In this installment of our "No. 1 Festival for R&B" video series, the British singer—who will perform at ESSENCE Fest tomorrow, July 1, in New Orleans—shares exactly what soul means to him. [MUSIC] Song that to me, is literally the art of baring your soul, however that sounds, and whatever the song is about as, you know, if you're doing that, and if it's kind of expressed in a way that connects on a human level, I feel like that's what song music is. My first memory of kind of defining my musical taste, I guess it started in my parents' record collection and So people like Chaka Khan, Sade, and then I just used to explore more and started to discover obviously a lot more great voices within soul and R&B. And when I started to feel like It was something that I could also create. It was just like no turning back. What I do really comes from my heart. It's soul music in that sense that it's me bearing my soul. Definitely, I've had the thing of people being surprised and kind of not expecting to hear what they hear, but one of the comments I get quite regularly I heard that song and I thought you were a black woman. I mean that's definitely a compliment. Chaka Khan, I would love to sing Chaka. I'm still trying to get Maxwell in the studio but he's a little elusive. So excited to be back at Essence. First time was two years ago, the year that Prince as headlining and it was just an amazing experience for me to kind of be And in amongst so many amazing artists and people that influenced me. To be there was fantastic and can't wait to debut my new music which is about to happen so yeah, really excited. [MUSIC]

Jun, 30, 2016

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