Neo soul is a subgenre of soul music. It is a combination of jazz, funk and gospel tunes. The name “Neo Soul” was created in the 1990s by record producer Kedar Massenburg. Massenburg was the president of Motown Records.
However, three artists that had signed under Massenburg’s record were the main influence behind the rise of the genre. The first one is D’Angelo, he produced his first album in 1995 and sold over 2 million copies. The album was reckoned for it’s uniqueness because he combined church music with hip hop.
Maxwell was the second artist behind the rise of the subgenre. He produced his album in 1996 and it was considered in the top 10 albums of the year.
Finally, the first lady of neo soul, Erykah Badu, who played an important role in the rise of the subgenre. She incorporated live instruments, African musical beats and groove beats to her music that dealt with love and relationships. Her first album “Baduizm” was certified triple platinum.