There’s a new wave of R&B on the rise.
These singers and song writers are on the come up, and they’re bringing something you’ve never heard before.
This is R&B’s new wave.
2017 has been SZA‘s year. With her debut album Ctrl being recently named the top album of the year by Time Magazine she’s been taking nothing but wins. Album of the year is exactly the title it deserves being crazy relatable. When Ctrl was released in June of this year it was like therapy for me. It’s no surprise it is certified gold with platinum hit songs such as “Love Galore” featuring Travis Scott and “The Weekend”. SZA’s been around for awhile being signed to TDE back in 2013 but now, thanks to the masterpiece that is Ctrl she’s getting the recognition she deserves.
Although SZA is on top this year she isn’t the only one being recognized mainstream with a debut album. Daniel Caesar also released his debut album this year, Freudian. The 10 track album has been Grammy nominated for Best R&B Album of the Year. His most popular track “Get You” featuring Kali Uchis was released last year via Soundcloud and was the first time I heard Caesar’s melodic voice. He was named one of Apple’s ‘Up Next’ artists. With classics like “Get You” and “Best Part” featuring H.E.R., Freudian has heads turned towards Daniel Caesar.
Here’s his performance on The Late Late Show With James Corden of “Get You” along with another popular song on his album “We Find Love”.
If you listen to Tyler, The Creator you’ve heard Kali Uchis, a soft bluesy voice, on songs like “Perfect” and most recently on his latest album “Flower Boy”. You might’ve heard, “Loner” which was on her debut EP Por Vida, her single “Only Girl” featuring Steve Lacy and Vince Staples, or a recent single “Tyrant” featuring Jorja Smith. I didn’t know if I wanted to put Uchis in the category of R&B because of her diverse sound. Not only is she R&B and Soul with a fusion of Funk and Pop but Latin as well. But, what I do I know is 2018 Kali Uchis is going to make a come up.
Jorja Smith’s the main attraction of Drake’s More Life with her feature on “Get It Together” and an interlude in her name “Jorja Interlude”. It was just last year that the British singer introduced herself into the music scene with a debut song called, “Blue Lights” and her debut EP, Project 11. Since then she’s released trendy singles like, “Teenage Fantasy” and “On My Mind”. If someone of Drake’s caliber having found her talent reputable isn’t enough, Smith won Brits 2018 Critics Choice Award. She’s just getting started but Jorja Smith is already building a resume higher up than most.
Jorja Smith music video “On My Mind”
Her vocals went viral on Twitter just a couple years ago, you’ve probably heard the soulful melody “Confidently Lost” from her debut EP, Confidently Lost. In October, Sabrina Claudio released her second EP titled About Time which peaked number 10 on the Billboard charts. The EP, includes popular songs like “Belong To You” and “Unravel Me”. If I could describe Sabrina Claudio’s music I would describe it as going on a ride on a water fall…if that makes any sense at all. Basically, what I’m saying is her voice flows like water so pure and gentle. Claudio was named Apple Music’s ‘Up Next’ artist and in her interview with Ebro Darden on Beats 1 Radio he described her sound as timeless and I would agree.
Sabrina Claudio and Ebro Darden Beats 1 Interview.
[“You see money all around me I look like i’m the man…” I’m sure you can hear “Crew” by Goldlink playing in your head. Brent Faiyaz’s hook is what has made “Crew” to me, a certified classic. When I came across his debut album Sonder Son I honestly wasn’t expecting what I heard. I thought I was listening to 90s R&B, his sound is nostalgic. Faiyaz’s lyrics about struggle, love, and self are raw and real. His voice is something that’s been missing from R&B for a while.
With a hidden identity, H.E.R is a mystery songstress with big curly hair. We only saw her figure against the blue and orange backdrops which are the cover of her EPs; H.E.R. Vol. 1, H.E.R. Vol. 2, H.E.R., and H.E.R. Vol. 2 – The B Sides. H.E.R. is an acronym for “Having Everything Revealed” and ironic enough she has been revealed as singer song-writer Gabi Wilson. Although, Gabi Wilson has been in the music industry from 10 years old, she wanted to change up her image to having no image and making it solely about the music. H.E.R.‘s songs like “Focus”, “Every Kind Of Way”, and “Losing” show us exactly how it should be just about the sound and her sound is undeniable.
All of these artists have a unique sound to bring to the R&B table. I can’t wait to hear what they’re bringing 2018.
Listen to them here: R&Bs New Wave – Playlist
Originally published 12/31/17.