Nicole Willis’ soulful voice is one of a kind, and her lyrics are full of insight, whereas The Soul Investigators are known for their unique sound that combines late 60s styled funk and soul, and also for their undisputed skill of writing great music. The Soul Investigators have played together since 1998, and they have released a number of singles with various vocalists and also instrumentally. Ms. Willis has an amazing ability to find melodies that fit perfectly the band’s tunes. The collaboration works like a charm, which can be heard both live and in the recordings. Their music is timeless – it never goes out of fashion and yet it’s constantly evolving. This combination makes them sound fresh and modern.
The debut album “Keep Reachin’ Up” was released in 2005, and it was a critical success especially among soul enthusiasts all over, domestically and abroad. It was among the first records to start the retro-soul movement. The hit single “Feeling Free” was chosen the “Track of the Year” by the renowned music connoisseur Gilles Peterson in his World Wide Awards in 2006, “Keep Reachin’ Up“ was also selected as the “Urban Album of the Year” by Mojo Magazine. Another hit single from the album “If This Ain’t Love” reached the charts in Finland and gained “modern classic” status in the Northern Soul scene. After the album was released Nicole and the band performed continuously in Europe. In the following years the record was also been released in France, UK, Japan and North America. In early 2012, the president of the United States Barack Obama picked the title track on his re-election campaign’s official Spotify playlist.
Nicole Willis & the Soul Investigators released their sophomore effort, “Tortured Soul“ in early 2013. The album was Ms. Willis’ fourth album, her second with The Soul Investigators. The band’s signature sound was still clearly audible, but the new album also introduced a harder Rhythm & Blues edge. Songs such as “Break Free” and “Time To Get Business Straight” get people dance all over the globe while they perform it live with energy so distinctive for the group.
Later on year 2013, The Soul Investigators released an album with a California duo Myron & E on Los Angeles based Stones Throw Records. The band toured with the duo last few months of the year in Europe, the very same venues they’ve been visiting with Nicole Willis for so many years.
In 2014, after touring hard in Europe and making their live debut in North America, Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators got back in to studio and composed a new album called “Happiness In Every Style”. It will be released by Helsinki’s own Timmion Records in October 2015. It’s their third album together and compositions and producing were made together by Nicole and the band from start to finish.
In addition to the album release, Nicole Willis & the Soul Investigators will be getting back on stages across Europe and performing songs not only from “Tortured Soul”, but also from their debut and the upcoming third album. Hits such as “Feeling Free” and “Holdin’ On” will be accompanied by new tunes such as “Let’s Communicate” and “Together We Climb” to keep the crowd going across venues and festivals around the globe.
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Discography for Nicole Willis:
- “Promise/Field Trippin” (Repercussions – 1992) – Mo’ Wax – 12″
- “Promise Me Nothing” (Repercussions – 1995) – Warner Bros – CD
- “Earth & Heaven” (Repercussions – 1995) – Warner Bros/Reprise
- “Charmed Life” (Repercussions – 1997) – Pony Canyon
- ”Soul Makeover” (2000) – Sahko Recordings
- “Be It” (2004) – Sahko Recordings
- “Keep Reachin’ Up” (with The Soul Investigators) – Timmion Records (2005) – LP/CD/MC
- You Better Change/Raw Steaks – (with The Soul Investigators) – Timmion Records (2003) – 7″
- If This Ain’t Love/Instrumental – (with The Soul Investigators) – Timmion Records (2005) – 7″
- Feeling Free/Instrumental – (with The Soul Investigators) – Timmion Records (2006) – 7″
- My Four Leaf Clover/Holding On – (with The Soul Investigators) – Timmion Records (2006) – 7″
- Tell Me When/It’s All Because Of You – (with The Soul Investigators) – Timmion Records (2012) – 7″
- “Tortured Soul” (with The Soul Investigators) – Timmion Records (2013) – LP/CD/MC
- Paint Me In A Corner/Where Are You Now – (with The Soul Investigators) – Timmion Records (2015) – 7″
- One In A Million/Instrumental – (with The Soul Investigators) – Timmion Records (2015) – 7″
Music video of “One In A Million”
Music video of “If This Ain’t Love (Don’t Know What Is)”
Music video of “Break Free (Shake A Tail Feather)”
Music video of “Time To Get Business Straight”