Monthly Playlist (Vol. I)

With the turn of the new year, comes the return of Monthly Playlists. With a total of 28 songs, separated by 2 playlists; this month features upcoming artists like London’s Kate Stewart and R&B crooners like 6LACK, Ella Mai. As always, there are two seperate playlists (SoundCloud & Spotify) and provided links.

SoundCloud (16 Songs, 57 minutes)

  • Summer Walker – Wasted
  • Bevy Maco – So Wasted
  • Casedi – Decisions
  • Always Never – It’s Over
  • Alyssa – Losing Myself
  • Clovd – Separate
  • Ohmyla – Criss Cross
  • Chloe Bodur – Billie
  • Mickey Shiloh – Better in My Head
  • Harrison First – Head Games (feat. FOL)
  • Kollof – u (feat. Hatts)
  • Amaal – Not What I Thought
  • Jake Hope – Reasons
  • E. viewz – 쉬어가도돼 (prod.TAEB)
  • Andrea Valle – Trust
  • Henmi – Miss You

Spotify (12 songs, 38 minutes)

  • 6lack – Disconnect
  • Ella Mai – Shot Clock
  • Casedi – Decisions
  • Kawelo – Hoops
  • Amaal – Not What I Thought
  • Cherrie – Vadsomheist
  • Jean Deaux – Work 4 Me (feat. Karli Faux)
  • Teo – Orso
  • Symphani Soto – Feelings
  • Khadijah Lopez – Say it Again
  • JNR. Williams – What A Difference
  • Kate Stewart – On My Mind

Make sure to follow OA on social media platforms: Instagram and Twitter to stay updated.

The New Faces of: R&B (2019 Version)

As a continuation of last year’s: The New Faces: R&B, I bring to you 3 artists I have come across within the last year. If you recall, in last year’s list, I included 3 artists: SiR, Phe, and Lolo Zouai; and if you paid any attention to R&B music last year, you would know that each of these individuals blossomed throughout the year. All original OA readers know this, but if you are new to the site, I have often said that R&B is the genre I hold dearest to me. Although the genre has had a resurgence in the last decade, in the last couple of months, these are some of the overlooked artists I hope will get some shine in 2019. For every artist, I have provided links to their music as well as their social media, so I hope it will influence you to check them out and hopefully you find some good music along the way!




Casedi (formally known as Cassidy) is an upcoming American R&B vocalist coming out of California. Since her musical debut in 2018, the singer-songwriter has released around 6 songs, with the latest, “You On You” released just last week. If you are a fan of musicians like H.E.R, Ella Mai, and Justine Skye – I would recommend checking out Casedi. Aside from music, she is also a public figure on YouTube, with over 45,000 subscribers and an abundance of content surrounding music (behind the scenes, covers, etc.) Make sure to check out her music whether it be on SoundCloud, Apple Music, or Spotify and be sure to follow her on Instagram and Facebook for updates.



JNR. Williams
Although not much is known about Mr. Williams, it is known that he is an upcoming artist from London, England. His debut came at the end of 2018 with the release of “What A Difference”, a rendition of 50’s jazz vocalist, Dinah Washington  “What a Diff’rence a Day Makes”. Although he only has one song under his belt, I would suggest that if you listen to artists like Joy Crookes, Cosima, you will enjoy the upcoming artist. With news of him signing to the newly relaunched Artista Records, you can be sure to hear new music within the first quarter of the year but in the meantime, be sure to follow him on Instagram for updates.



Symphoni Soto
Like Casedi, Symphoni Soto is another musician who found their core fan base through social media, specifically YouTube. With a career spanning almost a decade long, the R&B/Pop singer released her first project All I Know in September 2018. As of January 2019, (my) personal favorites off the project are “Don’t Feed My Ego” and “Feelings”. If you are interested in hearing the project, it can be found on both Apple Music and Spotify and be sure to follow her on Instagram for updates.

Honorable Mentions

  • Billie Bodega
  • Amaal Nuux
  • Tanerelle
  • Rimon
  • Mikhala Jene
  • Arzlee
  • Christian Kuria
  • Hanna Lashay

2019 / pt. III / Artists to Watch

To close the our first week, I have compiled a small list of Artists to Watch for the rest of the year. I have been keeping an eye of these artists and see potential for them to breakout within the year. If you recall, last year I mentioned artists like Rina Sawayama and Dounia, who both exploded on the music scene last year so hopefully we get the same luck with these candidates!

1. Isaac Dunbar

ATW, Issac Dunbar

Although he’s relatively new, Isaac Dunbar has already found moderate success with his songs “Freshman Year” & “Blonde”. At only 15 years old, the Barnstable native has found his niche in the industry, following the footsteps of indie pop artists like Billie Eilish and Bülow. His songs, which are more or less like the diary of someone raised in this social media era, are created in a way that (for the lack of a better word) document how he’s been dealing with growing up. Speaking on subjects such as high school, peer pressure, first heartbreaks, I think it’s only a matter of time before his music catches on.


2. Joy Crookes

ATW, Joy Crookes
Photographed by: Grace Rivera


As an English vocalist coming out of United Kingdom, I’m already prepared for sources to compare her to R&B vocalist Jorja Smith, luckily OA isn’t that source. Although she’s been active for around 5 years, the South London native, whose voice has been compared to the late Amy Winehouse, has been gaining traction overseas since her performance on COLORS in 2017. Listening to her delivery and cadence, you can tell that she’s an artist who’s practiced and mastered her sound. Throughout 2018, Crookes remained consistent releasing a 7-track ep named Influence in July and a single & visual for her latest song “Don’t Let Me Down” in November.


