First comes the soulful, stuttering drum beat, and then a series of slinky riffs. Within seconds, a sultry, smoky, smooth voice becomes the centerpiece. The single is “Standing in the Rain”, a masterful collaboration with Caligrafi Jones (the Los Angeles producer fast becoming known for his skilful and uniquely soulful Hip Hop and R&B fusion productions). The vocalist is the fabulous Rochelle Arthurs, a musical innovator reminiscent of the legendary “Neo-Soul” era of the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. Marked by her revival of an “old school” ‘sophisticated sound, Rochelle fuses neo-Soul intertwined rap, R&B, and soul into an intriguing mixture of red-hot rhythms, originative arrangements, layered vocals, and earnest, expressive lyricism. Listening to her tracks reminisces and revives a multitude of music’s finest: the unforgettably lustrous sound of souls lost soul Aaliyah blends with the ethereal melody of neo-souls Amel Larrieux while almost effortlessly paying strong homage to the sprit-stirring ballad style pioneered by the great Whitney Houston. Just moments into this track one thing becomes very clear: Soul Has A New Sound.
Armed with a knack for finding just the right approach to enhance her musical releases, Rochelle’s lengthy collection of songs forms an enjoyable standalone body of work, not to mention a formidable playlist. Her fresh, hot stance could lead you to believe that Rochelle has simply sashayed onto the musical scene yet, on the contrary, Rochelle has been ardently skirting the UK arts domain for years. Currently number 1 on the ‘Reverbnation Pop Charts’ in Milton Keynes, Rochelle attended the prestigious BRIT School of Performing Arts where she studied Musical Theatre and recently brushed up on her singing skills by completing a singing course at the award winning Music School Point Blank in London.
Growing up in the UK’s capital merely, south of the river and from humble beginnings, merely served to give impetus to Rochelle’s natural aptitude for both singing music and understanding its form. Her love of a small white tape recorder (bought for her by mother, whom recognised Rochelle’s musical ability early and loyally, incorrigibly, encouraged her daughter) remains her most vivid memory. For the young Rochelle, childhood was a bumpy road, and during her darkest days music became her sanctuary and solace, her trustworthy and dependable companion, her window to euphoria. True to her typically diligent and enterprising form, and despite her young age and the challenges surrounding her, Rochelle spent her formative years recording songs from the radio, learning them note for note, consumed by her passion for musical composition as her peers frolicked outside.
Fast forward to the modern day and Rochelle is now a vital part of the fresh new wave of accomplished vocalists emerging from the UK with a classic sound, an inimitable UK edge and a global appeal. Rochelle is now embarking on a year that is set to see her pave a path as an international phenomenon, interest in her rare, stirring sound is at an all time high as over 12,000 avid followers clamber to download her latest musical endeavours and eagerly watch her progress on websites, networking sites and blog spots, and she has received industry recognition from the International Songwriters Association.
Rochelle who is no novitiate and has an illustrious acting career, an HNC in musical production and a stunning modelling portfolio under her belt, is the epitome of the unrelenting, multifaceted, tireless ‘superwoman’ archetype we have come to associate with women simply destined to achieve greatness. Her vivacity for music is incorrigible; never satisfied to unbend and unlax, complacency is simply not an option for Rochelle whom devotedly undertakes singing and acting lessons at the City Academy in London on the weekends to perfect her craft, zestfully insisting, ‘The greatest singers continuously train their voices!’
Watching Rochelle work the crowds at a live performance is one thing, but on meeting her, the first thing that strikes you is her quintessential beauty. When Rochelle enters a room, she unwittingly commands the room’s gaze as she sashays, smiling out of her skin, glossy hazel eyes, immaculately turned out, and approaching confidently, self-assuredly but never loftily (Rochelle is a surprisingly uneffusive, reticent woman), towards you. Composed, sanguine, sophisticated, she possesses a prevailing ability to communicate warmly and sincerely, whilst simultaneously exuding a degree of magnetism like only those with genuine charisma can. What comes next, and most surprisingly given the hard-bitten and all-too-often pretentious nature of the modern entertainment industry, is her modesty, no bravado, no pretences. The very definition of Destiny’s Child’s ‘Independent Lady’ the starlet holds down a successful, demanding full-time job and assiduously injects her earnings into her career. What sets Rochelle apart is her savvy business mind, her spiritual consciousness (her sign off motto constantly reminds her fans that ‘God Is Love’), and an almost determined desire to inspire her fans with the enduring spiritual positivity that emanates from her pores. Currently in the process of promoting her brand “Keep Your Spirit Alive”, Rochelle is determined to infuse the positivity and tenacious work ethic she embodies into the lives of those whom look to her for inspiration. In the modern age, positive role models seem to be few and far between and yet Rochelle, like the Diva’s of old whose sole missions were to uplift, educate and inspire (where would women be without Gloria’s ‘I Will Survive’ or Whitney’s ‘Greatest Love of All’?) steps into our midst and calmly, comfortably fills a gaping fissure. Her blog spots and social networking sites are constantly updated with the concepts and motivators she thinks up throughout her overloaded days and insists upon sharing with the world around her "My ambition has always been not just to entertain but to inspire people, too. All the quotes I create come straight from my heart and past experiences."
All of this positivity and more emits from Rochelle’s music. Limber vocals, delicate harmonies, cutting-edge production set the tone and the genre is simply put: ‘Old Soul with a New Sound’. Collectively, Rochelle’s tracks are a masterstroke. Her delivery almost constantly exuding the rays of inspiration her words are crying out for. Songs such as ‘It’s You Boy’ nod to the summery SWV love songs that once dominated the charts and died all too soon. Tracks like, ‘It’s My Body’ (the hugely popular download track) reveal a formidable ‘womanist’ optimism that unapologetically transmits to her female audience, giving them permission to be ‘queen’s’ in a world that all too often has low expectations of them. Other singles reveal an expert artist whom is just as capable of appealing to a far reaching market, both male female, young and mature, whom are increasingly calling out for a modern soul singer to not only continue the radiant legacy of the soul royalty we have recently lost, but to innovate and carve a new meaningful upbeat sound.
Rochelle Arthurs stunning new EP is set for release this summer... Watch This Space.
Biography By Daniella Maison BA(Hons) MA firstname.lastname@example.org