As part of his series reviewing Soul Saturday’s Best of 2020 releases, Nick Austin sat down with Speech from Arrested Development as well as Reel People to discuss the 2020 release “Dancing On The Moon,” including how they came together for the single, creating music during a pandemic, and how the veteran musicians our influenced by up an coming artists to continue to create danceable grooves enjoyed worldwide.
As noted in their bio, a label borne out of the soulful success of acclaimed collective Reel People but representing so much more, Reel People Music has come a long, long way. Launched in late 2009 with feel-good Reel People single Star, the imprint has built a fiercely loyal international fanbase through its passion for artist development, musicianship, song-craft and emotionally rich groove. Reel People’s own continued success – underpinned by albums Second Guess, Seven Ways To Wonder, Golden Lady and Retroflection, and scores of sell-out shows and festival appearances – complements the advancement of fellow label alumni such as Tony Momrelle, Portia Monique, The Layabouts and Choklate.
Throughout its stellar journey, Reel People Music has embraced an ever-expanding yet seamless cast of hot-to-trot performers and instrumentalists. This, of course, extends to sublime remixes (by Reel People) of premium artists Incognito, CeCe Peniston, Zo! and Lydia Harrel; as well as recent re-rubs of Adina Howard, Yam Who?’s Summertime (featuring Noel McKoy) and Joe Buhdha’s Feel Right (featuring Terri Walker) by the likes of Opolopo and Michael Gray. Its soulful framework has also expanded massively, swelling from the funky house stylings of early releases to far looser, contemporary-infused forms of disco, soul and R&B.
Reel People Music will have a lot more to say in the months ahead. New releases are due from master French craftsman Sebb Junior, talented NYC songstress Angela Johnson and aforementioned Swedish funkster Opolopo. Not forgetting the epic return of Reel People, a fresh four-track EP from the collective (and associated friends) leading on to big new studio album, Love2, in 2021. There should also be further tasteful rumblings from much-loved compilation series Soulful Deep & Dope – ever a bellwether for the label’s variety and excellence.