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Benny Sings releases new single “Nobody’s Fault” and announces new album for April

Dutch pop artist Tim van Berkestijn, better known by his stage name Benny Sings, has announced his new album “Music”, which will be released on 9th April. A first taste of the long-awaited follow-up to “City Pop” is given by his new single “Nobody’s Fault” (featuring Tom Misch), which will delight Benny’s fans again with its modern blend of 70’s influenced pop and soul.

Pleasure, Joy and Happiness – Interview with Eddie Chacon

Californian singer-songwriter Eddie Chacon is probably best known to most as one half of the early 90s US soul duo Charles & Eddie. With “Pleasure, Joy and Happiness”, the 56-year-old has ended his self-imposed musical exile in 2020 with the support of Solange and Frank Ocean collaborator John Carroll Kirby and released one of the best albums of the year. The introspective masterpiece will finally be released as a limited LP in Europe in January. Reason enough to talk with the artist, whom Mac DeMarco recently called his “planet earth’s number one musician”, about his current album, his career and musical influences.

The Sunset Manifesto – Interview with Marcus Liesenfeld (DJ Supermarkt)

With “The Sunset Manifesto”, DJ Supermarkt aka Marcus Liesenfeld delivers the relaxed soundtrack for the private club evening between kitchen, home-office and Christmas tree in Corona times. The second release in the Too Slow To Disco Neo series presents sixteen sophisticated, adult-oriented and dance-inducing Sunset Disco treasures by international top acts and new discoveries such as Kraak & Smaak, Poolside, Roosevelt, Luxxury, Yuksek and PREP, which, in addition to their catchiness and smoothness, combine a sense of nostalgia that the Berlin DJ calls “parallel pop” – music for a delightful, if imaginary, contemporary world. WEST COAST SOUL talked with Marcus Liesenfeld about the new compilation, dance music in times of social distancing, nostalgia as a music trend, and what comes next for TSTD.

A Joyful Sound – Interview with Kelly Finnigan

Even if it is still some time until Christmas Eve, with his great new Christmas album “A Joyful Sound” the American soul powerhouse Kelly Finnigan gives us one of the most beautiful musical gifts of the year already in the Advent season. The 38-year-old Bay Area-based singer, songwriter, engineer, producer, and band-leader of the famous Monophonics stands for authentic, handmade music and follows artists like Lee Fields and the late Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley, who heralded the soul revival at the beginning of the 2000s. WEST COAST SOUL talked with the multi-talented artist about his new Christmas album, the relevance of soul music in our time, music influences, his favorite classic Christmas records and further plans.

West Coast Soul.de – Albums of the Year 2020

The year 2020 is drawing to a close and it was again a year of great new releases and rediscoveries. Of course it was and is always impossible to limit a year to just ten albums, but the following records have left a lasting impression on us and have accompanied us through these difficult months. It is time to honour the best albums of the year: Here is the West Coast Soul.de Top 10 of 2020!

Interview with Viktor Jakob-Jonsson

After Swedish singer-songwriter Viktor Jakob-Jonsson has already caused a stir in the West Coast music scene with his excellent debut single “A Little Denial” in August, the next coup will follow at November 26th with the follow-up single “Monotony”, a wonderful 70s-inflected duet with none other than legendary singer and multiple Grammy Awards winner Bill Champlin. Reason enough to ask the Stockholm-based artist and passionate West Coast music aficionado, who says of himself that he still has hundreds of songs in his drawer, for a talk.

Masters of Modern Smoothness – Interview with PREP

Originally founded as a project by four established artists, PREP has developed from EP to EP from an insider tip to a bearer of hope of sophisticated British pop music. The quartet comprises of Grammy nominated producer Dan Radclyffe, French drummer Guillaume Jambel, Welsh keyboardist Llywelyn Ap Myrddin and London-based singer and frontman Tom Havelock. Together, they have created over the past five years an eclectic blend of contemporary indie pop, soul and synths, deeply rooted in the melodic West Coast elegance of the 70s and 80s. In late October, the quartet finally released their highly anticipated self-titled debut album on Bright Antenna Records. WEST COAST SOUL talked with Guillaume Jambel and Tom Havelock about the making of their debut, their musical development, their shared love for Steely Dan, the importance of smoothness and the value of nostalgia.

