Soulgigs is the brain child of Simon Precilla, a self confessed Soul music fan from East London. A budding MC as a teenager, a transition to Djing would follow fueled by an obsession for scouring second hand music shops across London for those hard to find rare groove and classic floor fillers. To this day, Simon has amassed a huge arsenal of 5000 vynl records. The love of the old school would lead Simon to contemporary artists reminiscent of that era, cue a natural affinity to the movement dubbed the neo soul genre. Distracted temporarily with drum and bass, it wasn’t until relatively late that Simon caught the bug for live music, crediting his first concert as Lauryn Hill at Wembley Arena on the back of her miss education of Lauryn hill tour. Entranced by the vibe of live music Simon searched for concerts for the artists that reflected his musical tastes and with the exception of handful of regular visitors to the UK (Jill, Erykah, Angie), a yearning was created to hear his favourite artists live. Those artists would rarely surface and this shortage of venues and promoters prepared to take a risk on so called lesser lights, created a vacuum to hear live music and would start the beginning of a passion and desire to showcase the best in soul and rnb in London.
With a huge array of music, promotion of house parties and club nights soon followed. Working a regular 9-5 in his native East London for a well known local authority, staff parties grew from tens to hundreds and these night remain strong to this day, with regular turn outs of 700 – 800. The circle was complete, music lover, record collector, student of the game, DJ and promoter led to a leap of faith in 2009 when Simon decided to reach out to Monica Young of Blue Key Management to inquire after an artist that had developed a cult following in London and had just dropped a stunning album called Pink Elephant. His timing was good, as the artist (N’dambi) was in need to come to Europe to promote the said album. The night sold out and the rest as they say is history. A five year gap was ended for Kindred the Family Soul, six year gap for Conya Doss, debut for Jeff Hendrick, first London performance for Adriana Evans, three year gap ended for Rashaan Patterson, ten year gap ended for Joyce Sims, first ever UK concert in a 20 year career for Syleena Johnson, first headline performance in 40 years for legendary Melba Moore, Anthony David, debut for the highly rated new comer Deborah Bond, first performance in seven years in a venue of notoriety for Teedra Moses, debut for Noel Gourdin, first UK show in four years for Chrisette Michele, first show in 15 years for Melisa Morgan, debut for Tweet and finally a first headline debut for Maysa Leak.
Regrettably the modest promoter has been largely shunned by the small UK black music press for reasons unbeknown, but still Simon’s shows continue to represent many highlights in the black music calendar. Indeed with a burgeoning client list, 2014 shows no signs of slow growth with a string of exciting shows already taking London by storm.