SONI Pleases on New Single “Happy to Serve”

By Deuce

You’ve really got to give it up to SONI, who will drop the first single, “Happy to Serve” from her forthcoming EP Rebel Star, in a couple days on May 15th. Not many artists have as well-defined a game plan for their projects as the vocalist does.

She’s already hyping up the first single before it’s even released. Moreover, she’s got a release date for the Extended Player’s second single, “Dance with Me” targeted for the following month on June 19th, better known as Juneteenth in some circles. Month after that her label, Buttercuts Records, will be dropping the EP on July 24th, which will also coincide with the unveiling of the final single, “Savage”, from the three-track opus.

For all of the well planned marketing zeal displayed on this outing, the bigger draw is the sheer quality evinced on “Happy to Serve”, which easily sounds as professional, and as real, as tracks on any major label. Again, it’s fairly evident the songstress wasn’t playing around on this one, as the tune enlists Alex Hamilton on some vivacious sounding trumpets, both David Rogers and Ben Laidlow on guitar and keyboards, respectively, French Monkey Wrench picking up the slack on an assortment of instruments (likely including that big bass), and Izzy Austin on the cello. The cut was produced by Andrew Oury and Rebel ACA, who also tosses in a few vocals for good measure.

With such a strong, musically diverse supporting cast, it would be easy to lose this number in all of its respective elements. Won’t happen though, not on this one, at least. First off, the beat is obese, almost like an updated version of classic 90’s neo soul, which provides a solid backdrop for a deceptively simple yet effective bass that covers the low end extremely well. The horns do much work to keep the mood airy and moving, while a few basic guitar chords trail the bassline, providing a well deserved foundation that’s both mellow and lively, plodding and singularly alive.

In short, the track’s grooving before SONI ever touches it, which is not to discredit the big voiced siren’s chops by any means. She sings strong and loud, covering a range of notes that do her credit as an artist.

Honestly, if this track’s indicative of the rest of the EP, it could be well worth the wait for the next couple of months. “Happy to Serve” is a fine production and definite step in the right direction.  

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