Don-e

“British Soul music has been on life support, so we’re just trying to breathe some life back into it.” – Don-e

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Photo: Courtesy Steve Funkyfeet

Don-e has been championing British Soul Music for well over nearly three decades. As part of the orignal Brit Soul revolution back in the eighties Don-E enjoyed chart success with his hits ‘Love Makes The World Go Round’ and ‘Unbreakable’. More recently his Future Rare Grooves solo albums and his exciting reunion with other notable UK Soul icons under The British Collective banner has put the name Don-e firmly back in the spotlight. Michael J Edwards stole a few moments with The Don, prior to his guest appearance during the second set of bass guitarist Moyses Dos Santos’ gig at Pizza Express Jazz Club.

Michael J Edwards: What’s the update re: the release of the long-awaited debut album from The British Collective which features your good friends Junior, Omar, Leee and Noel Mckoy?

Don-e: We’ve been recording the album since 2014, so we just had to get it finished. Instead of talking about it and teasing people.

Michael J Edwards: Do you have a title for the album?

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Photo: Courtesy Steve Funkyfeet

Don-e: It will most likely be called ‘The British collective Vol 1 – The Renaissance Begins…’ However It might be called Dr. Love, but we’re not sure. We could call the album ‘Love Me Tonight’, we could call the album ‘Higher Love’, we could call the album ‘Stay’. All of the songs could be the title. We’re not too sure but most likely it’ll be the ‘The British collective Vol 1 – The Renaissance Begins…’ But it’s nice to look across the stage and see Omar singing, Junior and Leee John and Noel McKoy all singing together.

We were in Grenada recently and the audiences were amazing! We were all there singing together; ex-pats came out, they left England years ago but they remember all the songs. I thought like, “This is crazy!” Joss Stone came on after us and people started to leave! That’s how dope The British Collective were. We were singing songs they didn’t know apart from our well-known songs which we would drop somewhere throughout the set.

Michael J Edwards: It must be fresh and exciting for you, because not only do you have the more mature audience who remember you from back in the day, but you’re also bringing on board a new, younger audience with the new material?

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Special Guest Don-e joins Moyses Dos Santos on stage @ Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean St
Photo: Courtesy Steve Funkyfeet

Don-e: It’s a situation where Junior’s audience get to see me, my audience get to see the other guys, and so on; and they’re all coming together – we need that right now. British Soul music has been on life support, so were just trying to breathe some life back into it. We’re just trying to galvanise it and document the fact that we were here. If you go on the Internet and look at the history of Soul in this country, it’s like it stops. These kids don’t know about Omar… The fact that they don’t know that means we have a lot of education to do. If you haven’t heard of Omar, you definitely haven’t heard of me! (Laughs) What we’re calling our movement is the British Soul Renaissance and we’re doing it independently.

Michael J Edwards: You’re pulling the British Soul music scene up by its bootstraps.

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Photo: Courtesy Steve Funkyfeet

Don-e: Yep! There is no big music industry machinery behind us – it’s just us. We’ve got the will and the passion to do it. Obviously we’ve still got our haters and our doubters but it just makes you stronger. When they hear the album they’re going to be pleasantly surprised – It’s gonna be trouble trust me! When the album drops it’s going to be heavy. We’ve also got guest artists such as Alex Charles from Funky Sensation, we’ve got Glen Goldsmith, we’ve got Roachford, we’ve got Donovan from Heatwave; we’ve got Errol Reid from Chyna Black. We’ve got Hughie Crawford and Sinclair and of course Rick Clarke.

Michael J Edwards: How many tracks on the album and where was it recorded?

Don-e: There are thirteen tracks and it was recorded at my place, Matrix Studios and mastered by Mark Frank , who has worked with Sinead O’Connor, The lighthouse family etc.

Michael J Edwards: When can we expect to see The British Collective touring in the UK?

Don-e: Towards the end of 2016

Michael J Edwards: On a personal level what can we expect from Don-e following on from your Future Rare Grooves Vol 1&2?

Don-e: I’ve got a track out with Rick Clarke called ‘Don’t Make Me Wait’ which is doing well on the streets at the moment. And I’ve also got a few other bits and bobs that I’m working on. So watch this space.

Michael J Edwards: Thank you for your time.

Michael J Edwards

Essential Interviews:
Don-e for UK Vibe 2013 here
Moyses Dos Santos for UK Vibe here

Essential Websites:
http://www.thebritishcollective.com/
http://www.don-emusic.com/
http://www.domerecords.co.uk/

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Special Guest Don-e joins Moyses Dos Santos on stage @ Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean St
Photo: Courtesy Steve Funkyfeet

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