In 1998, the neo soul movement was near its peak when a collective of like-minded artists came together at Electric Lady to push the wave even higher. They called themselves the Soulquarians, and before the decade ended they’d help birth some of the modern era’s greatest recordings.
Spotify, in partnership with Berklee College of Music and Electric Lady Studios, has announced that it will be launching the Equal (EQL) Studio Residency Program for emerging female producers and engineers.
The program, which will begin on Oct. 1, will offer residencies in three different cities: New York, Nashville and London. During these paid six-month residencies, one participant in each city will work hands-on in a professional studio environment and gain access to invaluable networking and mentoring opportunities to further their career.
The Soulquarians didn’t set out to revolutionize the pulse of modern jazz. Maybe it’s an overstatement to imply that they did. But there can be no doubt that the slouchy, loose-jointed, atmospherically humid funk that they alchemized in the studio — specifically, Electric Lady Studios, in Greenwich Village — had a reach well beyond the scope of neo-soul, the inexact genre coalescing around them. A considerable number of young jazz artists were paying close attention to what they were doing, at any rate. A few even got in on the ground floor.
For a handful of years straddling the turn of the century, the Soulquarians treated Electric Lady as a clubhouse — a perpetual hang unburdened by the usual ticking clock of the recording studio.