Arkansas Neosoul Artists You Should Hear
Updated: Feb 12, 2019
“Neosoul Rhythms” officially brought the vibe to Little Rock, Arkansas when the radio show began in 2003 on 88.3 FM KABF community radio. (See the “About” page and “Podcast #1” for the full story.) During the run of the radio show from 2003-2009, Ashan exclusively debuted music from all of the artists listed below. Some have made a name for themselves in national music arenas, but most have settled into ‘real’ life, weathering its many joys and pains, highs and lows. Although these artists created their albums long ago, it is time for a revival…time for new audiences to enjoy the vibe of these tremendously talented singers and musicians from the Big Rock. Big things happen in Little Rock!
Click the artists’ names to connect to their social media pages. Click their photos for their music and project websites (if available).
607 (Adrian Tillman): 607 is an interesting guy and an accomplished, globe-trotting rapper; always hustling and selling his music from a suitcase or bag wherever he goes. Influenced by goth culture, his album covers are collectibles. 607 connects southern charm and spirituality with the grit of street life in Little Rock in a way that makes him relatable across cultures and music genres.
Ashley Robinson: With a strong, powerful voice forged by loss, pain and passion, my lovely cousin, Ashley K. Robinson is a soul artist on the rise. A recent graduate of Wiley College, she has auditioned for The Voice, American Idol, Sunday’s Best, The Apollo and almost made it to television. Ashley is also a wildly gifted visual artist. See and financially support her artwork on Facebook, Art by Kaee. She continues to hone her soul singing pipes with various bands and producers in the Dallas area. Ashley is a manager’s dream, so let’s get that money!
Bethany Devine: Bethany comes from a widely known gospel singing family, locally and nationally. Her sister, Sara Devine, made a brief entrée into major record label success. Bethany’s first album "Fruit of the Spirit," contains, groovy, relaxing inspirational soul music that uplifts and inspires. her sophomore album, "Daily Confessions" presents a more mature, soulful voice...a young woman who has finally discovered her niche in the world both personally and musically.
Big Piph (Epiphany Morrow): Epiphany is doing big things on national and global levels. A graduate of Standford University and TedTalk speaker, his (mostly) conscious rap style has garnered the attention of fans and celebrities in high places. He also gives back to the community through youth-oriented non-profit work. Not just a rapper, Epiphany considers himself a hip hop creative and community builder.
Bijoux Pighee: Bijoux is black girl magic on the microphone. She is an elegant singer, and a local favorite, always willing to collaborate or sing back up on other’s projects, such as Epiphany’s “Feel Alright,” an NSR favorite. Not yet a solo neo soul artist, Bijoux is also a featured artist on jazz trumpeter Rodney Block’s latest album. She is definitely one to watch for 2019. Check her out on Epiphany's, "Hey Lady" and "Feel Alright."
Cliff Williams: Cliff’s vocal range is out of this world! Oh, when he hits those high notes, your toes curl, the anointing just sends shivers through your solar plexus! He is a NeoSoul Rhythms fan favorite! Although he’s minister of music at a COGIC church, we hope he gets back to singing ALL the music God has gifted him to sing and create. "Missing My Baby" is the track we often play, and that fans of the podcast love to hear.
Delya Moore Russell: Delya is a smooth, charming Christian inspirational soul singer. Her first album released in 2007, "Breakthrough," will uplift you, inspire you and let you get your groove on! The album is still available through Amazon's digital music downloads. Although she has since moved, she is still a beloved Arkansas neo soul artist.
DJ Swift 720: Swift is everything! His turn-table skills should be world-wide. His mixes are some of the grooviest you will ever hear. Swift and Rhemona Quimby created the fantastic intro for “Neosoul Rhythms.” Find his creations on MixCloud, and fly him in for your next neo soul concert or gathering.
Jeron Marshall-Isbell: Jeron and her band are local favorites on the social scene in Arkansas. Her vivacious stage performances keep her working the club scene and other local venues. Her first album, "First Date" produced a tune called "Well Runs Dry" that we enjoy here on the vibe for a taste of grown folks music. The album is still available on Bandcamp.
Joseph Phillips: J. Phil can blow! You hear me? This brother can sang! Lol! Ladies, he is pure smooth, Dove chocolate sexiness on stage. His velvet voice and vocal range draw you into him and his music. (I think he’s married though) 😊. We love "No One's Home" from his album "Forbidden Conversations," which is currently not available to the public. However, Joe still performs with the band Ophset, an amazing group of (church) musicians, as well as create new music with his long-time bestie and writing partner, Marcell Dean.
Lydell Williams: Lydell is passionate about music. His vibe is raw, unfiltered and genuine. Formerly a Rock City barber, Lydell moved to Richmond, VA where he continues to perform and create new music with local producers and performers. hear his latest tracks and albums on Soundcloud.
Nicky Parrish: Nicky is popular in local clubs and on the gospel scene. She briefly toured with Smoky Norful back in the day. Whether gospel or secular, Nicky’s powerful voice cuts through the noise of current music trends to remind you soul music’s southern roots. From her album, "Earthtonz," the song, "Betta" got some airplay on Arkansas' premier R & B station, KOKY 102.1 FM.
Rhemona Quimby: Rhemona’s many talents include music production, script writing, independent films, animation and photography. An all-around good person and thoughtful human being, Rhemona feeds her creative soul through various projects while holding down a full-time career as a health-care professional. She lent her vocals on DJ Swift’s “NeoSoul Rhythms” intro, and she runs Platinum Earth Photography.
Rodney Block: Rodney Block and the Real Music Lovers are fan favorites on the local music scene. Rod’s professionalism and consistency fuel his success as a musician. A well-traveled, elegant jazz trumpeter from the real country part of Arkansas (Lol), Rod’s albums, filled with collaborations from Arkansas artists, have garnered some national, critical attention. rod's latest album, "Fantastic Beatz" includes collaborations with Bijoux and 607 (Adrian Tillman).
Tim Anthony: All peace and love, the great Tim Anthony injected Arkansas with some much needed world vibes and neo-soul grooves with his band, “Afrodesia” back in the day. He currently runs the Afrodesia Studio of Performing Arts where musicians, poets, and creatives record, rehearse and perform their music. He is a friend and a long-time supporter of NeoSoul Rhythms, and has lent many fabulous instrumental grooves to the vibe. Tim’s father, Mr. Lee Anthony, is a phenomenal visual artist and former teacher, who impacted the community and the national music world with Soul Brothers Record Shop and True Soul Records. Hear Tim's Music.
TwinSpirit (Tasha Rosby): Twin is a quintessential Gemini. Multi-faceted, multi-talented, sensitive to the human condition, Twin’s music is a journey to the soul…personal manifestos of self-love and self-esteem over carefully crafted tracks. In addition to music, Twin creates jewelry and is a fiyah interior decorator, to name a few of her many creative talents. For several years, Twin fronted the band Afrodesia under the direction of Tim Anthony before moving to Georgia where she continues to write, collaborate and perform independent music.
Valencia Robinson: This lady right here can sing the house down…a capella! If you know Ledisi and Fantasia, you should know Valencia. Although she hails from Memphis, TN, Valencia’s musical roots run deep in Arkansas through fellow musicians, collaborators and fans. Her early EP, Soul Searchin' should have caught the attention of neosoul-friendly record labels, and it still might. According to social media posts, Valencia took a hiatus to focus on family, but God is not through with her yet. Her voice is too powerful not to be lifted to global platforms. Get the album on CDBaby.