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Original Soul: A Conscious, Creative Dallas Artist – DSN Interview

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By Lorrie Irby Jackson – Reporter

Original Soul

If it was just a matter of hustle, talent and ambition, then Original Soul would already be a household name. He’s the kind of artist that major record labels dream about: certified skills as a lyricist, vocalist, rapper and producer, a lifetime of experience (eighteen years and counting) and an ability to move the crowd as a solo artist and in tandem with some of today’s best-known local and national soul crooners and MC’s (Erykah Badu, Common, The Wu-Tang Clan, N’Dambi).

With so much effort  being put in without the “big break” to show for it, many would have called it a wrap years ago. He admits to coming close, especially when a so-called management company early in his career bungled an important audition with super-producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. But since his persistence and steady demand has earned more live shows and the first of two full-length CD releases this year, Original Soul feels rejuvenated and believes that his time is now.

Original Soul

“There’s much more to offer than just booty-shaking music, talking about how big your rims are and the latest dance craze,” says the multi-faceted Dallas-born musician, who used to perform under the moniker T.L.O.S. ( “The Last Original Soul”).

The Lincoln High School grad is what old schoolers would consider “down by law,” responsible for nine independently-released CDs, collaborations with dozens of other local artists and guest appearances on numerous mix tapes. He even created the musical score of the critically-acclaimed 2002 Soul Rep Theatre stage play, “Noxide Square.” OS is glad to see that authentic music is making a comeback, especially since most of what’s saturating today’s airwaves is, at best, over-processed and repetitive.

“When today’s R&B sounds just like the hip-hop, that’s when you know that there is a problem,” he laughs. “KRS-ONE said it best, ‘hip-hop is supposed to be our voice, the way we get out our messages to the people.’ There are so many out there who don’t know what’s going on in their own communities, but most of what’s being played on the radio is about partying,” Original Soul says. “I just want to be one of those who teach about what’s going on. My goal is to enlighten, inspire and make people think, because there are other topics and different ways to see the world,” he added.

That’s the approach he’s employed with a track from his upcoming hip-hop release, the hard-hitting “Unfortunate,” which he collaborated on with local producer Lareign Storm. Loosely autobiographical, it laments those who take for granted, or worse, never understand their full potential in life. A soulful flip-side,  entitled “Thankful,” is the first single of his scheduled August CD Life-Changing Vol.1: The Voice and is already getting spins on 89.3 (KNON FM).

Original Soul Single “Unfortunate”

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Original Soul Single “Thankful”

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As effortless as the track sounds, the humble performer admits that it was a challenge to translate his lyrical focus and track-building to encompass “an underground R&B experience.” “Hip-hop is my first love,” he says, “but when you think in that sense, it’s not going to come out well in R&B.”

Yes, widespread name recognition and a heftier bottom line would be nice, but when Original Soul takes to the stage next month, what he hopes is that music lovers realize he’s part of a larger movement of local artists who pride themselves on content, not just the cash flow.

“There are actually a lot of creative people in the Dallas area making music and speaking from the heart,” said Original Soul. “If you don’t even believe in what you write, then you don’t deserve to make the money.”

  • Original Soul

    Im Original Soul and I approved this article.

    SIDE NOTE: ‘Unfortunate’ is on my current release, ‘Pure: Reflections Of Self And Beyond’, which is available now.

    Thank you Lorrie for your assistance and for listening!

  • Veronica

    Great article I love ORIGINAL SOUL!!!!

  • LaReign Storm

    Can’t wait until the new album drops Soul. Loving the article!

  • Songbird

    A very original and soulful artist. Love the music. Just keep at what you’re doing and giving something good to the world. Stay believing in your abilities and giving Him the glory. God will favor you. Can’t wait to see you at the top. God bless…..Garshar.

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