It was a determination and a love for music, that shot Soul II Soul to stardom.Their gigs attracted kids of all races, who had grown up together and were now raving together. Nothing summed them and their crowd up better than their regular spot at Covent Garden’s Africa Centre.This caught the attention of Virgin Records, who signed them in 1988, catapulting them into a tornado of success. There were the shows across the globe, radio / TV spots; Jazzie’s Kiss FM show and even an Adventures of the Funki Dreds comic.
Soul II Soul enjoyed the type of chart success – notably with ‘Keep On Movin’ and ‘Back To Life’ – that made them household names. They’ve sold 10 million albums worldwide and appeared at some of the world’s most famous venues. America embraced Soul II Soul to such a degree, in 1990 they picked up two Grammy’s and Jazzie was given the keys to seven US cities. There’s even a Soul II Soul day over there. Musically, Soul II Soul has kept itself contemporary. Mary J. Blige and Sean Kingston have released cover versions of ‘Back To Life’ and Beverly Knight released a version of ‘FairPlay.’ ‘Back to Life’ was featured in the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.
In 2008 there was royal recognition when Jazzie was awarded an OBE for services to music. For the man who considers himself a ‘pleasure giver’, it’s paramount to Jazzie to remain a part of the club scene. That sound system mentality is still very much at the root of Soul II Soul, keeping him in touch with a continually evolving audience.