Hear Them Now: Charles Bradley

As the music industry continues to be polluted by an endless stream of no-talent, derivative, bubble gum teeny-boppers it’s refreshing to come across someone like Charles Bradley. This legend in the making took his time to hone is awe-inspiring skills. In fact, Bradley was 62 (yes, 62!) when he released his first album, the instant soul classic No Time For Dreaming.

Bradley spent several decades making due as a James Brown impersonator, using the delightful moniker, “Black Velvet.” By the time Bradley got around to performing his own material, it was clear the funky spirit of the Godfather of Soul rubbed off him.

The power of Bradley’s music stems from his often heart-wrenching upbringing which is examined in Poull Brien’s excellent 2012 documentary on the singer, Soul of America.

But the genius of Bradley is that he’s able to blend into music all the pain from his life with an inspiring, unwavering optimism. And of course , there’s his voice. Rich and powerful, filled with love and heartache, it truly is something to behold.

So burn all your Bieber records (or at least delete them from your iPod), get a hold of No Time For Dreaming or Bradley’s latest, Victim of Love, and experience what a real artist truly is.

Let us know in the comments below which up and coming artist should be next week’s “Hear Them Now” pick!