The legacy of groups like Sly & the Family Stone and Tower of Power may loom large in the Bay Area, but we continue to enjoy a wealth of emerging and exciting local funk, soul, and R&B acts. To be sure, you can hear influences of Bay Area classics in bands like the ascendant Con Brio, now bringing their energetic live sets to festivals around the world, and Monophonics, a group crafting music layered in atmosphere, but both offer unique and engaging spins on psychedelic soul.
In this mixtape, we collect a dozen great local funk, soul, and R&B artists. Fans of hip-hop–influenced R&B should enjoy Xiomara and William Robert; we would have added Rayana Jay if she hadn't already appeared in our last mix. For retro-futuristic boogie and synth funk, check out tracks from Otis McDonald and The Pendletons, the latter a duo containing one-half of the recent soul group Myron & E.
Sounds from beyond the Bay Area inform several of the acts included in this tape. Atta Kid displays a clear love for New Orleans funk, while southern soul influences the retro-R&B of California Honeydrops. Notably, this collection also offers two local performers (Meklit and Sun Hop Fat) who incorporate Ethio-jazz, which mixes Ethiopian scales and instruments with American funk and jazz, into their music.
Listen to the mixtape to learn more about all 12 artists.
About the Bands