By Courtney E. Smith

Amy Winehouse and Adele garnered international attention for popularizing British soul and R&B music. But where did the inspiration of these women — far too young to have experienced Motown or the birth of soul and R&B firsthand — come from? In this episode of Inside Out, we explore the new class of British soul and R&B artists, a scene that has been embraced internationally by now.

Following Amy & Adele, we’re now seeing artists like Emeli Sandé, Jessie Ware, Olly Murs, Conor Maynard and Daley make their way into the world market, bringing with them a style of music that all would say is rooted in and influenced by soul and R&B music. Through interviews with the artists, we explore the phenomenon behind their music and what inspired it.


Maynard proposes that the world’s attention to British stars may have something to do with reality singing shows that expose a young audience to old songs they otherwise might not hear. Sandé says she, along with many of her generation of 20-something singers, were heavily inspired by the ’90s and ’00s soul and R&B out of America. And Ware says there’s just something honest about the music that people find appealing.

Along with artist insights, we asked Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly, Brian Ives and Erik Parker of, Dan Reilly of and Hazel Sheffield of NME to give us the Inside Out view as to why British soul and R&B is trying to take over the world.


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