When talking with visitors to the site and R&B fans in general, we often reach a general consensus that R&B has long since died off. However, whenever I become steadfast in this belief, a great new act comes along and softens my resolve. First, Ahmir came out with a great sound that was reminiscent of early 90s R&B acts. Now, we've got the wonder that is SoulStone.
SoulStone is a trio from South Africa comprised of members Clint "Primetime" Brink, Shaun "Soulo" Parsons, Kenton "Smoke" Windvogel. The guys are all multi-talented, each sharing the ability to write, sing, and play a variety of instruments. With a sound that alternates between R&B, pop, hip-hop, rock, and soul, SoulStone's strengths shine in their ability to handle every genre with ease.
The group put out an album in South Africa in late 2007 titled Music. Love. Truth. In addition, they've released a single with a music video titled "Now That Your Love Is Gone." The song has been featured on the site in the past and is a wonderful example of the group's diversity as it is a strong ballad with a guitar solo by Kenton.
I recently had a chance to speak with Shaun from SoulStone about the group and the R&B industry in South Africa. If you want to hear more from SoulStone or find out what they're up to, check out their MySpace.
Interview with Shaun Parsons of SoulStone
Hey Shaun. First, I want to thank you for taking some time out to answer a few of our questions. It's refreshing to see a new act in R&B, especially one that's able to incorporate musical instruments into their delivery a la Mint Condition.
- To get things started, can you tell me a little about SoulStone? How long has the group been together and how did the group get started?
Thanks for the inspiring intro.
Back in 2001, Clint Brink, Kenton Windvogel, and myself, Shaun Parsons, became friends. This is since we worked for the same Organization at the time and shared a similar love for all things musical.
We initially started off as session artists in our own right and it was only until late 2004 that we decided to pursue our talents as a collective, thus forming SoulStone. Brought on largely by our determination to create a different sound, within SA (South African) shores especially.
- Watching "Now That Your Love Has Gone," it seems like everyone has a distinct role in the group. Clint "Primetime," runs the keyboard, Shaun "Soulo," handles lead vocals and Kenton "KentSmoke" works the guitar. How would you describe each person's role within the group?
The affinity we have for instrumentation, we also have for vocals and production. There are times when I'd be required to play the Piano and Clint would be on Lead and so too with Kent. I guess what I'm trying to say is that there is no specific role per individual but rather a need to fulfill the moment with what would be appropriate to that style or particular moment in song.
- Most R&B today has moved away from the band format (there's even a lengthy topic on aol's blackvoices forum mourning the death of black bands that sing and play instruments). What motivated you guys to incorporate a variety of sounds into your music and do you plan to monopolize on being "the last band standing?"
We've truly been blessed with being able to play as well as sing. Since the opportunity to express ones full talent does not come too often, we try to incorporate as much of our abilities both instrumentally as well as vocally in all we do. Which is even more evident in our Live performances.
A band at heart we are. A band at heart we'll always be.