Modern day soul music is enjoying some fresh blood with a new crop of talented crooners. And upcoming Jamaican-British soul singer Vincent Darby is making his mark with his own neo-soul sound. The 19-year-old star will launch his first American tour Sept. 21 in Burlington, Vermont.
“I’m super-excited to see a part of the world where I haven’t spent much time before. I think the thing I’m most apprehensive for is not seeing my family every day,” said Darby, who hails from Birmingham.
The tour includes 31 shows in 20 states, with five of them in Florida come October. He will share the upcoming bill with Locals Only Sound, a duo from Toronto, Canada. Gray Hawken, a member of that group, produced “Baby Oh I,” Darby’s latest song.
“Baby Oh I” and its predecessor, “Get Away,” have done well for Darby in the United Kingdom which has a thriving neo-soul circuit, thanks to the remarkable success of Grammy winners Sam Smith, Adele and Ed Sheeran.
Darby, whose maternal grandparents are Jamaican, also has his eyes on the United States pop scene, easily the most lucrative in music.
“The main objective of the tour is to have fun and keep doing what we’re doing as a collective. I think Locals Only Sound and I want to break into one of the biggest markets in the world,” he said.
Last year, Darby and Hawken went to Kingston, Jamaica to record songs for an potential EP or album program. The Jamaican sessions took place at Anchor studio, where some of the biggest dancehall and reggae stars like Shabba Ranks and Gregory Isaacs recorded their hit tracks.
Vincent Darby: Family Affair
Darby’s father was born in England and is of German descent, while his mother has Jamaican roots. Caribbean culture formed a outsized influence since childhood, says the artist, learning about Jamaican music from his family.
Though aiming for success shared by fellow Brits like Adele, Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran, Darby is focused on breaking the ice in America. He believes the songs he has done with Hawken has the goods to do well. “There is definitely something very special coming very soon,” he said.
Vincent Darby and Locals Only Sound will perform in Tallahassee on October 16; Tampa on October 17, Jacksonville on October 18, Miami on October 19 and Gainesville on October 20.