’s Superstition. Not one person who loves Uptown Funk is going to dismiss Stevie’s 1973 US#1 hit as some kind of lesser, fuddy-duddy music. Both songs are brilliant and fit side by side.
Likewise the ballads you’ll hear on Soul. Whether it’s Adele’s When We Were Young, Mariah Carey’s Anytime You Need A Friend, Lionel Richie’s Stuck On You or Aretha Franklin’s You’re All I Need To Get By, they’re all great songs, they all have soul and no matter you’re age, if you’re a soul fan, you’ll enjoy them all.
|The Commodores in their 70s heyday.|
Under the umbrella of “soul” you’ll hear those romantic ballads, those funk favourites (James Brown, The Isley Brothers, the Commodores), those disco floor-fillers (Chic, KC & The Sunshine Band, Donna Summer) and even a handful of the most melodic hip-hop tracks (2Pac, Warren G, Blackstreet). Here are some of Soul’s core artists:
Stevie Wonder, the Commodores, Bruno Mars, Earth, Wind & Fire, Alicia Keys, Adele, Boyz II Men, TLC, the Temptations, Hall & Oates, the Bee Gees, Aretha Franklin, Michael McDonald, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Prince and many, many more.
How to listen:
Download the iHeart Radio app for free to listen on your device. You can also listen on your computer by logging in (again, for free) to iHeart Radio. Search for ‘Soul’ or click on this link: http://www.iheart.com/live/soul-7105/
Alternatively, you can also listen to ‘Coast Soul’ which plays nationwide every Sunday evening from 6pm-8pm on one of the New Zealand’s biggest FM music stations, Coast. Click here for station frequencies.
You can also follow Soul on Facebook at Facebook.com/iheartradiosoul