Stone Mountain couple masters ebb, flow of soul
By Jennifer Sami
DeKalb Neighbor Staff Writer
When Cheryl Dublin met AC Akalawu in 1999, both London natives said they knew another merger was in their future.
Five years later, they are celebrating the success of another union, SoulVersive, a production company they began last year as an outlet for local independent musicians.
The duo now spends their days writing, producing and arranging music in a variety of African-American-influenced genres, ranging from funk and jazz to hip-hop and reggae. They are renovating their basement to create a 24-track studio to add to their already working pre-production studio.
Though most of their London friends in the industry were moving to New York, Ms. Dublin and Akalawu decided Georgia’s underground music scene was an untapped market they needed to expose. So in January of 2001, the couple packed up and moved to Stone Mountain.
We wanted to bring something new and fresh and get away from the slow vibe. We’ve been doing that and getting a great response from people,” said Ms. Dublin. “When we left England, we had to establish ourselves, so we had to do the 9-to-5 jobs and working with the artists in between.”
SoulVersive’s popularity has grown so much in the past year that Akalawu left his job as a network consultant. And the only Web site Ms. Dublin has designed in the past year was SoulVersive’s site, www.soulversive.com, launched last month.
“The whole organized structure of live music is really what we’re leaning towards. Even though we formulate tracks on a computer, we don’t use synthetics because we find it very hard to translate that into real sounds on stage,” said Akalawu. “There’s an ebb and flow and when you’re playing live. There’s an imperfect perfection and that’s what we want to bring back.”
Ms. Dublin, also a poet, is responsible for most of the lyrics, while Akalawu handles production work.
Their first EP album, “The Alphabet of Life” will debut in June. The CD features Ms. Dublin’s lyrics depicting the human life cycle, performed by Celina Crawford and Arlecia Martin.
“‘The Alphabet of Life’ is really deep self-expression. And whether or not it’s anyone’s cup of tea, it’s from the heart and that’s why it was important for us to do,” said Akalawu.
SoulVersive is currently working with three artists, but are always looking for new talent, writers, female vocalists and production members.
“We want to have a big SoulVersive family – a bunch of individuals that just love to be creative and make music in all facets of the industry,” Ms. Dublin said. “We plan on doing exactly what we’re doing now, but at a bigger level.”
For more information on SoulVersive, call (404) 388-0040 or visit the Web site at www.soulversive.com
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