Ever scrolled down your Twitter timeline and seen people tweeting about wanting that old school R&B back? The golden era between the 90’s and early 2000’s? I have, and while those days may be well and truly over, its safe to say that R&B making a major comeback, not just in the US but in the UK too. Artists like Usher, Trey Songz and Chris Brown have helped to keep the flame alive and in recent years artists like The Weeknd, August Alsina, PARTYNEXTDOOR and Bryson Tiller have come in to help carry the burden. In no specific order here’s PART 1 of my list of artists in the UK Scene that are helping to form an R&B resurgence not seen since the days of Craig David:
North London native Geovarn has been making serious waves on the music scene. He dropped his debut track “4AM” in 2014, with the video dropping on SBTV. Last year, he was a Top 10 finalist in MOBO UnSung, embarked on the MOBO UnSung Tour, and at the beginning of 2016 he released his first project entitled All Mine.
Since then he has been signed to Sony and has released his debut single “Say Now”, which is my favourite song of his to date. The ease at which he brings old school R&B to the present whilst managing to maintain a unique sound has drawn comparisons to The Weeknd. But instead of singing about drugs and heartbreak, he has a a distinct UK street edge, and combined with his lyricism and imagery, Geovarn is definitely one to watch.
Rayf is a 26-year-old singer and producer from East London, who uniquely merges Grime and R&B in a sub-genre he calls “Mellow Grime”. Drawing influence from the likes of James Blake, JME, Erykah Badu among others, he mixes and blends the genres he knows best to tell personal tales of love and heartbreak.
MiC LOWRY (@WeAreMicLowry)
Formed in mid-2011, Ben, Kaine, Akia, Delleile and Michael from Liverpool are an R&B and Soul group. Like Geovarn they were Top 10 finalists in MOBO UnSung and also went on tour. Influences include the likes of Boyz II Men and D’Angelo, plus they are capable of playing several instruments next to singing.
If you have heard of these guys then its probably through one of their many covers on YouTube which are some of the best around. Their workrate is incredible and they have the talent to match. They have an R&B style in the mould of Boyz II Men or Day 26 and their harmonies are amazing. I’ve known about these guys for many years now, and they are definitely one of the brightest stars in the genre for the UK.
Jamal Woon (@JamalWoon)
Jamal Woon is an 18 -year-old singer/songwriter and producer from South London. He already has a number of accomplishments to his name such as performing at SXSW in Texas as part of the “BBC Introducing” Showcase, as well as being played on BBC Radio 1 and having a song played on Channel 4. Having recently signed a publishing deal with Sony ATV/Speakerbox, the only way seems to be up from here for the young talent.
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