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What is a Qobuzissime? It’s an award presented by Qobuz for a first or second album.

Pop or Reggae, Metal or Classical, Jazz or Blues, no genre is excluded. More often than not the award is presented to a newly discovered artist.

Sometimes it might be a particularly quirky or a crossover album from a discography.

The important aspects are uniqueness, sincerity and quality. We look for these things in the recording, the project and the sound identity.



R&B - Released November 1, 2019 | Stones Throw

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More than 10,000 kilometres separate Khartoum and Cleveland. A distance erased in one fell swoop by Brittney Parks, aka Sudan Archives, on her magnificent first album, Athena. At 24 years old, the self-taught American who grew up in Ohio builds some unlikely yet strong bridges between the sounds of the continents. And her contemporary, languid and dreamy soul is unlike any other… The violin, prevalent in the Sudanese music which she admires so much, is her tool of preference. It’s a sound that she meshes together with electro and some light hip hop beats. In 2016, Sudan Archives even covered Kendrick Lamar’s King Kunta (re-baptised Queen Kunta) using just her voice, the violin and an effect pedal. Her unusual musical fusions were conceived from a revelation the Los Angeles-based artist had while listening to recordings by the Cameroonian Francis Bebey, an artist who himself blended African music with minimalist electro. On Athena, released on Stones Throw, the excellent Californian label started by Peanut Butter Wolf which specialises in underground rap and kooky funk, Sudan Archives certainly draws on the legacy of the queens of underground soul (Erykah Badu, Solange) all the while retaining her originality. And her futuristic afro-R&B, which has layers upon layers of different sounds, shows enough avant-garde talent to make her stand out from the crowd. A shock, but a sweet one. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz

Soul - Released May 10, 2019 | Jagjaguwar

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music - Qobuzissime
What is my purpose? What will come of the legacy of those who have influenced me? And what will I leave behind? These are all the big questions that Jamila Woods asks herself going into her second album suitably named Legacy! Legacy!, a Qobuzissime album! Three years after the release of Heavn, the soul sister from Chicago brings together twelve songs all named after the artists that influenced them. Musicians, painters, writers, activists, poets, they’re all there! And the lucky few are: Betty Davis, Zora Neale Hurston, Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez, Frida Kahlo, Eartha Kitt, Miles Davis, Muddy Waters, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Sun Ra, Octavia Butler and James Baldwin. There is nothing obvious or didactic here as the young African-American who is ever-so attached to her native Chicago never does out-and-out covers but less subtle “in the style ofs” all while retaining her own distinct style. A poet one day (she acts as artistic director for YCA, a center dedicated to young poets) and a musician the other, she is even a teacher on bank holidays! As the worthy heir of Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill, all her words are wrapped around ultra-slick grooves with a modernized nu-soul twist. When it comes to features, Jamila Woods helps her local economy by inviting along friends that, for the most part, come from the underground scene of the Windy City: the trumpetist Nico Segal, MC Saba, Nitty Scott, theMIND, Jasminfire. Chance the Rapper’s protégé has mixed intelligence and class, commitment, enjoyment and groove into 49 minutes. Perfect. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz

Soul - Released January 25, 2019 | Decca (UMO)

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
XamVolo’s shape-shifting debut album is stunning. At only 23 years old, the Londoner-turned-Liverpudlian infuses a delicate soul hemmed with jazz and pop in All The Sweetness On The Surface, a mix that was already well distilled in his two previous EPs, Chirality (2016) and A Damn Fine Spectacle (2018). It’s an ingenious record that stretches itself over fifteen diverse tracks. Everything changes, except his warm voice that remains well-attached to his lyrics, which he unfurls nonchalantly. Lose yourself in the voluptuous R&B which is shaped by guitar riffs, distant synths, softened choirs and the heavy tempo on the suave track Lose Love. Enjoy the well-cut jazzy brass of Feels Good, which samples from Thelonious Monk's Thelonious. Succumb to the elegant soul of Old Soul. Behind those round tinted glasses, Samuel Akinlolu Folorunsho has created the perfect neo-Soul setting. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz

Soul - Released July 15, 2016 | Polydor Records

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Qobuzissime
28-year-old Michael Kiwanuka's second album, Love & Hate, comes 4 years after his first, and with it, a more refined sound. The same soulful tones that gave Kiwanuka such a broad following remain the focal point of the new album, as do the lilting melodies and baleful lyrics, but thanks to producers Dangermouse and Inflo, as well as a huge supporting cast of musicians, this album manages to throw the punch we were promised by the first. Beginning with a 9 minute, Pink Floyd inspired 'opus', the album feels expansive and varied. It feels like a coming of age record, a musical maturation for this singer, who is already being hailed as one of the greatest voices around. Ranging from sweeping orchestral arrangements to melancholy introspections, this second effort seems more mature and measured, but remains a 'nearly' moment. Overdone and overloaded, this second album has lost some of the immediacy and realness that made the first stand out. Kiwanuka's voice is sometimes overwhelmed by the size and scale of the arrangements, rather than playing to his strengths. Nevertheless, the overall quality of the record will undoubtedly make it a big winner this year. RK/Qobuz

Soul - Released June 23, 2015 | Columbia

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Soul - Released June 19, 2015 | Columbia

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A simple glance at the album cover and 30 seconds of namesake track 'Coming Home' shows clearly where Leon Bridges is coming from. Following in the footsteps of Otis Redding, Smokey Robinson and especially Sam Cooke, this Texan songwriter of just 25 years is a walking mausoleum erected to the eternal glory of soul music. But Bridges is not just simply 'reminiscent' of these legendary artists, with his first album, released at Columbia, containing original music - truly impressive and instanly timeless material! Tidy compositions, worked and arranged with the same care that brought such success to his illustrious peers from the 1960s... Steamy ballads, sensual blues, and up-tempo gospel all have their parts to play here, as Bridges demonstrates a prowess well beyond his young years in every element of his music, singing divinely and somehow managing to be completely original from first to last. On arrival, Coming Home is a soul record that will take purists back to the heyday of the genre. Impeccable in production, and oozing class - one that will surely please fans far and wide.

Soul - Released January 19, 2015 | Anti - Epitaph

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime