When you hear the names Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway or Ashford and Simpson, timeless duets and everlasting love songs instantly come to mind. The art of duet magic has not been lost on Hil St. Soul (pronounced Hill Street Soul) and Noel Gourdin, who will release their new collaboration “Blessed” on Shanachie Entertainment on July 16, 2021. The striking Zambian-born, London raised Hilary Mwelwa (Hil St. Soul) burst onto the UK music scene in the early 2000s and has not looked back. She has shared the stage with D’Angelo, Kelis, Macy Gray and Angie Stone, among others. Singer/songwriter Noel Gourdin, who is influenced by iconic voices like Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding, exploded onto the scene in 2008 with his unforgettable soul-charged hit “The River.”
Hil St. Soul and Noel Gourdin collaborated in 2014 on the song “No Worries.” When producer Lorenzo Johnson sent Hil St Soul the track for “Blessed,” she instantly knew that Gourdin was the perfect fit to work with on the tune. “The song talks about that feeling of completion you get when you are blessed with a soul mate or special person in your life. It’s a universal theme that everyone can relate to,” shares Hil St. Soul. “When Noel came up with idea, he had Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell in mind and wanted to capture that same sentiment and vibe. Hopefully we’ve achieved that.” Noel Gourdin adds, “My feelings on the opportunity to work with my talented Soul Sister once again, can only be described with one word ‘Blessed.’ We made magic once again.”
In a market overcrowded with vanishing one hit wonders, Hil St. Soul delivers the kind of music that promises to stand the test of time. USA Today says “Mwelwa’s vocals are always enticing” while Vibe Magazine says her “rich, velvety voice warms the inside like a spot of tea.” In January 2021, Hil St. Soul released the single “Heaven Must Be Like This,” a cover of a well-loved Ohio Players album track, following up her 2019 single “One Life,” which hit #1 on Sirius Radio’s Heart & Soul chart. Her 2000 recording debut, Soul Organic, was pegged as one of Blues & Soul Magazine’s ‘best albums of the year’ and featured a cover of the Aretha Franklin classic “Until You Come Back To Me” which received considerable airplay on American Smooth Jazz and R&B stations. Her cover of the Isley Brothers’ hit “For The Love of You” from 2002’s Copasetik & Cool hit Top 20 at Urban AC Radio. Blessed with an intensely rich, soul-drenched and honey-toned alto and armed with serious lyrical and compositional sensibilities, Mwelwa’s 2006 SOULidified showcased her powerful chops and soul stirring vocals and highlighted the steamy and sexy duo with Dwele, “Baby Come Over,” and the endearing “Sweet On You.” Black Rose followed in 2008 featuring the catchy anthem “Don’t Forget The Ghetto” and the dreamy “Sweetest Days.” The release of Hil St. Soul’s new single is further confirmation that she is a force of nature and that she is “Blessed” for success.