R&B legendary superstar and Grammy-nominated singer Will Downing, renowned as the Prince of Sophisticated Soul, triumphs over personal tragedy with the release of his latest EP,
Will Downing continues to serve his fan base through his own Sophisticated Soul Record label.
Downing’s resilience shines through as he delivers a masterclass in triumph over adversity, offering a seven-song collection that explores themes of love and healing.
The year 2023 brought unexpected and soul-crushing loss for Will Downing with the passing of his daughter, Aron Siobhan Downing, in January.
As a father, he faced devastation and heartbreak, channeling his pain into his art to find solace and comfort. Now, as the year concludes, Downing is set to share his journey of overcoming grief through the power of music.
Celebrating an impressive 35 years in the industry and boasting 27 albums to his credit, Downing continues to showcase his international appeal.
The lead single, “What Part of My Love,” quickly ascended to the top of the UK Soul Chart Top 30, highlighting Downing’s enduring influence in the world of soul music.
“Soul Rising” released on November 29th is not merely a collection of songs but a cohesive statement of resilience and strength. Although not a “concept” album, the pieces of “Soul Rising” fit together seamlessly, inviting listeners to experience the full spectrum of Downing’s musical prowess.
The EP opens with the energetic “Closer to Me,” a track that introduces a new kind of “funkiness” to Downing’s signature smooth style.
The collaboration with guitarist Randy Bowland, keyboardist Mike Logan Sr., and background vocalist Ms. Monet creates an irresistible groove that is impossible to resist.
Another standout collaboration between Downing and Bowland is found in “House of Love,” which evokes vibes reminiscent of Maze, showcasing the timeless influence of both artists on each other over the past four decades.
True to his roots, Downing pays homage to classic hits with his signature “interpretations.”
The EP features a soulful rendition of The Stylistics’ “You’re As Right As Rain,” transporting listeners back to the soulful sounds of the early ’70s.
With the assistance of long-time collaborator Ronnie Foster and trumpeter Johnny Britt, Downing elevates the track to a new level of musical excellence. “Soul Rising” takes a poignant turn with “Till We Meet Again,” a heartfelt tribute to Downing’s late daughter.
The song features an emotional introduction, incorporating the last voicemail exchanged between Downing and Siobhan on New Year’s Day.
The track becomes a family affair, with daughter Aja and wife Audrey Wheeler Downing lending their voices to create a deeply moving and gut-wrenching tribute.
The EP concludes with a trilogy of love-themed tracks, starting with the infectious “Love You Right” and the soulful anthem “Love of A Lifetime.” Downing’s intentional sequencing lifts and restores the spirit, bringing the EP full circle.
“Soul Rising” is not just an artistic endeavor; it’s a testament to Downing’s strength, resilience, and unwavering dedication to his craft. The album cover, featuring an original piece of artwork by Frank Morrison, further underscores the depth and authenticity of this release.
As “Soul Rising” graces the airwaves, listeners are invited to realize, recognize, and appreciate a real man, a real artist, and a real father, with Will Downing’s soul rising above the challenges life has thrown his way.
His distinctive baritone voice has resonated in the hearts of all people world-wide and carved a unique niche in the music marketplace.
Will Downing also hosts a popular weekly radio show, The Wind Down airing on over 20 stations around the world USA, UK, Japan, and Spain.
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Follow him on social media @willdowning3