Adrianne Archie: The Kentucky neo-soul diva

Wednesday 5th April 2006

Tony Cummings talks to one of the hottest neo-soul talents to walk the Gospel Highway.

Adrianne Archie: The Kentucky neo-soul diva

One of the most arresting new voices on radio is the stunning neo-soul of a diva from Louisville, Kentucky called Adrianne Archie. Her 'HTHAELHH' album (otherwise known as 'He That Hath An Ear Let Him Hear') has got rave reviews, considerable airplay and shows conclusively that the Church still produces the best singers on this planet. I ask Adrianne to tell me about herself. "I was born and raised in Louisville, KY where I attended Greater Bethel Temple Church and received Christ at the age of six. As the youngest person in our youth choir I found out, as our director stated, 'She can sang!' I guess! During my teens I was also the youngest to perform nationally in gospel hit state plays like You Can't Keep A Good Woman Down and Before You Get To Me You Gotta Get To God! I really didn't think it was a big deal that I could sing Karen Clark Sheard songs with ease, I just sang what I thought sounded like the tape! (smiles) I was only in chorus my senior year in high school, did talent shows in college to pay for books and as soon as I graduated I knew that the only thing that interested me totally was singing. So, God placed Joel Goodwin (my producer) and Carlis Phillips (my engineer/manager) in my life and we began recording what would later become 'He That Hath An Ear Let Him Hear'."

Some singers find the recording of their debut album a painful experience. Not so for this bubbly soul sister. "What sticks out most about recording 'HTHEALHH' is the fact that Joel, myself and Carlis were all on the SAME page as far as what we thought would sound like GREAT music. We knew we had something different on our hands, but goodness! We all taught each other spiritually, mentally and musically! Now we are like triplets walking around!"

The track on Adrianne's stunning debut currently getting extensive Cross Rhythms airplay is the explosive "Used To Do". I ask the singer to talk about the song. "We were exploring 'rock' and blast beats, as Joel had just introduced to us music that we would rarely listen to! He would repeat, 'A musician is only as good as his music collection.' 'Used To Do' is the only worship rock song on the album; I didn't want it on there because it was so different from all of the other songs, so we had a deal that Carlis would pay for the mixing and mastering of it. He did, and now it's one of my favourites! 'Used To Do' just talks about the changes that occur in the lives of Christians and how to deal with those changes knowing that God 'has his hands on you!' Oh, and I know it! It's a blessing to embrace change in life and this song speaks of it lyrically and is itself a song of change for me. I am excited that people can relate to it."

I ask Adrianne whether she was happy with the neo-soul label. "It doesn't matter either way! People say it's neo soul because of songs like 'It Is Well' and 'Welcome', but all of the other songs range from R&B ('Push Myself') to jazz ('Saints Go Marchin' In'), to traditional ('Jesus U Reign') to hip-hop ('Take It'), to soul ('U Never Change') to folk ('Why Not Take A Chance' and 'Praise Elevation')! As long as they see Jesus in it, they can call it country! The label neo-soul could also be because I don't like dressing up anymore so when we are in concert I'll wear like jeans and a t-shirt, a jacket. I never wear heels, (EVER!) and I shoot for lookin' real trendy, I guess! Oh, and I have natural hair! Maybe that's what it is, and I guess you don't see too many R&B, traditional artists with nappy heads! Let's see, I've been totally musically influenced by soul artists like D'Angelo, Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu solely because they are skilled musicians and I have ALWAYS been drawn to their music. I am an '80s baby!

Adrianne Archie: The Kentucky neo-soul diva

I conclude my brief inquisition of this most vivacious of singing talents by asking her to name plans and dreams for the future. "In five years I would like to see Soul LinQ Productions as a well established legitimate, competitive, comparable record label. I know it will happen by the grace of God. It goes without saying that I am working on album number two, which I think will be called 'HSMS' ('Heart Soul Mind and Strength') from the greatest commandment given by Christ. We'll see. As well as that I'll be ministering, touring, eating (had to throw that in there) and making relationships last during this journey!"  CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

Reader Comments

Posted by Tiana Hammond in Louisiville, KY @ 15:55 on Jan 9 2007

God has blessed you with pure talent! As your church and choir member I can truely say you have been blessed with a special gift from God. I hope you continue to see much sucess in your singing career.

Posted by Archie Orao in Kenya @ 16:32 on Dec 15 2006


The opinions expressed in the Reader Comments are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms.

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