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 my list of artists in the US that are helping to form an R&B resurgence:
- R&B Renaissance (UK) Part 1: http://wp.me/p48gyj-he
- R&B Renaissance (UK) Part 2: http://wp.me/p48gyj-hr
Gaining popularity through his remixes to popular tracks, I’ve been following this guys journey since 2011. My favourite projects of his are his mixtape “Fan Affiliated” in 2012 which includes features from August Alsina and Rich Homie Quan and his EP “19” which featured the likes of Lloyd and Chris Brown and was released in 2014, reaching number 15 in the Billboard R&B Charts independently.
By the end of 2014, Jacquees signed a recording contract with Cash Money Records (Rich Gang) and after releasing two projects (“Lost At Sea” ft Birdman & “Mood”) he’s gearing up to release his debut album in early 2017 entitled “4275”. He describes his sound as music “for the ladies” but “the fellas can ride to it.”, and while his content is very different and more “gangster” than when he started, when it comes to R&B in the US, Jacquees is next up.
ALESSIA CARA (@alessiacara)
Although not from the US, Canadian artist Alessia Cara had to make this list. Signed to Def Jam, her debut album “Know-It-All” reached the top 20 in the USA, UK and Canada while her debut single “Here” reached number 5 in the Billboard Charts and went 2x Platinum in America.
Compared to the likes of Lorde, Rihanna and Norah Jones for her singing and writing style, she has also supported Coldplay on both the European and North American legs of their “A Head Full of Dreams” Tour. The fact she is even in the same conversation as some of these artists shows the level of potential she has.
Pronounced L.A, like the city, the amount of talent this guy has is crazy. Elhae (meaning “Every Life Has An Ending”) is easily one of my favourite artists on this list. The songwriting ability and ear for music he has is amazing. He is so underrated but is one of those gems that you’ll be glad you gave him your time. I’d recommend listening to his mixtape “All Have Fallen” which features Kehlani, as well as his mixtape “Aura”.
I saw Elhae live at XOYO in September and can honestly say he became one of my favourite artists that day. He was just as good live as he is on his tracks, better even. Trust me when I tell you to look out for “Aura II” coming very soon. Elhae makes timeless music that everyone can relate to, and its that quality and attention to detail that means that the Atlantic Records signee will still be around for years to come
YE ALI (@Ye_Ali)
After working with the likes of Kirko Bangz, Lil Durk, Bizzy Crook and Jazz Cartier, to name a few, Ye Ali has slowly been building up a loyal fanbase over in America. Songs such as “Ring 4x” and “Late Night Flexxx” have helped him to build a little buzz for himself and if that wasn’t enough then his last two full length projects certainly did the trick.
“Private Suite” was a mixtape released almost as a preview to his debut album. It featured a mix of songs he had previously released as well as new ones but its his debut album “Traphouse Jodeci”, that is really the standout. The name is a reference to how he perceives himself in this new era of Hip-Hop and R&B where trap and other influences are so often blended together. With “Traphouse Jodeci 2” already promised for 2017, Ye Ali’s star is only going to shine brighter.
Surprisingly there are still a lot of people who have no idea who Kehlani is. The singer released her first mixtape “Cloud 19” in 2014 but it was her second mixtape “You Should Be Here” which gave her mainstream attention. It debuted at number 5 on the US Hip Hop/R&B Chart and preceded her sold-out North American promotional tour. In 2016, she was nominated for the Best Urban Contemporary Album Grammy Award, losing out the The Weeknd. Do I need to say anything else? She got nominated for a Grammy on her second mixtape! With her long awaited album probably dropping in 2017, make sure you keep your eyes on Kehlani Tsunami.
Not a lot is known about this Portland native. Signed to Warner Bros, he recently released his debut project “Never Forget” , and just seems like a generally wavey guy. His musicality is impressive and he has the potential to be very very big. He has his own style and vibes and that originality and individuality compared to his other R&B counterparts shines through especially in his videos and his instagram account. He has accumulated 75k followers on Soundcloud in the past year and if he carries on the way he’s going, that follower count is about to get a whole lot bigger.
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