[Video courtesy Ben l’Oncle Soul and Motown Records]
Ben l’Oncle Soul, a.k.a. Benjamin Duterde, is a soulful young singer from Tours, France. He has achieved great acclaim across seas for his first EP in 2009, titled Soulwash. Taking the name of “Uncle Soul”, his above cover of The White Stripes well-known single Seven Nation Army is sparking the interests of some fans and critics in the United States. Success in the American market is considered by many the most prolific goal an aspiring artist can achieve, and it is a shame l’Oncle Soul remains largely unknown within the United States. From a public relations standpoint, his record label – Motown Records – could be putting forth a far-greater effort towards promoting a fan-base in the States. After all, it has widely been proven in the past that sales in the U.S. translates much more regularly to sales and popularity in Europe then the other way around (the Beatles being one of several exceptions to this rule). L’Oncle Soul has shown his commitment to his own heritage through fantastic French vocals in his first EP, and should now focus on singing in English if he wishes to conquer the international music industry as he’s currently doing in France. His Seven Nation Army cover proves two things – that he is fully capable of singing in uninhibited, smooth English, and that he wants to be heard by those of us who ne parlais pas francais. His energetic style and take on blues and soul are combined with fantastic vocals and sweet-sounding instrumentals in his chart-topping French EP. There’s little doubt that a predominately English EP or Album would garner less success in the U.S. Overcoming the language barrier should be his label’s main focus in spreading his fan-base, as even his Wikipedia entry is currently listed only in French. Interviews, tours, and web-based interactions with an American audience would allow Uncle Soul to be molded into the international superstar he seems destined to become.