I don’t know if this post marks the start of a new series, or if it’s more of a once in a blue moon – but I wanted to share with you, some of my favorite upcoming artists. R&B is a genre I have gravitated towards since young, especially once I began songwriting. Since 2011, the genre has really picked up thanks to artists like Jhene Aiko & The Weeknd (who are also pioneers of the Alternative R&B genre: PBR&B). Although this list is relatively short (4 artists) these are the ones I’ve noticed making their name known in the R&B lane in the last year.
Hopefully you check out these artists & enjoy them as much as I do!
SiR is an American singer-songwriter and engineer based in Inglewood California. Known for his association with Top Dawg Entertainment as well as his projects such as HER and HER TOO, I decided to put him first on the list because although he is known throughout the industry, personally I feel that his talents are underappreciated. Since the start of his professional career in 2012 he has worked with artists such as Jill Scott, Tyrese, Melanie Fiona – and even with all of that prestige behind him, he is still relatively unknown.
On January 19, he released his second full-length album (first under TDE) November. The album has been reviewed by sources such as Highsnobiety and UPROXX, sources describing it as “dream-like” and “avante-garde rap”.
Phé is a Canadian-born R&B singer/songwriter currently based in Los Angeles. I came across her around late 2016 when she released her debut song Incredible. In a time where most artists in general are accustomed to singing over trap beats it was somewhat refreshing to hear someone who identifies as an r&b artist sing over a contemporary r&b beat – (think: Beyonce’s Dangerously In Love or Maxwell’s BLACKsummers’night).
Now, I love (and I mean love) listening the every genre that have come out of R&B (neo-soul, pbr&b, etc.) but something about contemporary r&b just feels . . . comfortable – at least to me.
Phé is one of those artists that I would throw into the conversation if I were talking about artists like Sabrina Claudio, H.E.R, Janine, etc. I got the chance to interview her (that interview will be released soon) and talk about her music beginnings, and how she personally felt about the state of R&B saying:
“I’m really f*cking with R&B right now. There are so many powerful young woman in the genre that have so much to say, and I find that super inspiring. . .”
Out of all the artists on the list, I’m most excited to see what the future has in store for her.
Make sure to listen to her songs:
3. K-Si Yang
K-Si Yang is an American singer based out of Florida – most known for his song “Real” which has accumulated over 89,000 plays since its release in 2016. If you enjoy listening to artists like Jacquees, Austin Lam, Jordon Hollywood (they also have a collaboration together) then you should add K-Si to the list.
4. Lolo Zouaï
I’ve mentioned Lolo more than enough times for you guys to have an idea of what her music sounds like but I’ve never gone into detail about who she is. Lolo, originally from France, is an upcoming singer/songwriter currently based in New York City.
According to her interview with Valfre she’s been writing music for over half her life so it makes sense that all of the music she’s released thus far is beyond exceptional. She also mentions that her lyrics are mostly based off personal experiences and that she hopes to be empowering for young women all over the world.
Her music has been described as “authentic”, “melancholic” and Songwriters Hall of Fame has even described her as having the “uncanny ability to convey her vulnerabilities while showing equal amounts of fearlessness”.
Make sure to listen to her latest song “Blue” released last week.