Emerging artist Damien Richards’ specialty is “Soul Rock,” a unique mix of tenderness with a slight edge. It’s emotional and striking – imagine the lovechild of Seal and Lenny Kravitz. With passionate soul in every chord that he strums and every note he sings, his music takes listeners on a journey at once earthy then heaven bound.

Born in San Fernando and raised in Claxton Bay, Trinidad, Reggae and Calypso naturally formed part of his musical consciousness from an early age. Damien’s father and older brother, respectively, a steel drum player and a DJ, inspired him to take an active part in what he heard around him. Their efforts weren’t wasted; he began performing his native Calypso music at the age of seven and by his early 20’s he’d taught himself how to play the guitar, performing covers of Bob Marley, Cat Stevens, and Bill Withers.

In his early teens, he moved to New York and his palate broadened to include Rock and R&B. Damien cites master guitarists Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page as his rock influences. It’s when he explains how Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, and Lionel Richie formed the background trifecta for his musical upbringing, that his vision as an artist becomes clear – to create an uplifting experience for all; to share and connect through storytelling and ambiance.

For Damien, writing his own lyrics gives him greater control over the message of his music and his connection to his fans. He looks to Marvin Gaye’s classic album “What’s Going On” as a reminder of how poignant that can be; “…he takes you on a tour of the political, social, and economic struggles that are timeless and the listener experiences everything with him; that’s something I hope to accomplish with my music.”

With this broad variety of influences, Damien has created an archetypal rock/blues sound that somehow remains uniquely his. Fans respond not only to his distinctive sound but to his sincerity as well, and Damien is more than willing to return the love, “Everyone who believes and supports me aren’t just fans; they’re part of [the Soul Rock Movement,] taking all the next steps on this journey with me.”

Scheduled for release this fall, keep an eye out for his upcoming album, the “D-Rich Project,” as it promises to be the next chapter in the Soul Rock odyssey. Are you ready to take the ride?