Music: The “Doom Soul” Generation.
First things first. The ‘doom soul’ descriptor is not one that I can take credit for in any. I first came across these words after reading about Somali-Canadian artist Cold Specks. She used it to describe her sound and ever since then, upon discovering new artists and listening to musicians already in my collection, it’s become a recurring way to describe much of the music I’ve been hearing - and loving - from African/African-descended/Black artists both in Africa and the diaspora.
Through these observations, I’ve spent some time compiling the stand out artists in this new generation that fall under the somewhat wide umbrella of the borrowed ‘doom soul’ term. Not one of the artists you’ll hear on my accompanying music mix/playlist sound like each other. And yet, there are several recurring features that tie them all together.
Whether Kelela or Kwabs, BLK JKS or Benjamin Clementine, all these artists have soulful sensibilities attached to their vocal abilities, lyrical content, and melodic inclinations. Each containing their own mixture of elements of soul, r&b, indie, folk, blues, eclectic electronic sounds, the result is usually an emotionally charged hybrid of music with a slightly gloomy aura. Haunting, wholesome and incredibly powerful.
Listen to my Afro-Doom Soul playlist featuring Cold Specks, Mirel Wagner, Benjamin Clementine, Kwabs, Kelela and more.
All Africa, All the time.