Soulfége puts on impressive show

Ellis Mosier

For students interested in hearing funky sounds that captivate the ears as well as emotions, the performance of the musical group Soulfége this past Tuesday evening was fantastic. Their seamlessly blended harmonies were an excellent medium with which they stitched together several cultures and backgrounds into one message of unity and friendship. The band’s musical style pulled inspiration from several musical genres, including reggae, hip-hop and traditional West African music. Each song seemed to be a journey, each one telling a different story, and their songs ranged from melodic blues-style spirituals to fast and upbeat hip-hop. This performance was both a poetic appeal to emotions as well as an excellent excuse to get out and enjoy some spectacular music.
The comfortable, easy atmosphere of Riverview Lounge made the experience open and relaxed. The performance felt intimate, as if the group was speaking directly to you. Their sense of humor and smooth attitudes only intensified the room’s friendly mood. It was difficult not to feel comfortable and at ease while the amiable sounds of their reggae-hip-hop-cultural-blues songs slid around the room and even out into the Wriston Art Center Amphitheatre where they could be heard with a soft intensity.
Most of their songs drew inspiration from reggae, hip-hop and blues, with a little bit of cultural West African music as well. The blend was refreshing and powerful. Their voices had incredible ranges, and their passion for their work, for their music, was more than obvious. Many of the songs they performed that night told stories, reflecting an ancient tradition of imparting important messages through music and storytelling. Several of their songs were inspired by blues spirituals, which they performed with such zeal that the room seemed to tingle slightly, building towards some momentous climax.
The real high point of the performance, however, was their ability to weave such a variety of cultures and traditions into something so coherent and appealing. Their musical styles melded into each other so intricately that they became one sound. The message of the evening seemed to be unity, or a feeling of collective respect for one another and one’s background. Although at times, the intricacy of the songs felt a bit convoluted and the lyrics a bit trite, the sincerity of the group was tangibly apparent, which more than made up for any personal disagreements in taste.
Overall, the performance was wonderfully emotional and captivating. Holding the event in the comfortable atmosphere of Riverview contributed to the easy, smooth attitude of the performance, but it was the passion and genuineness of the performers that really made the performance worthwhile. It was great to experience their enthusiasm for such a simple, yet worldly, message. Soulfége was a definite success.