If you have ever wondered what Percy Sledge would sound like today if he were still in his 20s – and French – wonder no more. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome on stage Ben L’Oncle Soul.
The singer, originally from Tours, is headlining the Rock the Pistes festival, which starts today in Morzine, in the Haute-Savoie département of the Rhône-Alpes.
He found success three years ago, when his single Soulman hit the French charts.
A self-titled album followed, combining both French and English lyrics, and raced into the top ten.
His real name is Benjamin Duterde, and his stage name comes from a childhood nickname. His family thought he looked like the man from the Uncle Ben brand of rice. Wishing to avoid any legal complications with the company, he adapted the name for professional purposes.
He has failed to capitalise on his success in 2011, so for many, his appearance this week marks something of a comeback.
I love 1960s soul, so I’m looking forward to hearing more from Ben.