Northern Soul? That's for old folks, isn't it? Well, not any more - and certainly not if 18-year-old LEVANNA MCLEAN has anything to do with it. She's young, bright, pretty and talented and there's nothing she likes doing more than moving around on the dance floor with spins and kicks to a pounding '60s soul groove. "There are so many young people into it now," declares the enthusiastic Bristol-based student-turned-dancer-and-DJ whose videos depicting her dancing in various locations to Northern Soul tracks has achieved a phenomenal 1.5 million YouTube hits. "I've got loads of young friends who are into it," she reveals. "People don't think of it as young people's music but there's a whole new generation on the scene at the moment."
It's a common misconception, though, that the UK's Northern Soul scene - which has experienced several moments of crossover resurgence during the last thirty years and steadfastly refuses to die - is comprised of middle-aged soul fanatics for whom the 1970s never ended. While some commentators will argue that there's more than a grain of truth to that particular perspective, LEVANNA MCLEAN - aka 'Northern Soul Girl' - conclusively demonstrates that the Northern Soul Scene is not the sole preserve of those approaching bus pass status.
In addition to her YouTube fame, Lev - as she likes to be called - also found herself in the spotlight last year when she performed a Northern Soul dance routine alongside US R&B superstar Pharrell Williams to his hit 'Happy' during his performance at the Brit Awards. Given her popularity, then, and the fact that Northern Soul's crossover appeal is in the ascendancy (evidenced by the appearance of Northern Soul-associated songs on several recent TV adverts), it's no surprise that a record company is aiming to capitalise on 'Northern Soul Girl's potential to promote the music that she loves and attract younger listeners. In fact, the personable teenager has just signed a deal with Universal Music and the first fruit of their liaison is that the dancer's picture adorns the company's forthcoming compilation 'Move On Up - The Very Best Of Northern Soul,' which is released 16th March.
Comprising a whopping 75 tracks that include hits from familiar soul stars such as Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Curtis Mayfield alongside rarities from more esoteric acts like The Vel Vets, Tony Galla, and Rita & The Tiaras, the compilation offers a vivid sonic snapshot that captures the essence of the Northern Soul scene.
In a recent interview with SJF's Charles Waring, Lev talks about her passion for Northern Soul, the impact it's had on her life and her ambitions for the future...
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 March 2015 14:05