Despite what the title might have you believe at first glance, Joel Culpepper’s latest single ‘Afraid to Be King’ is actually a tale of quiet confidence. The single comes from the South-East Londoner’s most recent EP Tortoise, an ambitious release that turns soul on its head through the combination of Culpepper’s rich talent and an intuitive take on production.
Oscillating between hearty baritone notes and a breathtaking falsetto, Joel Culpepper’s voice in ‘Afraid to Be King’ is like no other we’ve heard in some time. The track was produced by Seal collaborator Roy Davis Jr., Culpepper’s vocals soaring high above the strings and psychedelic guitar tones, which cleverly substitute any form of percussion.
The single now comes with its own video directed by Abi Moore, the refined visuals driving the much-deserved attention to the music. With a voice as scintillating as his, there’s very little Joel Culpepper should be afraid of.
Download Tortoise EP here, out now on Reconstruct Music Recordings. Watch ‘Afraid to Be King’ below.