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Soul II Soul tops chart of best British music videos

POLL POSITION: (Left to right): DJ Prezedent, Awula Serwah, Kwaku, and DJ Lindsay Wesker at the Ritzy, south London where the list was unveiled

LEGENDARY GROOVERS Soul II Soul have been named one of black Britain’s favourite groups in a poll last week.

The list, which focused on the videos of UK artists, was published as part of the annual British Black Music Month (BBMM).

The top 20 was compiled following nominations from the public, and the winning entries were revealed by website editor Kwaku at the Ritzy, in Brixton, south London, on Saturday, July 20.

Soul II Soul topped the list with one of their most successful songs Keep on Moving, originally released in March 1989 and reached number five in the UK charts.

The group’s smash hit Back To Life also ranked third, making them the only act to have more than one entry in the elite poll.


SPINNING THE TUNES: Soul II Soul’s Jazzie B

The majority of music videos featured were from the 1980s and 90s and comprised R&B, soul and hip-hop acts.
The late Lynden David Hall of Sexy Cinderella fame, and soul singer Omar both placed inside the top 5 for their hits Forgive Me and There’s Nothing Like This, respectively.

British soul queen Beverley Knight also made an appearance in the top ten.

Kwaku, founder of the Black Music Congress, a music forum, said he was “shocked” that more reggae artists had not made the list.

He told The Voice: “Surprisingly reggae and lovers rock, a staple of British black music, were not represented apart from Kasiri who made number six with Are You Free – a social and political reggae song.

“The rest of the list is old school, reflecting the passions of those who nominated. I’m glad some new artists were represented as well like Tinie Tempah who appeared twice on the list at number 17 with Pass Out and Labrinth’s Earthquake, which was placed at number 13.”

Kwaku added: “I expected Massive Attack’s Unfinished Sympathy, which was ranked at number 14 to at least have been in the top five. It’s a classic video – shot in one take of British singer and songwriter Shara Nelson walking through the streets of Los Angeles.”

One surprise entry was a video from south London collective So Solid Crew whose hit 21 Seconds scraped in at number nine.

Rapper Akala – known for his straight-talking political lyrics – placed at number ten with single Malcolm Said It, taken from his recently-released album The Thieves Banquet.

Kwaku said that this was another surprise as the rapper was “more underground and has not had big hits” like some of the others listed.

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