If you ever feel contemporary soul music has lost its way somewhat, do yourself a favour, check out Mayyadda from Minnesota and it’ll instantly change your mind.
Soothing soul that will make those little hairs on the back of a neck stand to attention. Singers who can do this are a rarity, I nod to Otis Redding, Toots Hibbert, Louis Armstrong, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone and Marvin Gaye, yet I find few to take us to the modern day. Mayyadda is that equivalent.
She shares her music freely on Bandcamp, she deserves all the gold her voice personifies. Aware my ageing tastes cannot identify with modern RnB, and detest the notion it’s even labelled thus as it barely compares with the original sound of rhythm and blues, but from the very opening of Mayyadda’s short album, Holding Space, I was captivated, heart and soul.
It is the perfect nu-cool, the musical version of after sun on sunburnt skin, the whirl to uplift a sour Sunday morning start.
It’s grades above whatever soul pops on radio, or stylised in nineties trip hop, from Portishead to Morcheeba, Macy Grey to Heather Small, which while that era’s sound holds me in, Mayyadda breathes it out with a chill of freshness and hope for soul music in the now. It is, in a word; gorgeous.