‘Return/W.A.R’ is the explosive double release from south-east London’s rising contemporary soul and funk purveyor Joel Culpepper.
The double single from his long-awaited forthcoming debut album ‘Sgt Culpepper’, ‘Return / W.A.R’ sees South - East native Joel welcome us into his immersive and personal world with the first chapter of the LP “The Battle” in a bold and captivating way. Premiered by Annie Mac on her Radio 1 show, ‘Return’ (co-written with Redinho who produced 2019’s ‘Sheriff’) is a revenge song about Karma, when the stakes are raised we see Joel’s meditative approach to payback. The driving beat with a compelling narrative Joel is flaunting, we hear in the hook conflicting feelings the wiser words from Joel’s mother “mama said let it go, let it go”. ‘W.A.R’ produced by Swindle takes on a more upbeat James Brown-esque style with vivid imagery to match. Addressing social and political undertones, as Joel details his frustration with the hostile environment towards marginalised groups, expressing that ‘enough is enough.’ W.A.R an acronym for Without Any Restraint.
Earning the support of his contemporaries on the underground jazz scene and respect of those he has been inspired by, Joel Culpepper is the artist’s artist and songwriter, with a once-seen-never-forgotten stage presence. His stand-out COLORS performance has received 12 million plays and counting, whilst previous EP ‘Tortoise’ showcases his stand-out vocal ability. However, it wasn’t until recently Joel decided to give up his full-time job as a Learning Mentor helping vulnerable children with behavioral difficulties, to focus solely on his music with an aim to inspire the children he had once worked with. It’s on forthcoming debut album ‘Sgt Culpepper’ where Joel make’s his mark, pouring his heart and soul into a conceptual record that was two years in the making.
Out of Peckham and eventually settling in Catford has emerged a vibrant and dynamic artist, whose combination of funk influences, hard-hitting lyricism and undeniable stage presence has placed him as a truly unique proposition. With ‘Sgt Culpepper’ confirmed for early next year, if it’s raw, charismatic and captivating storytelling you’re after, there should only be one name on your lips.
'Return/W.A.R' is out now.