If music be the food of love play on
A day in the life of the Urban Soul Orchestra
How was the Urban Soul Orchestra formed?
Urban Soul Orchestra (USO) is owned and operated by Stephen Hussey (Musical Director) and Natasha Beckman (Manager). Stephen started the orchestra 20 years ago as a vehicle for his unique string arrangements, providing orchestral backing for recording sessions, TV/Video and live shows for top artists, beginning with Soul II Soul and quickly moving into work with others such as Kylie, Madonna, Mick Jagger, Grace Jones and many more.
Oasis invited us to arrange their second album (What's the Story) Morning Glory? for the string quartet and perform at their album launch. We were then asked to do the same for Mariah Carey’s Christmas party. Since then we have been delighting audiences at exclusive events both in the UK and internationally.
What does a usual day involve for the Urban Soul Orchestra?
Urban Soul Orchestra have two very distinct sides to the business encompassing both the Events & Music Industry. A typical day in the USO Events office consists of client liaison, logistical management and general day-to-day running of the Orchestra to ensure that all of our events are produced to the highest standard.
When we are out of the office we are performing at some of the most iconic venues in London, the UK and Europe including The Savoy, Hedsor House & Cap Estel, France.
The USO Music office works at the top of the music industry lead by our Musical Director Stephen Hussey; www.stephenhussey.co.uk. A usual day includes creating arrangements, orchestrations and composing for many prestigious projects both in the UK and internationally.
What makes Urban Soul Orchestra different from other performers?
Urban Soul Orchestra is a contemporary and versatile string ensemble with a unique twist, incorporating percussion, bass, DJ and vocals. We provide varying styles of entertainment throughout an event, from chilled background music during ceremony, drinks or dinner to a roof-raising band to stir up the dance floor
Our ensembles include our Chill Out Set, Acoustic Ensemble, "Little" Big Band, “Little” Swing Band, Show Band, Swing Band and DJ Set. Clients can book one band catering to an entire event, with a unique look and style for each part.
We pride ourselves on the very high level of service we offer including;
· iPads for our music for a sleek look
· Wireless microphones so that the violinists can interact with guests.
· iPod to provide background playlists between sets
For a full list of our complimentary services please follow the link:
We also offer bespoke services that set us apart from other performers, these include;
· Consultation with our Musical Director Stephen Hussey who will liaise with you about your song choices for the ceremony
· Bespoke song arrangements for your first dance
· Personalised CDs to be used as wedding favours
· Dancers who can assist in the choreography and learning of your first dance.
For a full list of our bespoke services please follow the link: www.urbansoulorchestra.co.uk/events/Bespoke_Services/
What is the weirdest thing you’ve been asked to perform?
The most recent crazy performance that we have done was at The London Hippodrome where the client wanted us to dress like sexy clowns.
Other weird and wonderful costumes include dressing as characters from Alice in Wonderland for the LTA Wimbledon Ball. We do include costume changes for our ensembles as a complimentary service but we usually recommend that these are all white, black & gold, our gorgeous new electric blue dresses or even our Best Of British outfits.
What questions would you recommend a wedding couple asks a performer before hiring them for their wedding?
USO work at the top of the events and music industry and as a result we understand how important quality music is to complement any event.
We would definitely recommend that a wedding couple view video and photos from previous events, this gives you a good idea of the type of events that they work at and how well presented and high energy their musicians are. We have a link on our website to photos and videos of all of our different products; www.urbansoulorchestra.co.uk/events/, www.urbansoulorchestra.co.uk/events/gallery/Wedding_Photos/, www.urbansoulorchestra.co.uk/events/gallery/Wedding_Videos_/
You should also ask for a list of previous clients. Any top class performer should have an extensive list of high quality testimonials that you can view;
There is also some helpful information available on the Urban Soul Orchestra's frequently asked questions page;
You can view all of the Urban Soul Orchestra's fantastic work at:
www.urbansoulorchestra.co.uk and contact them on 02089683000