About Soul II Soul
Soul II Soul are a British musical collective formed in London in 1988. They are best known for their 1989 UK chart-topper and US top five hit "Back to Life ", and "Keep On Movin'" which reached number five in the UK and number 11 in the US. They won two Grammy Awards, and have been nominated for five Brit Awards—twice for Best British Group.
The group initially attracted attention as a sound system some years prior to 1988 run by founder Jazzie B, playing at nights including their own at the Africa Centre, London.
By 1988, the official lineup was Jazzie B, Caron Wheeler, Nellie Hooper, Simon Law, Doreen Waddell, Rose Windross, Daddae, Aitch B, and Jazzie Q. They released their first single, "Fairplay", with Rose Windross on lead vocals, recorded at the Africa Centre. where the collective hosted a regular Sunday-night residency. The song charted at number 63 on the UK Singles Chart, while their follow-up single "Feel Free", which featured Doreen on lead vocals, charted at number 64.
The weekly club night, having grown ever more popular, moved to the much larger The Fridge Nightclub in Brixton, South London, where it would remain well into the 1990s. The collective used the venue to test their musical composites on the dance floor. Together with an eclectic mix of “Funki Dredd" – 'A happy face, a thumpin' bass, for a lovin' race!' – themed club classics that combined British, Caribbean, African, and African American influences. One night in 1988, the residency hosted a personal appearance by the nascent rap group N.W.A. who were briefly in the UK promoting their album Straight Outta Compton.
At The Fridge nightclub, Soul II Soul helped cement club culture and lay the visual and musical template for the 1988 Second Summer of Love in the UK and Ibiza. Together with the nascent UK Dance Music movement originating both there and at venues like The Haçienda in Manchester, and Cream in Liverpool and on to the massive '90s legal rave scene at club nights, venues and festivals all across the UK, Ibiza and Europe. Ultimately leading to the global electronic dance music explosion of the new millennium. A plaque now commemorates the collective's significant influence on the original venue, which closed in 2010 but which was subsequently renamed and reopened as the Electric Brixton
During the late 1980's Jazzie B and several other members of the group became involved in the local pirate radio station movement. Jazzie B hosted a show on KISS-FM.
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