Soul - (sol): 1. The immortal or spiritual part of the person; 2. The moral or emotional nature of a human being; 3. spiritual or emotional warmth, force; 4. strong expression of the quality in a musical performance. Gwendolyn Joy - soul singer extraordinaire She describes her sound as urban adult contemporary with jazzy undertones. Tired of the 'rap' music devoid of character and morals, Gwen writes songs from a positive consciousness. Family centered, she makes Detroit her home because as she puts it, 'this is where my spiritual and musical family reside.' Gwen's success began at an early age, when inspired by vocalists such as Nancy Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald, and Aretha Franklin she belted out songs for her family and friends to hear. She continued her musical education throughout her high school years and later turned her talents to the pursuit of a degree in journalism. This balance of music and writing skills is definitely a marriage made in heaven. Gwen says, 'Having something to say while singing is just as important as hitting all the right notes.' This is Gwen's first solo album. You may remember her sweet pop-jazz voice featured on the album 'So Good,' the collaboration with her husband Charles and Modern Tribes' release featuring Charles and Gwen Scales, 'Groove On.' She acknowledges that this album is a tad jazzier and allows her more freedom to showcase the many voices inside her head. As Gwen says 'I have all my sister's in me!' Before Hip Hop and Rap there was... Soul - the music of generations in America and the United Kingdom, embodying rhythm & blues with a smoothness that drove the music industry. Artists such as Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Phyllis Hyman and Anita Baker were original (or organic) soul artists. Now soul or 'neo soul' has made a comeback in the U.S. and U.K. due largely to the popularity of artists such as Eryka Badu, India Aire, Jill Scott and Angie Stone. Truth of the matter is, in some countries, especially the U.K., soul music has always been a driving force even today, when it seems U.S. companies are more interested in other urban music genres. Now, at the forefront of the U.K. soul movement is Gwendolyn Joy, a unique artist who has kept the soul music fires burning bright. Her vocals display a maturity found in the original soul singers, but with a freshness musically found with today's 'soul singers'. Because Gwen is also a writer, her material provides a melodic approach that is both unique and intriguing. Gwen's lyrical approach to songwriting illustrates great depth and dimension or as she puts it, 'a song should say something. No lurid 'ooh baby, I just wanna do ya' songs here. Gwen is a woman with a point of view, and prides herself on being a craftsman versed in the art of true songwriting. Her latest effort, 'Love Is', is a collection of such works. The opening cut, Vanilla Tree, loosely chronicles life as an interracial child growing up in a racially divided America. 'I Surrender,' 'In the Looking Glass,' and 'Where Do We Go From Here' are reflective songs about the dimensions of love relationships. In the song 'Father's Eyes,' she shares with her listening audience the phrases of concern and love from the eyes of a parent. 'Simple Message,' 'Let's get Real,' and 'Up and Down,' are commentaries of social issues affecting our society today. 'Help Me,' and 'Just a Little Lovin,' take on new meaning with her own unique interpretations. 'What I see in you' written by a very talented close family friend, is a tribute to children who have the incredible ability to see the world without fear or prejudice, and finally, 'Love is,' the song spoken and sung in poetic verse to put the proverbial icing on the cake, because as she says 'Love is the most natural, most important human emotion in the world. So why do we fight it? I just don't know.'