Music campaign promotes unity in Nashville music scene

A music kick-starter campaign has been created to promote musical unity among a group of artists and create a music platform for the artists in Nashville’s growing music scene.

Soul Music Lives is a musical campaign created to promote unity among soul recording artists and to create a platform for artists to record and promote their music in Nashville’s music scene. The music campaign was launched with a Soul Music Lives EP album that was produced by Shannon Sanders, a two-time Grammy award winning songwriter/producer. Sanders who written or produced songs for artists such as India Arie, Anthony David, and Heather Headley. The album features artists Damien Horne, Jason Eskridge, and Laura Reed, et al.

Christina Sheer, founder of Soul Music Lives Nashville, said that she started the group as a way of bringing unity among soul artists in Nashville and as a platform for soul artists. She feels musical diversity has always been a part of Nashville—but people were never aware of that diversity.

“There has been non-country music in Tennessee for a long time,” said Sheer. “We have all of these different genres. But the one thing that people always are looking for when they come to Nashville (when you hear Music City includes all genres), they ask: ‘Where’s the soul scene?’”

Sheer said that one of the ways to change the soul music scene in Nashville was to bring in people who can play a role in changing the scene. One of the people Sheer teamed up with was Sanders to create the Music City Soul EP featuring top soul artists. It is available throughout the city at visitor centers and is supported by local promoters, including: Lovenoise Nashville and WQQK-FM (92Q). Sheer said that having support from people such as Sanders helps establish partnerships.

Soul Music Lives’ first event was the ‘Music City Soul Music Lives Songwriters Wrap’ held in December 2012 at the Hard Rock Café in Nashville, hosted by Shannon Sanders. It featured musical recording artists Maureen Murphy, Laura Reed, and Jonathan Winstead. Sheer said the feedback from the event was positive, creating a roundtable for the Nashville Soul Scene. Sheer feels the soul music community needs to be on “the same page” as other musical genres.

“There’s a spotlight on our city right now,” said Sheer. “What we want to do is capitalize on those opportunities, so when they hear about Nashville, of course they’re hearing about the Grand Ole Opry. Of course they’re hearing about Gaylord Opryland. Of course they’re hearing about the Country Music Hall of Fame. But we also want them to hear about what we’re doing as a soul scene, and together we can change that.”

Sheer said one of the ways to bring awareness about the soul music scene is to create a soul music newsletter in addition to the Soul Music Lives Nashville website. The newsletter would detail the soul artists performing in Nashville every month. It would also detail the shows premiering in Nashville that would be recommended by Soul Music Lives. Sheer believes that by promoting the soul music scene, people will have an opportunity to see a different side of Nashville.

Soul Music Lives was started in her Sheer’s hometown of Michigan. When her grandmother died, she started thinking about the legacy she would leave behind. So she got together with Sanders to start up a Soul Music Lives EP after realizing that there are artists who want to take their musical careers to the next level. The EP is still in the funding stages. The kick-starter campaign to raise necessary funds for the EP was in December, however their financial goals were not met. They are still looking for ways to fund the Soul Music Lives project, seeking a music label or distribution company or reaching out to the city for financial help. She also believes that this musical project is an opportunity to be connected to what the city of Nashville is doing.

“We wanted to make sure that we‘re moving forward in perfect timing with what the city was doing,” said Sheer. “So this is the window of opportunity.”

For more information on Soul Music Lives, including the artists involved and events surrounding the Nashville Soul Music scene, visit the website at www.soulmusiclives.com