Howard Hewett is one of the most gifted vocalists in the Post-Marvin Gaye era of pop R&B.
He started singing as a child, fronting his older sisters in The Hewett Singers. The group toured the gospel circuit. As a teen, Hewett sharpened his crooner skills in a funk band called Lyfe. In 1976, Hewett moved to Los Angeles and formed a group put together by the owners of the historic Maverick’s Flat, called Beverly Hills.
Hewett got his mainstream break as the male vocal lead in Shalamar, a centerpiece of Dick Griffey’s SOLAR (Sound of Los Angeles Records) label. His tenor voice mixed beautifully with the bright vocals of Jody Watley, the dancing skills of Jeffery Daniels and the writing and production of Leon Sylvers III. The group gave the world feel-good dance favorites The Second Time Around and A Night to Remember.
In the mid-eighties, Howard sets out on his solo career, releasing I Commit to Love in 1986 on Elektra and from the first single Hewett made magic, giving his amorous voice and whimsical lyrics to Stay, I’m For Real and the title track. Most beloved track on this freshman release would be his spiritually grounded Say Amen. This single soared on the Inspirational charts and has enjoyed the status of a modern gospel classic.
Subsequent projects have solidified Hewett’s place in the high ranks of R&B balladeers by writing and collaborating and lending his voice within an intimate group of crooners, including George Duke, Quincy Jones, James Ingram, Anita Baker, Prince and Stanley Clarke.
Later work shows increasing authenticity as Hewett rips song lyrics straight from his soul. It’s Time (1994- This Love is Forever), written and produced almost exclusively with long time friend and collaborator Monte Seward, displays all the vulnerability involved in falling and staying in love. In 2001, Hewett released the all inspirational album The Journey, where he shows us that his faith can’t be separated from his heart and soul.
Hewett continues to seduce audiences and eardrums as he is constantly touring and intermittently releasing new music.
“Of all the fine vocalists working today, Howard Hewett is one of the finest.” – Babyface
Unlike many Southern soul singers who earned their wings singing from the pews of their local church, Acantha Lang’s musical accomplishments were born of pure vocal talent and self-determination. Though raised in New Orleans, Lang didn’t find her voice until she stumbled into the good graces of New York’s most accomplished R&B session musicians — and now, she’s London’s best-kept soul secret on the cusp of a solo breakthrough.
Growing up, Acantha Lang wasn’t drawn towards the spotlight, but she felt a calling towards music that she just couldn’t ignore. After moving to New York, this calling eventually led her to take the stage at the famed Harlem Grill, a now-defunct space where Black musicians would congregate after performances in the borough. From Puffy, Stevie Wonder, and Alicia Keys to the session players that ran with Prince, wrote songs with Jocelyn Brown, and backed Acantha each Monday for her weekly “Monday Night Blues” residency, the Grill was home to the best of Harlem’s soul scene, brimming with community and the culture of Acantha’s hometown.
After nearly three years at the Grill, Acantha was headhunted for Manhattan’s renowned cabaret, The Box, where she became the club’s first female MC — a role that ultimately catapulted her to London to open the UK’s sister club. There, she was able to put together her band, write her own music, and start polishing her sound, evolving her voice into the mesmerizing, full-bodied instrument that American Songwriter has compared to the venerable vocal flutter of Aretha Franklin. “When I started making the music I wanted to make… there was no second thought, no confusion,” says Acantha. “I knew exactly what I wanted to do, exactly what I wanted to say… and I couldn’t have done that before now.”
That newfound musical confidence shines through on her 2021 EP debut, Sugar Woman, which Soul Tracks selected as their featured album of the month upon its August release. As Acantha Lang blends Stax-inspired funk with Southern blues, she tells highly personal tales atop spirited, shimmering grooves. Acantha’s storytelling style harkens to age-old blues traditions while grounding itself in contemporary themes, delivering head-on lyrical attacks on fake news (the tell-all “He Said/She Said”), odes to motherly love in the wake of Katrina’s disaster (the gripping “Lois Lang”), and celebrations of Black strength and womanhood with confidence and pride.
Acantha Lang’s growth has been slow but sure: a whirlwind journey from humble beginnings to a steadily burgeoning career songwriting for the GRAMMY-nominated Robert Randolph, writing with multi-platinum songwriter Kiris Houston (Disciples, Kylie Minogue, Little Mix) and Bruno Major, and earning endorsements from legends like Joe Bonamassa, Robert Elms, and noted tastemaker Craig Charles (BBC 6Music / BBC Radio 2) who distinguished Acantha as “brilliant… an independent artist destined for world domination” in a recent interview for Blues & Soul Magazine. Acantha’s rousing “He Said/She Said” appears on his recently released compilation album, The Craig Charles Trunk Of Funk Vol. 2, where he notes that it’s a track that “…will blow the cobwebs out of your eardrums and leave you breathless and eager for more.”
Acantha has built a dedicated legion of fans online through her “Standing On The Shoulders Of…” series (currently over 1 million cumulative views across Instagram, YouTube and TikTok) in which she covers soul legends of years past, tapping into the innate rhythms of jukebox favorites and teasing out all-new moments of wonder. Her exceptional take on the classic, “I Wish I Knew How I Would Feel To Be Free,” ultimately landed her a recent McDonald’s TV spot in Europe thanks to her smooth, straight-tone with roughed-up edges (the perfect Nina Simone vocal stand-in).
Armed with passion, a unique perspective, and a voice that stops people in their tracks, Acantha Lang’s full-length debut (coming in 2022) is destined to propel her from an undiscovered gem into the pantheon of modern soul greats
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Dijon chickens with butter and herb dumplings with leek mash
Sweet potato, red pepper, kale coconut curry with coconut rice ( vegan)
Shallot tart Tatin ( vegan)
Broccoli and Stilton quiche
Spinach, broad bean, Parmesan frittata
Couscous, halloumi, and chickpea salad