Soul Essence is an R&B performing and song writing duo from Portland, Oregon. The members, Andrew Kwon (Producer, Vocals) and Dennis Agustin (Lead vocals, Composer) met in high school and formed the group after singing the national anthem together during sports events. Andrew was born in Seoul, Korea and moved to Oregon at the age of 10. Dennis was born and raised in the States and is Filipino-American. Their multi-cultural backgrounds bring an interesting and unique flavor to their music.
Beginning in 2001, The duo performed at various clubs such as the Fez Ballroom, Balzers and Club Arizona. In 2002, they were invited to sing for public events all over Oregon and Washington while working on their first album together. They also appeared as an opening act for Gary Valenciano’s concert in Portland.
The two grew up listening to artists such as Babyface, Brian Mcknight, Boyz II Men, Joe, Jodeci, New Edition, and Blackstreet. Their music reflects the inspiration from these groups and artists. But, instead of following the musical trends of their time, they choose to stay grounded in their style and roots.
In January 2003, the group released their debut album, “A New Beginning.” This album consists of three ballads, five up-tempo songs and two remixes. All of their songs (except “For Eternity”,“Stay”, and “Back again‘) were written and composed by the group. Their style includes piano based pop-ballads with melismatic pitch variations such as “For Eternity,” “Stay,” and “Let me be the One.” Their upbeat songs encompass R&B style vocals over hip-hop and dance-pop beats in their songs “Down with Me,” “Feels so Good,” “Tell me,” and “Déjà vu.”
After a long hiatus, the group is currently working together again songwriting and producing singles. They plan to release numerous songs with different styles. Their new single, “Out of Love” was composed and arranged by YJ Choi (based in Los Angeles, CA.) and written by the group. It can be described as a melodic and emotional song with a contrasting upbeat instrumentation.