Noel McKoy


Noel McKoy is the genuine godfather of British Soul & has cited his influences as The Beatles, Dennis Brown, Chaka Khan, Martin Luther King & Nelson Mandela…

He made his debut back in the late 1980’s @ the start of the acid Jazz explosion. Polydor Records had just signed the James Taylor Quartet & Taylor himself was looking to augment his instrumental combo with a vocalist who’d allow the band to record some genuine jazz funk classics. McKoy attended an audition @ Polydor’s Hammersmith offices, sat down @ the piano & blew the assembled A&R team away.

18 months later & Noel’s accomplished vocals had delivered 2 chart hits for the JTQ, most noticeably ‘Love The Life’, a blend of up-front disco & proto soulful house that captured the essence of 1989. A lengthy period as Taylor’s frontman took in several world tours & numerous TV appearances as the band rode the acid jazz zeitgeist. Noel later left the JTQ whilst @ their peak & formed a group with members of his family simply called McKoy. The band recorded a critically acclaimed debut album, called ‘Family’ & delivered a number of street-soul classics on his own label.

A career at the front line of the British soul scene followed. Duets with Mica Paris, Juliette Roberts, Beverly Knight & Vanessa Simon have been interspersed with projects with the likes of Nu Colours, Snowboy, Omar & The Sounds Of Blackness.

For his debut solo album ‘Brighter Day’, released on soul label Tri-Sound in 2009, Noel draws on a host of influences & weaves an impressive collection of soul, gospel, funk & northern soul into a cohesive masterpiece with Production duties undertaken by, amongst others, pop-soul legend Ian Levine & Incognito‘s Bluey Maunick.

That same year, Noel’s appearance @ our third Summer Soulstice with Beggar & Co (The Original Light Of The World) helped make up the magic of that June day, with a superb vocal performance alongside Ingrid Mansfield Allman & Glen Goldsmith.

More recently he has been a part of The British Collective collaboration with Junior Giscombe, Omar, Don-E & Leee John, an iconic project that has brought together seasoned artists, musicians & performers who continue to carry forward the torches they lit several decades ago. 

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