Neo-soul music has had a tremendous impact in my musical phrasing and I owe everything to the genre for exposing me to the smartest, most crafty songwriting on any scene today. In earlier years, I had dreamed of this magical place where jazz phrasing and pop melodies and funk chords and hip-hop grooves and rock guitars existed, not knowing this orgy of craziness had been in existence in a single genre for over 30 years. There are few things that life-changing.
If I were a 14-year-old kid, I'd have posters of Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Angie Stone, Ledisi, Trina Broussard, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Janelle Monae all over my wall. They've become my heroes in recent years because they are the embodiment of triumph through adversity, and ambassadors of combining great American music stylings. They're also powerful black women, and while I'd like to ignore the fact that they're double-minorities, it's comforting knowing that they are still kicking so much ass today.