The South Bay has always been known as a hub for bubbling new and electrifying artistic talent, and Soulful Obsession is no exception to that reputation. With their self-titled debut EP ready to reach the masses in February 2013, this lively eclectic band exudes far more than just youthful potential and exuberance. With an array of extensive and diverse performing experience collectively as a group and individually within its four members, Soulful Obsession is sufficiently prepared to spread their inventive sounds without any geographic or categorical boundaries.
Lily Tran, Soulful’s lead vocalist, possesses an enchanting and vibrant melodic tone that melts across the animated grooves and textures produced by keyboardist Bennett Roth-Newell, bassist Veno Bender, and drummer Kosuke Okamura. Roth-Newell, a trained jazz pianist who holds a Master’s degree in music from San Jose State University, and Bender, who is also a gifted guitarist and spoken word artist, showcase distinctive musical skills as both play their respective instruments while simultaneously singing lead melodies or background harmonies as well as delivering rhythmically complex rap lyrics during live performances. Okamura, who is a classically trained percussionist and soon receiving a California teaching credential, propels the music to soaring heights with his funky, percussive pocket, contagious energy, and ever-present passionate smile. Tran, a natural-born singer and business and marketing expert, takes command of the stage with her electrifying spirit, appetizing melodies, and exhibition of true love for the music and her musical family. Channeling each other’s artistry and essence, Soulful Obsession unleashes captivating sounds that stretch beyond the contemporary norm.
The band’s EP consists of five tracks all written and produced together as a whole that capture a wave of emotions indicative of the lifestyles and experiences mostly of this present era’s teenagers, college students, and individuals in their 20’s and 30’s. With concepts ranging from the enticing nightlife to irresistible lust to anticipated love, Soulful Obsession lyrically bears their humanity to all open ears willing to participate in consuming their stories. The music is charismatically tasteful as each member unveils their high quality of musicianship and polished talent. Their thematic approach to songwriting is sophisticatedly evident as their stimulating content matches the musical output word for word and note for note.