Soulgigs.com emerged from nowhere in 2009 and is the brainchild of black music enthusiast Simon Precilla. Frustrated at not seeing any of the neo soul acts he had grown to love, Simon reached out to Ndambi’s manager Monica Young, without any previous live music experience and put together what turned out to be an acclaimed sold out show at London’s famous Jazz Café.
Encouraged by the success of the first show and determined to show London’s soul community this wasn’t a one off fluke, Simon went on to give various US acts their debuts and ended lengthy breaks from reaching their UK audience.
Looking back Simon describes a perfect storm at the time of his set up which enabled him to capitalise on this niche market. The independent era became a reality for artists and venues were largely not taking a chance on black music from the US, due to the perceived risk of high costs and low spending audience. It’s perhaps Simon’s most telling contribution to dispel that myth by selling out shows at various venues for artists considered no longer relevant. Acts that hadn’t appeared in the UK for many years if ever, went on to fill venues in their droves.
Amongst those signed were Kindred the Family Soul, Conya Doss, Rashaan Patterson, Adrianna Evans, Syleena Johnson (debut), Melba Moore (debut), Teedra Moses, The Foreign Exchange, Leela James, Trina Broussard, Joyce Sims, Hil St Soul, Deborah Bond, Anthony David, Raheem Devaughn, Karyn White, Omar, Don-e, Natasha Watts, Tweet (debut), Chrisette Michele, Jazmine Sullivan, PJ Morton, Melanie Fiona, Kashif, Eric Roberson, Eric Benet, Ledisi and others, some on multiple occasions.
In the process gigs have expanded to other UK cities in Birmingham and Manchester, which are notoriously difficult outposts renown for their difficulty in establishing a live music soul scene, particularly for new music. Beyond the UK, Simon also established good links with clubs in Paris and the Netherlands where the reputation of Soulgigs continues to grow.
Having established Soulgigs as being an integral part of the live music soul scene in the UK, Simon has set his sights on growing Soulgigs beyond the intimate venue scene. 2019 marks 10 years of incredible live music shows and with a growing client list, the UK music scene has become expectant of new signings. Watch this space……