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Ones to Watch: The Ladies of UK Neo Soul

Neo soul. An electric combination of Soul, RnB, Funk, Jazz and Hip Hop, and a term that was first developed by Kedar Massenburg in the late 90s. With the help of Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill and D'Angelo, the genre's popularity skyrocketed into mainstream media. And now it seems the world can't get enough of its contemporary artists like The Internet, Anderson Paak and Jorja Smith, as we binge watch Tiny Desk Concerts and Colors Shows galore.

With its oozing sexuality and alluring femininity, Neo Soul has an undoubtedly strong female presence, and in the UK this still stands.

So ChoondUp shares some of its favourite ladies that are driving the UK Neo soul scene forward.

Akemi Fox

If sultry is what you want, sultry is what you're gonna get. Manchester based artist Akemi Fox is the perfect intro for any Neo soul newbies. She has a flair for weaving effortless seductivity into her tracks, while her soft vocals peacefully coexist within her jazz-injected beats. Fox can also be heard on FD and Lenzman's Liquid DnB tracks, proving no genre is too far out of reach for this multifaceted artist.


Rising singer songwriter Safiyyah brings a combination of soulful melodies and hip-shaker tracks to the table. Her distinct vocals beautifully intertwine with a vast range of musical and cultural influences; While her catalogue exudes a certain confidence which doesn't shy away from experimentation. Saffiyah has also teamed up with the likes Finn Foxell, KeepVibesNear and RADA for some refreshing collaborations.

Chloe Bodur

North-West London singer Chloe Bodur is the perfect showcase of Neo soul's genre-bending roots. Bodur has an exceptional ability to balance Rnb, Hip Hop and Samba all within her 3-minute tracks. Her catalogue speaks for many, as her poetic lyricism touches on romance, spirituality, materialism and even attention seeking in the club. Quite the combo, right?


London based singer-songwriter and producer BINA. brings us minimalistic, jazz packed slow jams, with sultry vocals in tow. Her lyrics tackle a candid view on romantic relations and introspection, creating a natural connection between her listeners and herself. In every track there's an air of warm nostalgia playing ode to the genre's 90s pioneers, making BINA. the perfect pick for fans of Erykah Badu, Floetry and Musiq Soulchild.

Ria Moran

Having only released four tracks, singer and composer Ria Moran will unfortunately leave you desperately begging for more. In just over 15 minutes worth of music, Moran shows an incredible understanding between herself and jazz; She is able to manipulate it's classic elements into new wave masterpieces, that weave in and out the lines of RnB and alt pop. Fingers (and toes) crossed for more music to come from her in the coming year.


London-based musician Madeleine brings listeners an honest look at the healing process and emotional turmoil in her debut EP, released last year. Her expressive lyricism seeks the company of whimsical chords and jazz-infused drum patterns, to create a dreamy soundscape for the listener. Tracks like 'Colour Me (Intro)' and 'Can I Feel Enough' even seem to integrate Homeshake-esque synths that create a subtle psychedelic fusion.

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