Preview: Clean Cuts Present Joel Culpepper At Patterns

Rising star of R&B, Soul and Jazz, Joel Culpepper is welcomed to Patterns by Clean Cuts for a night of the smoothest tones, complete with Yakul, J-Felix and Jaz Karis in support. Saturday the 23rd of February... Save the date!


Jazz, Soul and classic R&B has, in recent years, come back in a big way as a new generation of listeners plug into the smooth and soulful sounds of an often-neglected aspect of the UK music scene – for the youth at least. Rewind ten years and it might seem outlandish to suggest there was a burgeoning adolescent audience for Jazz or Soul, but now it rings truer than ever. Just look to festival line-ups such as Field Day or Love Supreme, becoming ever more filled with a new heavily UK centric blend of neo-Soul and Jazz. 

Of the new-wave of artists pioneering the sound Joel Culpepper is a definite stand out. And deservedly so, he has been plying his trade for more than a decade now, slowly refining and experimenting with compositions that often merge R&B, Soul, Jazz and Hip-Hop. The South London native is not afraid to take risks and now more than ever they are paying off. Just look to his recent appearance on Colors of Berlin – "Woman" has amassed an incredible 5 million YouTube views and 2 million Spotify streams. It's no wonder really, Culpepper's distinctively smooth yet emotionally powerful voice is on full show here in a breath-taking example of modern-day R&B. 

Part of the singer's charm is his knack at simultaneously blending classic and contemporary attitudes to Soul and R&B. Often in the same track alone Joel can sound akin to Otis Redding before morphing into a more modern style reminiscent of the likes of Plan B. Just take a listen to "Afraid To Be King", for instance, it's a track just as at home in the 70s than it is the present day. This authenticity is by no means easy to come by and it comes as no surprise that Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music have been calling him one the best voices in British soul to emerge since the father of neo-Soul Omar. 

2019 is set to be a bumper year for Culpepper, the man already has a collaboration with Kojey Radical and London multi-genre extraordinaire Swindle under his belt. "Caroline, No" is a fantastic example of bittersweet sunshine soul and is the precursor to his eagerly awaited debut album, coming at some point this year. The singer has worked with such people as Swindle, FKJ and Redinho, proving this is a truly eclectic project, and one that's sure to be nothing short of a neo-Soul masterpiece. 

And this isn't the only area Joel Culpepper excels in; his live shows are a joy to behold, sometimes it is almost unbelievable that his voice is actually real. The power in it is so intense and his demeanour onstage compliments it perfectly, there is a real force behind his performances whether that be on the smallest or largest stage. With a history in Arts College it is hardly surprising that Culpepper is unafraid to strut his stuff on stage, neither that his music encompasses such an diverse range of influences. 

This show courtesy of Clean Cuts isn't just special because of Mr Culpepper either, the support acts are all well respected musicians in their own right. Following in the same vein as our headliner's fearlessly experimental approach in his fusion of R&B, Soul, Jazz and other cotemporary styles are Yakul. The Brighton 4 piece have been making serious inroads over the last couple of years, with appearances at the seminal Jazz Café and a number of well received live sessions spreading their sound to the masses. Future Soul is probably the best way to describe them, but really labelling them as just one genre is a huge disservice. Yakul's soulful lyrics, deep grooves and jazz infused influences seamlessly blend genres to create something fresh and original. They are definite ones to watch. 

Completing the line-up are Jaz Karis and J-Felix, two more examples of some serious talent. Clean Cuts have really gone all out here to ensure a spectacular show. The latter, J-Felix, is a hugely accomplished producer and multi-instrumentalist, counting session work for the likes of Swindle and Ragga Twins as achievements, whilst also playing in support of Roy Ayers and at such places as Glastonbury. Jaz Karis, meanwhile, is a London based R&B singer who is being tipped for great things in 2019 and beyond. With ties to BBC 6 music and shows lined up that take her across Europe this singer is on the verge of breaking into the big time. This is the perfect time to see her. 

It's not often that Brighton gets such an extensive and well thought out line-up that deftly crossed the boundaries of Soul, Jazz, R&B and Hip-Hop. Clean Cuts have pulled out all the stops to bring together not one but four prime examples of why this scene is moving forward at a sped up rate. Patterns, with its low ceiling, crisp sound and ambient lighting, is the perfect venue for it as well. Advance tickets are £10 and available here, if you fancy some smooth soulful and jazzy live music then look no further. 

Written by Marko Marincic 

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