Sentimental Fools – Interview with Phil Martin (Martin & Garp)

Just in time, before the dull autumn weather makes us feel depressed, a dose of sunny optimism comes straight from the Netherlands. Today “Making Up”, the first single of the Dutch duo Martin & Garp, is released by Légère Recordings. A song that, with its catchy guitar and synthesizer licks and luxurious, radio-friendly harmonies, takes us straight to the heyday of Californian West Coast music of the late 70s and early 80s. WEST COAST SOUL talked with Timothy van der Holst aka Phil Martin about the new single, their forthcoming album “Sentimental Fools” and their fascination for smooth West Coast music.

The Rhead Brothers Story – Interview with John Rhead

The fact that in the golden era great West Coast music was not only created in sunny California, but could also flourish in the rather rainy Great Britain, was demonstrated not least by the English duo The Rhead Brothers in the late 1970s. The brothers John and Steve Rhead recorded two albums whose quality could compete with any American production and which are still sought after and loved by many music aficionados today. WEST COAST SOUL talked with John Rhead about their musical beginnings, the making of their two excellent albums, “Dedicate “and “Black Shaheen”, his memories of the Muscle Shoals music scene and the rediscovery of the Rhead Brothers in 2016.

The 5th anniversary of Young Gun Silver Fox – the West Coast Soul Special

In 2015, the British singer, songwriter, producer, founder and bandleader of Mamas Gun, Andy Platts, and the London-based American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and arranger, Shawn Lee, combined their talents to express their love for the melodic Californian soft rock of the late seventies and their penchant for catchy hooklines and rousing grooves in a joint project – the beginning of Young Gun Silver Fox! Five years later this duo has become one of the biggest phenomena of the genre. Since then, they have released three albums – “West End Coast”, “AM Waves” and “Canyons” – whose quality and catchiness are second to none, and have inspired critics and music lovers likewise. Young Gun Silver Fox have long become synonymous for modern, soulful West Coast music. Reason enough to search through the archive and compile all interviews and reviews for the big Young Gun Silver Fox WEST COAST SOUL special. We congratulate Shawn and Andy on five outstanding and creative years and hope for more great deeds in the near future.

Corona Crisis Chat with Marcos Valle

The current corona crisis especially affects musicians, bands and artists. Against this background, we at WEST COAST SOUL would like to give musicians the opportunity to talk about the current situation, but also give fans a little insight into their musical roots. Today we talk with the legendary Brazilian pianist, singer and composer Marcos Valle.

Dexter Wansel

Calling Dexter Wansel an all-rounder is no overstatement. As one of the architects of the Sound of Philadelphia, the keyboardist, synthesizer pioneer, composer, producer and arranger worked with dozens of top recording artists such as Teddy Pendergrass, The Jacksons, Patti LaBelle, The Jones Girls, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Lou Rawls and The O’Jays and released style-defining solo albums that have become a goldmine for hundreds of hip-hop artists in the past decades. In February Wansel performs in London and Paris. Reason enough to talk with the legendary artist about his long career, his love for synthesizers and the heyday of Philly Soul.

Patrice Rushen – Remind Me

To describe Patrice Rushen as versatile is an understatement. The legendary pianist, R&B singer, composer, record producer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and music director has been a wanderer between styles throughout her life. In the late 70s and early 80s she merged jazz finesse with disco elements, soul and funk to a higher level of sophisticated R&B. With the new compilation “Remind Me” Strut Records presents the first definitive retrospective of her career at Elektra / Asylum, which made her an R&B star with unforgettable hits like “Forget Me Nots”, “Haven’t You Heard” or “Settle For My Love”. WEST COAST SOUL talked with the California based artist about her early beginnings, her love for jazz, Quincy Jones, her legendary Elektra albums, her role as a pioneer in music business and future plans.

Bill LaBounty

You just have to name some of his songs like” Livin’ It Up”, “Look Who’s Lonely Now” or “Dream On” to enthuse every West Coast music lover. Behind these songs stands a man who has been working as a solo artist, musician and songwriter for more than four decades. Over the years his resume includes cuts by an array of pop and country artists including Patti LaBelle, Steve Wariner, The Temptations, Bobby Caldwell, Robbie Dupree, Don Johnson and Peter Cetera. To date, he has had over 100 songs recorded by other artists, released nine studio albums and has a loyal following worldwide – especially in Europe and Japan. We’re talking about none other than Mr. Bill LaBounty. WEST COAST SOUL spoke with the accomplished American singer, keyboardist and songwriter about his musical beginnings, his masterpiece “Bill LaBounty” from 1982, the difference between the music scene in L.A. and Nashville, the art of songwriting, old friends and his work on a new album.