“Blue Eyed Soul” singers often receive a lot of flack because many believe they’re capitalizing on Black culture for profit.
Artists like Michael McDonald and Hall & Oates have been around for decades and despite being lauded for their music, it hasn’t stopped some from accusing them of cultural appropriation. This criticism has also affected today’s superstars like Justin Timberlake and Adele who each have created record-breaking albums that were heavily influenced by soul and R&B.
Darryl Hall, of Hall & Oates fame, even publicly denounced the term “Blue Eyed Soul”, telling Vh1, “It assumes I’m coming from the outside. There’s always been that thing in America, where if you’re a white guy and you’re singing or playing in a black idiom, it’s like: ‘Why is he doing that? Is he from the outside, looking in? Is he copying? What’s the point of it?’ C’mon, it’s music! It’s music.”
The topic is clearly complicated but sometimes you just have to give props where props are due. In this case, all of the people listed above have created great music that we believe honors Soul music in some shape or form. Because, we get it, how can you not love, Soul & R&B? Also, I don’t want to live in a world without Bobby Caldwell‘s “What You Won’t Do For Love.”
The artists below are present-day singers who we think are holding it down for the Blue Eyed Soul genre.
When you first look at Allen Stone, the last thing you may think is, “this man can probably sing his butt off” but let me tell you, he can. The soulful Washington native is heavily influenced by none other than Stevie Wonder and you can hear the influence in a lot of Stone’s songs.
The best way to describe Tom Misch’s sound is Jazzy and Funky. Covered in live instrumentation, Misch makes music for you to bop around to. A perfect soundtrack for some Saturday morning cleaning.
You probably know Daley from his 2014 smash hit “Alone Together” with Marsha Ambrosius but years later Daley is still pushing out beautiful R&B music that deserves a lot more radio play.
Yebba (She can sang) See for yourself below.
What do you think about think about white soul singers? Is it all music or do you think it’s a form of cultural appropriation?
Photo Credit: Rui M. Leal / PRPhotos.com