*R&B Singer/songwriter Noel Gourdin is a fan of powerful music with potent messages.
Influenced by iconic voices like Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding and Johnny Taylor, Gourdin has learned a thing or two about crafting songs that speak to the heart, mind and soul. His rich buttery smooth alto, flavored with a gritty and bluesy undercurrent and punctuated by agile gospel riffs, make him instantly recognizable.
The handsome, down-to-earth musician’s ability to drive home a song was quickly evidenced when he exploded onto the scene in 2008. His unforgettable and soulfully charged hit “The River,” managed to hold the #1 slot at Urban AC Radio for 15 consecutive weeks.
On February 18, 2014, Noel Gourdin made his Shanachie Entertainment/Top Notch Music debut with City Heart, Southern Soul, which the young and charming musician says harnesses the true essence of soul music, while at the same time expands its boundaries.
“This album is a reflection of all the great soul artists of the past that inspired me to make retro-relevant records. I strived to stay true to the organic and authentic feel that I’ve always wanted my music to encompass.” A special highlight on City Heart, Southern Soul is a stunning duet with Avery*Sunshine. Gourdin calls upon celebrated songbird Avery*Sunshine for the senusal ballas. “I had just had a show in Louisiana with the beautiful Avery Sunshine,” recalls Noel. “I asked her to join me on the record. We all revamped this record and made it an incredibly sexy duet about eager and impatient lovers waiting to unleash on one another!”
General Manager of Shanachie Entertainment, Randall Grass states, “As we heard on his breakthrough hit ‘The River,’ Noel Gourdin brings a very special combination of classic soul feeling combined with a more contemporary urban sensibility in both his singing and his songwriting. In short he is the kind of quality singer/songwriter that so many R & B fans have been looking for.”
The album title City Heart, Southern Soul speaks directly to Noel Gourdin’s roots. Born in Brockton, MA and having spent numerous summers with his family in Pachuta, Mississippi, Gourdin is the perfect amalgamation of city fire and southern heat. He began singing in Church and was influenced by this father’s soul records but at the same was influenced by the new jack swing his brother introduced him to. Signed to Sony Music at 24, Gourdin contributed the song “Family Reunion” to soundtrack for the film The Cookout, starring Queen Latifah. His debut After My Time came in 2008 featuring his gospel tinged hit single “The River.” Fresh: The Definition was released in showcasing a refreshing blend of live instrumentation, organic production, and lyrical content as heard on the Top 10 Urban AC single, “Beautiful.” In 2012, Gourdin was featured on pianist Brian Culbertson’s sultry hit R&B ballad “You’re My Music.”
The sultry confessional “Spotlight Lovin’,” opens City Heart, Southern Soul and finds Noel openly professing his affection in a way he has never wanted to reveal to the world until now. The dynamic singer/songwriter shares, “This was my first time working with the talented Tremaine Williams! He sent me a couple of tracks and I immediately liked this one. Our ideas came together perfectly.” The album’s first single, “Heaven Knows,” opens with a gospel-inflected testimonial that demonstrates why Noel is such a riveting story-teller.
The young Huntsville, AL based singer who collaborated with Marcellus Dawson on the track, shares, “I wanted to explore what many people go through in relationships – lying, cheating, miscommunication, and taking one another for granted. Through it all, a love so strong will endure and only ‘Heaven Knows’ just how strong!” Noel and Dawson also join forces on the intriguing and sexy “Don’t You Wanna.”
The commanding, bluesy retro-soul number, “Patience,” is a standout on City Heart, Southern Soul. Noel confides, “This song and ‘Heaven Knows’ set the tone on the album for me. It makes me feel like I’m in the midst of the Motown swing, with an old fashioned message. ‘Patience’ is about having the patience to build a relationship and allowing that connection to a life long partnership.” When Noel first heard the track for “Come Over,” produced by Ty Macklin, it immediately spoke to him. “I’ll never forget, Ty sent this track to me while I was walking around a store. I had my phone up to my ear groovin’, bumping into things all the while coming up with a melody and hook,” shares the singer. On “I Want You (Regardless),” Noel tackles a love that is determined to be doomed in the mind of others and he stays determined to go the distance regarding the naysayers. “It’s about openly loving a woman who’s had an extremely promiscuous past and not being ashamed to do so,” shares Noel. “I love to write about topics like this because there’s so many people out there that constantly deal with outsiders trying to discourage folks that are in love with people that have a history….true love will always prevail.”
With the release of City Heart, Southern Soul, Noel Gourdin continues to assert himself as one of the most promising voices of his generation, making music that promises to stand the test of time. Noel confides that he hope his music will be known for its quality. He adds, “It’s really important for me to be respectful and have music that can speak to the masses, from a two year old to your Great GrandMAMA! Musical integrity is extremely important to me, for when I leave the industry my musical legacy is what I want to be remembered for…Timeless, Real and Soulful, music.”
Listen to “I Can’t Wait to Love You” with Noel Gourdin and Avery*Sunshine: