Michael Jackson who was the King Of Pop was also the King of R&B according to one of the most talked about R&B and Soul radio stations in New York. 108 Soul, which has listeners all over the world thanks to Google Play, the App Store and Alexa, says Michael Jackson who died 25th June 2009 was an artist who cannot be replicated.
When Michael Jackson split up the Jackson Five in 1973 the world was shocked. Girls were crying all over the world not believing they would not get to here new music from the biggest boyband in the world again. A lot of fans got angry with Michael Jackson for betraying the Jackson Five, although many forgave him when he released solo material. According to NYC 108 Soul, Michael Jackson leaving the Jackson Five had nothing to do with his brothers, but was more about getting away from his father and not being controlled by him.
We have had the King Of Pop and R&B, but who is the Queen of R&B? According to the radio experts who has one of the fastest growing audiences for a new radio station, that honour goes to Beyonce. They have said Beyonce is one of the most-hard working artists on the planet and one of the most talented.
So where is the music industry going. What type of music can we expect in the future and will the days of the 60s when we had the like of Ray Charles, Diana Ross, and Ben E. King come back and provide us with the music we crave. According to the 108 Soul Radio station the answer is yes. They have said the music industry is going to go full circle.
So, what else did NYC 108 Soul have to say. Well, we sat down with them to ask them about the music industry, and here is what they had to say.
- Who would you say is the biggest R&B singer of all time? It all depends on who you classify as R&B. Michael Jackson is by far the biggest singer/star I believe of R&B and Pop. But it all depends on where you would classify the songs.
- Wow, that is interesting, and who would you say is the most exciting current R&B singer? The most exciting is Beyonce. The work ethic and quality of work over the past 6-8 years on top of having children along the way speaks volumes. And it doesn’t hurt that she’s married to Jay Z.
- When we look at soul singers of yesteryear, we think about the Jackson Five, Ray Charles, and the Supremes, if you could choose one soul singer from the 60s, who would you say stood out for you? There’s a singer’s song we all sing on birthdays and his music is timeless, Stevie Wonder. I don’t know if that is 60s but it seems like everyone knows and has a favorite Stevie Wonder song.
- The 1960s was an amazing time for soul music, do you think we will ever see another time period where soul music will fill the charts? I think the music industry will eventually go back to the time of the powerful singers and move away from the studio produced artists. Those voices that really hit you when you hear that record start to play.
- How would you compare UK soul music to USA soul music of the 1960s? They go hand in hand. The beauty of music is that it is universal. It is the soundtrack to life.
- American Idol has been responsible for launching some big-time artists, but one complaint since the show started is how they have ignored R&B and Soul music, what is your opinion on that? American Idol is all about ratings so if R&B and Soul music are selling records, then that’s what they would concentrate on. It is a great platform for artists to be seen and also to be heard by their peers.
- There is so much R&B music out there, but for you, what would you class as real R&B? Real R&B is an artist paired with that sound that takes the listener on a journey. It’s a sound that paints a picture with their voice and the music is their canvas.
- Your radio station 108 Soul has become a huge hit with R&B and Soul fans around the world, if you could play and R&B or Soul record more than four times, one after another, what record would it be and why? Teddy Pendergrass, Rick James and Chaka Khan records. They have so many hits that we just don’t hear anymore. You have to think Teddy Pendergrass with Stephanie Mills, Rick James with Teena Marie and Chaka just being Chaka… Those are some huge artists with a great collection of music behind them.
- We can’t talk to you without talking about Michael Jackson. What do you think went through his mind when he decided to split Jackson Five up, and how do you think it affected the rest of the brothers? I think Michael Jackson’s split from the Jackson Five was more of a way to get from under his father and his leadership. MJ was a star as a child and needed to be on his own in order to shine. There is no Jackson Five without Michael Jackson. His brothers had talent but not on the level of Michael. The co-dependency was the Jackson Five on Michael and not the other way around.
- Michael Jackson is and always will be one of the biggest artists in the world, right next to Elvis Presley, but one question that his fans have been asking about for many years and even asked when he was alive, why did he stop making music? That’s a question we all want an answer to. I believe it could have been a number of things. Two things that always come to mind is his contract and is he tired of performing. Was he purposely not making music because he didn’t want to move forward with his current contract? And you have to think he has been in the spotlight since a child and is there a time where he can just sit back and relax? As fans we always want to hear a new song, but look at all the music he provided us throughout the years. Michael has hits on top of hits. He was bigger than any other performer you could think of. And still is considered to be the King of Pop.
- Do you feel it is harder now for R&B and Soul artists to break on the music scene, or do you think it is easier thanks to social media? Social media has allowed artists to get their music heard without having to mail in a cassette or CD to a manager. If your website is up to date and you have videos of you performing, your chances of breaking on the music scene are greater. Justin Berber was discovered by Usher on Myspace… how crazy is that?!?
- How can the pop stars of today evolve to become the music history of tomorrow? Pop stars have so many opportunities to grow their fan base through radio. Every major city has at least 3 stations that can play their music. If they want that crossover appeal, then do features with artists who are popular in other genres of music. The R&B and Pop collaborations have always worked and now Hip-hop and pop artists work together even more. The pop stars have to figure out what kind of songs can they create that leave a lasting impression on the listeners. The kind of songs we can sing 15-20 years from now and still be relevant.
- Why did you decide to launch 108 Soul, and why did you decide to focus on Soul and R&B music? We decided to create something that is needed for music lovers who do not have an option on the dial to hear their type of music. Most radio stations program the station with the intent to gain listeners but really don’t understand the listeners. Of course they have a targeted demo, but are they really asking the right questions to that demo. The music that 108 Soul plays is for the group of listeners that are too young for your parents R&B and too mature for your kid’s hip-hop music. We are that sweet spot that you can’t wait to get to in the pie.
- You have said that you focus on music that other radio stations have forgotten about, can you explain what you mean by that? The music industry and radio stations go hand in hand. The record labels have songs they need played and the radio stations need listeners so they only play those records being pushed by the labels. There are so many B sides, tracks on albums people love but never heard on the radio, studio versions or live versions of songs people forgot about. We play the hits and the hits you loved to sing in the shower as well.
- Is there anyone out there that you look at and think they could be the big R&B or Soul singer of tomorrow? There are few artists who have the talent but lack the support to get them over the hump. I don’t want to name names because we would start receiving all of their records for us to play.
- What British soul singer stands out for you? Adele.. where is Adele… we need another album, single or even a feature. Her voice is amazing and she is loved by so many.
- If you could interview any R&B singer past or present on your radio show, who would it be and why, and what one question would you ask them? It would be the Purple One, Prince. What would have taken to get you and Michael Jackson to record an album together? A Prince and Michael Jackson album would still sell today. That’s how impactful both of those singers are and will always be to the music industry.
To check out the radio station that everyone is talking about, and to listen to some real R&B and Classic hip-hop music, please visit www.108soul.com or visit Google Play or the App store, or Kindly ask Alexa to tune in.