Jalen Ngonda’s songs make you go weak at the knees. He possesses a voice that touches the heart effortlessly. The young American from Washington D.C. grew up with his father’s Motown collection and blossomed in Liverpool, where he studied at the Institute for Performing Arts. Ngonda swings smoothly between genres and eras. As he puts it, “I blend soul and R&B and try to fit in The Beach Boys and The Beatles”. His first album, ‘Come Around and Love Me’ (2023) came out on Daptone Records, the reputable Brooklyn label that has been so successful in keeping the halcyon days of funk and soul – the ‘60s and ‘70s – alive. They are certain that the new recruit is up to the task of filling the mighty shoes of the late Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones.