By Bella Savignano | June 27, 2022
Come in, sit down, and stay awhile. Today, we’re lounging at Brooks Welch’s funky, underground soul club, Soul Sugar Joint, a digital dreamscape of R&B and soul music analysis and history hosted on TikTok. The D.C.-based “storyteller and content strategist” founded Soul Sugar Joint at the end of 2021 and has garnered a rapidly growing following in the months since. From micro-video essays narrating the historical origins of iconic soul songs, to highlight-reels listing the best moments of soul’s contemporary vanguard, Welch makes history and music analysis cool again. She’s also a disc jockey, spinning remixes that fuse the current and the classics, a style that makes sense for the self-proclaimed “enthusiast of timeless music.” The Soul Sugar Joint also exists on Instagram, where Welch shares her videos as well as live music content, and Spotify, where she curates playlists with profoundly precise vibes, from “cinematic soul,” described as “lush, heartfelt” music that belongs “on the big screen,” to “dopamine rush” songs fit to “shake yo’ groove thang” to.
Brooks Welch kindly agreed to answer a few questions for the groovement:
What was your first concert?
Brooks Welch: I don’t know the artist of my first concert, but I’m sure it was something church-related or held at a church.
Where are you from?
I’m from Grand Rapids, MI (the 616)!
How did you get started?
I founded a community for soul music lovers called Soul Sugar, it started on TikTok and now it’s growing to other platforms. I talk about the influence of classic soul artists in modern R&B/soul music, share backstories of legendary records, and listen to music with supporters on livestream.
Who/what inspires you?
I’m inspired by great soul/R&B music historians, writers, and publications like Questlove, Ericka Blount Danois (Author of “Love, Peace, and Soul”), and Wax Poetics.
What do you like about live music?
If listening to an artist while you chill is the juice, then live music is the concentrate! You get to experience an artist’s entire world and learn so much more about their intention. All that, plus maybe making a new friend who’s in the crowd with you. It’s beautiful.