London-based, by way of DC, artist Jalen Ngonda shares his final single ahead of his debut album ‘So Glad I Found You.’ His debut, Come Around and Love Me, will be released September 8th via Daptone Records.
With his UK tour, now sold-out, and his global tour rapidly approaching its launch on September 5th, Jalen’s announced a headline show at London’s iconic Koko, due to exceptional demand – further details TBA.
Jalen continues to innovate and demonstrate the through lines between classic soul and contemporary R&B in his own sound with his latest ballad. ‘So Glad I Found You’ adopts a different message than prior singles ‘That’s All I Wanted From You’ and title track ‘Come Around And Love Me,’ finding Jalen resolute and triumphant in a dream-like tune carried by strings and keys.
Recorded at Hive Mind Studios in Brooklyn, Jalen wrote and recorded the album with the help of producers/arrangers Mike Buckley and Vincent Chiarito (both members of Charles Bradley’s Extraordinaires). Jalen’s approach to music, and his debut, centers on his deep reverence of the Motown records he grew up with and his appreciation for the timeless soul music of the 20th century, while recognizing that he’s able to bring a distinctly 21st-century point of view to those sounds. Come Around And Love Me distills those two timelines into a stunning debut record of modern soul and R&B from one of the powerhouse new voices in the genre.
At only 28, Jalen’s resume reads more like that of a seasoned veteran:
He has performed at New York City’s Summer Stage Festival, Pickathon, Newport Folk Festival, opened for Laura Mvula and Lauryn Hill at the Montreal Jazz Festival, sold-out houses on his own in Germany, the UK and Switzerland. After garnering rave reviews and thrilling audiences with his powerful solo performance in support of Thee Sacred Souls’ US tour, Jalen rejoined their European tour finishing with them in Rotterdam at the end of April, culminating with a sold-out headline show of his own at London’s Moth Club. This Autumn, he’ll embark on a world tour, beginning in North American, with his full band, adding a new dynamic to his already-impeccable live show. Tickets are available here.
Upcoming Tour Dates:
09/05 – Asheville, NC @ Grey /Eagle
09/06 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
09/07 – Durham, NC @ Motorco
09/08 – Charlottesville, VA @ The Southern
09/11 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
09/12 – Philadelphia, PA @ MilkBoy
09/14 – Baltimore, MD @ 8×10
09/15 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat
09/16 – New York, NY @ Racket
09/18 – Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe
09/19 – Detroit, MI @ El Club
09/21 – Evanston, IL @ SPACE
09/24 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line
09/27 – Denver, CO @ Globe Hall
09/28 – Boulder, CO @ Fox Theatre
09/30 – Ft. Collins, CO @ The Armory
10/01 – Salt Lake City, UT @ State Room
10/03 – Boise, ID @ The Olympic
10/05 – Seattle, WA @ Madame Lou’s
10/06 – Vancouver, BC @ Hollywood Theatre
10/07 – Portland, OR @ The Jack London Revue
10/09 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
10/10 – Sacramento, CA @ Starlet Room
10/11 – San Luis Obispo, CA @ SLO Brew
10/14 – Los Angeles, CA @ Gold Diggers
10/15 – San Diego, CA @ The Casbah
10/16 – Phoenix, AZ @ Last Exit
10/18 – Dallas, TX @ Deep Ellum Arts Collective
10/19 – Austin, TX @ Empire Garage Control Room
10/20 – Houston, TX @ Axlerad
10/22 – Nashville, TN @ Basement East
11/01 – Glasgow, SCT @ King Tut’s (SOLD OUT)
11/02 – Liverpool, UK @ Jimmy’s (SOLD OUT)
11/04 – Birmingham, UK @ O Institutes (SOLD OUT)
11/06 – Bristol, UK @ Exchange (SOLD OUT)
11/07 – London, UK @ Jazz Cafe (SOLD OUT)
11/08 – Rotterdam, NL @ Bird
11/09 – Paris, FR @ Cafe De La Danse
Jalen Ngonda – Come Around and Love Me
September 8, 2023
1. Come Around and Love Me
2. If You Don’t Want My Love
4. That’s All I Wanted From You
5. Please Show Me
6. Just Like You Used To
7. What A Difference She Made
8. Give Me Another Day
9. So Glad I Found You
10. It Takes A Fool
More about Jalen Ngonda:
Jalen Ngonda is one of the most captivating performers on today’s soul scene. His voice, equal parts raw feeling and elegance, exudes confidence and charm. At 28, his resume reads more like that of a seasoned veteran: He has performed at New York City’s Summer Stage Festival, Pickathon, Newport Folk Festival, opened for Laura Mvula and Lauryn Hill at the Montreal Jazz Festival and sold-out houses on his own in Germany, the UK and Switzerland. Most recently, Jalen thrilled audiences and garnered rave reviews with his powerful solo performance in support of Thee Sacred Souls’ US tour. Now with a pair of widely-revered singles under his belt at his new home, Daptone Records, Jalen prepares for the release of his debut LP, Come Around and Love Me.
Jalen Ngonda grew up in a music loving family on the outskirts of Washington D.C. He began musical studies in grade school, where he dabbled in violin, ultimately moving on to the guitar and piano. His inspiration came from listening to his father’s collection of Motown CDs (The Temptations, Mary Wells, and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles), which opened his eyes to the vastness of American music, guiding him along a path of constant study and discovery–from early blues, to gospel to jazz to rock & soul.
Like many of the legends before him, Jalen cut his teeth in the church where he played organ, honing his craft to the organic pulse of soul-grooving parishioners. And it was this very church that helped raise the money to send Jalen to the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts, where he honed his rich, nuanced voice and sublime falsetto.
Some years later, after a serendipitous, last minute opening slot for Jools Holland–attended by Daptone Co-Founder, Neal Sugarman–the pair hit it off and plans for an album on Daptone were struck. Unfortunately, this happened to be a month before the COVID 19 pandemic shut down the world. Notwithstanding, Jalen eventually made it to Hive Mind Studios in Brooklyn, NY where he began writing and recording with the help of producer/arrangers Mike Buckley and Vincent Chiarito (both members of Charles Bradley’s Extraordinaires) and a crack team of a-list musicians from the Daptone family. The team skillfully blends heavy arrangements and introspective lyrics with motown sophistication, leaving the listener in a blissful wash of wonderment–culminating in quite possibly one of the finest soul albums of the decade.
Jalen has been writing songs since he was 14, and his compositions are also very much of these times. He explains, “I love music from the 20th century— I listen to it all the time, but I’m in this world and the 21st century. …to a stranger, I’d describe my music as modern soul and R&B, while trying to fit in the Beach Boys and the Beatles somewhere in between.” Come Around and Love Me reveals how he creates a classic approach that is rooted in the sounds of revered pioneers, without falling into imitation–leaving no doubt that Jalen will continue to shine within the superlative, timeless musical tradition that is Daptone’s hallmark.
Listen to Jalen Ngonda’s new single ‘So Glad I Found You’, on Hearbreaking Spotify playlist
Photo Credit: Rosie Cohe
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