Wildcard (week 47):
Joel Culpepper – WAR

Now this is a sound we haven’t heard in the charts for way too long: funky soul. Hopefully, Joel Culpepper can undo that injustice. The south-east London native just announced his debut album, with the rather brilliant title Sgt. Culpepper, for next year.

The long-player is preceded by a double A-sided single: Return/WAR. As is so often the case, the AA-side is my favourite. WAR is an upbeat track in the best James Brown tradition. For the youngsters among you, who may think: James who? Think Learnalilgivinandlovin by Gotye.

Addressing social and political undertones, WAR details Culpepper’s frustration with the hostile environment towards marginalised groups, expressing that ‘enough is enough’. WAR is an acronym for Without Any Restraint. The track was co-written by two musical heavy-weights. Jimmy Hogarth (who worked with Amy Winehouse, Sia, Tom Grennan, Paolo Nutini, Duffy, and many more) and Shawn Lee (a very prolific artist who worked with the likes of Lana Del Rey, Amy Winehouse, Alicia Keys, and is half of Young Gun Silver Fox).

Joel Culpepper. What is it good for? WAR! It’s the new Carte Blanche Music Wildcard.

In the Wildcards 2020 playlist you’ll find all of this year’s Carte Blanche Music Wildcards so far.

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