Dane singer, songwriter and producer Jonas Rendbo or Jonas as he’s commonly known, is yet another strong example of how major the influence of Black American music, in this case soul, has been and continues to be in other parts of the world. In his formative years, Jonas was hooked like legions of us by the music of the incomparable Stevie Wonder and needless to say, that soul sound became a thirst and vital component of his own.
Although the name might not ring significant bells to some in the U.S., over his decades long career Jonas has garnered a pretty healthy fan base of soul music cognoscenti across the world. Successfully releasing and touring his own music while also producing and crossing paths with notable soul and R&B artists like Omar, Bilal, John Legend, Joss Stone, and Lynden David Hall, has keenly secured Jonas the designation, Godfather of Scandanavian Soul.
From the burgeoning NYC collective of accomplished, multi-talented artists, Trew Culture, emerged last year a duo project from two of its founding members – sought after drummer/producer, Justin Swiney aka Unkle Nephew(UN) and highly regarded rap artist BD3. The project is called Sunnydale, named after the priced-right, sugary flavored elixir of choice for kids years ago, found in corner stores and local bodegas in the most urban areas of NYC. The “flavorful” collection with prime production from UN puts a modern day sheen on a classic hip hop vibe. And the content swings from fun-loving to scathing commentary punctuated with the swag and realness of BD3’s lyrical flow and prowess. Sunnydale with guest appearances from outstanding vocalists Melanie Charles, Kamilah, Jermaine Holmes, Edson Sean and Christina Flemming, yielded several fan favorites including the tracks, “Why Do U Luv Me,” “For The Ancestors,” and “Paranoia,” which now joins the aforementioned two with its own newly released, animated visual complement.
“Ain’t No Stoppin’ Now” is the latest release by acclaimed guitarist, songwriter and producer Marlon McClain featuring ace, Brooklyn – bred MC and lyricist, BD3. The fun and super funky uptempo track with the lyrical hip-hop flow marks the coming together of two different generations, but the seamlessness of this winning collab once again confirms funk, soul and hip hop all fall from the same fertile tree of Black American Music. It’s also the first single from McClain’s upcoming, full-length project, Funky Fridays, Vol. 2
As a teenager, McClain aka “The Magician” as he’s commonly referred to, was the co-leader and guitarist of the highly regarded 70’s progressive jazz, soul, funk band Pleasure from the Portland, Oregon area who gave us most notably the ultra funky hit, “Glide”. Later, McClain joined Grammy – winning R&B group, The Dazz Band and also began writing and/or producing songs for such luminaries as George Benson, En Vogue, Eric Benet, Toni Braxton, George Clinton, Jeff Lorber, Kenny G, and “uncle” Charlie Wilson, garnering him even more renown.
“Solitude is not the absence of company, but the moment when our soul is free to speak to us.”
These words come from noted Brazilian author, Paulo Coelho’s book “Manuscript Found In Accra” and like the standout previous release, “Defeat”, was the inspiration for the track “Solitude” from the duo of accomplished Rap artist JSWISS and Grammy -winning trumpeter and producer, Michael Leonhart. It’s the fourth single release from their debut project, The Alchemy EP. Talented MC Dizzy SenZe also guest on this upbeat banger as classic hip hop drum flourishes and upright bass lay the canvas for top notch lyricism with a message as JSWISS spits affirmations like, “I’m clear of fear and the odds/Rebel without a pause/doing work on my spirit/never need the applause.” The Alchemy EP drops January 2021
“Solitude” is out now on all major platforms including Bandcamp: