Soul Tracks Premiere : Stephen Emmer is a Dutch composer/ arranger and musician, who creates contemporary albums that focus on a genre of music brought to life with celebrated vocal styles. Stephen is now creating Home Ground, joined by celebrated, Soul singers such as Chaka Khan, Patti Austin and the late Leon Ware.
The main topic of ‘Home Ground’ is about a world that is constantly in conflict over land, religion and race. It’s not only black against white, it’s poor against rich, it’s fair against unfair. In an effort to help make this world a better place the ‘Home Ground’ campaign will be in support of the charity War Child. Based on the lyrical context and the fact that the project is music based Stephen immediately thought of War Child as the perfect fit. The charity uses both music and creativity as an important tool in their program for children to overcome fear, depression and aggression. The campaign will therefore focus on creating further awareness for the amazing work that War Child does, whilst at the same time donating a fair share of proceedings to support them in helping children from conflict affected areas.
Inspired by music arrangers such as; Charles Stepney, David Van de Pitte, Dale Warren, Gene Page and Johnny Allen all of whom were adventurous in their, almost cinematic, use of the orchestra for soul music and gave it more sophistication and refinement. This serves in providing a more dramatic musical backdrop to the actual message of the words. The composers and artists of that era often decided to embed the harsh meaning of their words in a less aggressive, more soothing kind of musicality, rather then sending off angry lyrics with angry music, acting as an iron fist in a velvet glove.
Stephen hopes to continue that musical vision and is joined by an array of stunning soul singers. Chaka Khan, Leon Ware, Patti Austin, Kendra Foster, Andy Bey, Mary Griffin, Frank McComb, Dwight Trible & Ursula Rucker. Music composed and produced by Stephen Emmer. Lyrics written by Emmer, Glen Gregory, Ursula Rucker and Chaka Khan.
Stephen started his career in the Minny Pops, the first Dutch band to be championed by John Peel who toured the UK supporting Joy Division & New Order. He was also in both The Associates & The Lotus Eaters. In 2006 Emmer produced a highly acclaimed spoken word album ‘Recitement’ featuring the voices of Lou Reed, Alan Ginsberg, Richard Burton and Michael Parkinson. With the aforementioned ‘International Blue’ released in 2014. In between making these exceptional concept albums, Stephen is one of the leading composers on Dutch TV.
We have the WORLD PREMIERE of the powerful collaboration of Emmer with legendary jazz singer and pianist Andy Bey. Stephen tells us about “A New Day To Come”: “Andy Bey is an overlooked legend, who at a young age already was called by the late great John Coltrane ‘his favourite voice’…… here, with his now very experienced and seasoned vocal performance he brings a message of hope in a very soulful way hitting all the right marks.”
Check out “A New Day To Come” below and tell us what you think!