Man, I remember during my time in college in the Philadelphia-area at Eastern University.
My Windows Media Player on my laptop was stuck on everything neo-soul. Jill Scott, Allen Anthony, Floetry, Musiq Soulchild.
Yup, that was the early 2000s! Cool as the other side of the pillow, it was.
I also missed one name: Glenn Lewis. He repped Philly to the fullest EXCEPT he wasn’t from Philly!
Dude is Canadian! A Juno award winning and Grammy nominated singer, Lewis had some hits!
Beautiful Eyes, Lonely, Closer, This Love and Better With Time easily come to mind. BUT, his coup de gras will always be: Don’t You Forget It.
But wait, back to this from Philly thing! Glenn Lewis how the heck do we have folks like you and Floetry confused with Philadelphia neo soul singers?
“It’s kinda hard to put it into words, but I think it’s just one of them things,” Glenn Lewis told me on a recent episode of Scoop B Radio.
“I personally grew up loving the Philly international sound from my parents playing certain music around the house, like a lot of classic R&B. So I think just sorta having that influence and the same thing with like Marsha Ambrosius, Natalie Stewart, and Floetry I think we all just grew up with great R&B music being played around the house. And even developing our own taste and coming up in like high school listening to like Guy, Boyz 2 Men and Joe. I think you just, just kind of getting into the whole energy, synergy of Philly.”
Glenn Lewis speaks more on the jawn that is Philadelphia:
“It was natural and you know everybody out there, just the vibe that was bubbling, you know. Everybody just embraced us. It was really family oriented, man it was a great time for music and all the artists that was coming out of, they were still competitive. We all pushed each other.”
Glenn Lewis fondly remembers why R&B as a whole was so dope coming out of Philly. He also speaks reverently of a time working in the same studio as Musiq Soulchild:
“I remember nights being in the studio with Musiq being in the other room,” Glenn Lewis said. “Matter of fact, even when I was recording “Don’t You Forget It,” him coming in the next room and looking into the booth, And I’m like standing there like: ‘dude I’m tryna get in my zone, I’m trynna you know cut this record.’ You know, he’s standing there just looking into the booth, it was cool though. It was a good thing. It was kinda like that reminder like: ‘Yo you gotta come with it.’ So it was always a good energy like down in touch of jazz. It was a really momentous time for me, I feel like just in music, just the impact you know; D’Angelo and Erykah [Badu] and everybody that was coming through Philly. It was a great time for music.”