A lot of bands nowadays prefer not to be pigeonholed into any one kind of musical genre, and as a result, new flavors of music are coming to life where genre lines are being blurred.
Branjae and the Allstars are no exception. Blending gospel, R&B, hard rock and reggae, the Tulsa group has created a unique sound of their own, but with a classy twist – they successfully maintain R&B’s original old-school glamour and soul at their core.
“There’s a lot going on with music these days – in the ‘60s you could turn on the radio and tell what kind of music you were listening to. If it was rhythm and blues, there was no doubt about it,” says singer, songwriter and music arranger, Branjae Jackson.
“R&B used to be written out of soul, with that old Motown sound. Now, like rock and country music, it’s slowly integrating more into pop music, but there are still so many people who adore the original rhythm and blues sound that I just don’t hear being made anymore.”
Drawing inspiration from stage legends such as Michael Jackson, Diana Ross and Tina Turner, Branjae and the Allstars have a broad entertainment appeal on many levels, having gained notoriety with a following throughout the Midwest to the South and, more recently, the United Kingdom.
With gigs lined up and an upcoming album of original songs in the works, the group has been building momentum over the past several years and is reaping the benefits of their labor.
Their upcoming album is sure to showcase the band’s ability to mix country music’s knack for story telling, rock’s “pivotal climax” and R&B’s rich, soul-searching depth.
In addition to paralleling human nature’s most raw emotions, the group also channels from the introspective, relating real life pain and struggles that reach beyond heartache, encouraging people on individual levels to look within themselves and outside of their emotions.
“When we do our live shows, a lot of people say things like, ‘Branjae, it’s almost like you’re preaching sometimes.’ I’ll take that. There are moments when the energy is high and people are enjoying themselves and loving the music and I do try to tell them what the songs are about,” Jackson says.
“I like to talk about things people normally don’t talk about – the real-life things. What better platform to talk about them than to write and perform songs about them?”