Soul music is an American invention that has sonically traveled the world through many emerging incarnations—with the latest being birthed in Atlanta in the form of Ruby Velle & the Soulphonics.
It’s easy to wax nostalgia on such classic soul mega stars as Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, or even Aretha. However, today’s new crop of soulful sensations such as St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Charles Bradley, and the chart-topping Alabama Shakes are redefining the sound of Americana soul music, making the new millennial generation take notice. Ruby Velle & the Soulphonics aim to add their talents to the new wave of American Soul 2.0.
Ruby Velle chatted with AXS about their evolving sound, a new album in 2017 and a tribute to their adoptive city, Atlanta.
AXS: What draws you and the band to make soul music?
Ruby Velle: I always like to say, soul music is what my heart wants to make. It’s like a very emotional form of expression. I think every culture has its own form of soul music, and I ended up in American roots, which I love. I think we as a band have taken all of our influences and distilled it down into this emotional mosaic genre of music.
AXS: How is your sound developing on your next album?
RV: We like to veer out from traditional soul music, we like more bluesy, or South American influenced, more disco-like. You’re going to hear on this next album a really good mix of where soul music can really go. We wanted these tracks to sound like the next evolution of our project and what the Soulphonics really sound like.
AXS: Your new single and video “Tried on a Smile” is an upbeat homage to Atlanta.
RV: "Tried on a Smile" is a real good, feel good, amazing soul song that was written by our amazing trumpet player Jason Collier. In the video, we wanted to focus on the love for the city of Atlanta, which is our home, and we love. The people here and how they make is happy. It's about a general love for Atlanta.
Look for Ruby Velle & the Soulphonics new album sometime in 2017. Coming in November, catch them at their home digs in Atlanta at the Earl on Nov. 11.