3. Lolo Zouaï

ATW, Lolo Z (by Sara Khalid)
Photographed by: Sara Khalid

If you are a regular OA reader, I’m sure that you already know know Lolo Zouai is. Since the start of the site, I’ve been an advocate for the French-American songstress. Most known for her song “High Highs to Low Lows” released in 2017, the singer/songwriter has been featured on sources like Complex and i-D for being an artist to watch among upcoming R&B singers. Outside of writing her own music, the lyricist who tends to write in both French & English, has penned for artists like H.E.R (she co-wrote “Still Down” off H.E.R’s Grammy nominated album H.E.R). I think she is rising at a gradual pace and hopefully with the amount of music she released in 2018 (Desert Rose, Challenge, …) we can prepare for a debut project within the first half of the year!

Make sure to follow OA on social media platforms: Instagram, Twitter, and Soundcloud to stay updated

The Eenah x Sahar Collaboration

Although I’ve never had an exquisite taste in fashion, I will say this is the year I paid more attention to it. For whatever reason, 2018 is the year my interest in fashion, especially my interest in fashion brands developed by those of color.

I’ve always been someone who wanted to spend to spend money in my own community and with brands like MATTE BRAND by Briana Shanee & Adriana Sahar Shop by Adriana Sahar, thankfully more people are starting to think that way as well.



I give these two spotlight, because these two real life friends have been able to take the industry by storm getting attention from outlets like the Fader (Matte Brand) and Galore Mag (Adriana Sahar) and today they are collaborating for their first ever runway show tonight!

In the midst of New York Fashion Week, this is an amazing opportunity and collaboration for both designers. Whereas I view Briana’s Matte, as clothing I would want to wear when I’m feeling soft and vibrant, I look as Adriana’s as the type I would want when I’m feeling edgy and spontaneous. Regardless, I’m excited to see how it will look on the runway!

If you’re interested in looking at their clothing lines, as well as a couple others I have found through the year continue scrolling:

  • Matte by Briana Shanee (Apparel, Swimwear)
  • Adriana Sahar by Adriana Sahar (Accessories, Apparel)
  • Pink Plastic Babez by Aurum Amare (Accessories, Apparel, Swimwear, Outerwear)
  • LacebyTanaya by Tanaya Henry (Jewelry, Skincare)
  • Mars by Lyjerria (Accessories, Apparel, Swimwear)
  • Vidakush by Rhianna Cooper (Jewelry, Accessories)

New Music: London Based

For the past few years, London has gradually become a hub for new influencers – especially in music. With artists like Ms. Banks and Kojo Funds gaining success overseas, 2017 seems like a great year to cross over for our European influencers. I’ve compiled a list of artists who have grabbed my attention recently; some who’ve been featured before.


Via. Instagram


Mentioned for the second time on this site, meet the incredible South-East London sister-duo Blessed. Since launching their career in early 2017, the duo has been noticed by sources like Clash and Kalbut Magazine(s). Not only are the pair versatile, they are consistent which is surely an impressive quality for any artist to have. Having released their first two projects in a span of four months there’s no question on if  the duo will experience success and international fame, it’s a matter of when.

Similar Artists: Amelia Payne, Liana Banks

Make sure to listen to both of their projects: See Through All the Colours EPHowlin EP

To listen to their latest single “Howlin'” click here

Also, to stay updated follow them on: Instagram, Twitter, and SoundCloud


Lyves is by far one of my favorite voices coming out of London right now. Having dabbled in music for the last two years, it came as a pleasant surprise when her debut project Like Water was released in January 2017. The project has received praise from sources like HighClouds, Pigeons & Planes, and Pilerats — all of them noting how great of a debut this was. Lyves voice is nothing short of captivating, singing lyrics of heartbreak, fear, and emotions everyone can relate to.

Similar Artists: Abi Ocia, Cosima

To listen to her debut project Like Water click here.

To listen to her single Darkest Hour click here.

Abi Ocia (2)Abi Ocia

Abi is another captivating vocalist to come out of London in the last few years. She’s only released 3 songs (as of yet) but I am especially hopeful to see what the future has in store for her. Since her debut in 2016 she has accumulated over 120,000 plays on her music from SoundCloud alone. As a fan of both alternative and r&b music listening to Abi gives me the best of both words which can be seen, well — heard, in her songs Konfyt and Running.

Similar Artists: Jones, Trace, Bobi Andov, Lyves

To stay updated with Abi follow her on: Instagram, SoundCloud, Twitter



Have any of you ever been on YouTube and clicked on a video but instead of the video playing and ad pops up? That’s basically how I found this artist. Avelino, a Tottenham native has been described as “one of the UK’s most outspoken, upfront young talents“. He’s been active for around a decade but he gained popularity around 2014 with the release of his second mixtape Iconic Ambition. Since then he has released his debut ep, FYO, as well as his latest project No Bullshit (which I’ve mentioned previously) which is lead with the single U Can Stand Up/Royals.

Similar Artists: J Hus, Not3s, Abra Cadabra

To keep updated with Avelino: Instagram, Twitter, SoundCloud’

Make sure to listen to his latest single: 1 In A Million



I’ve known Taliwhoah for around two years and in that time she has been consistent in releasing quality music, each one better than the last. If you want to know more about Taliwhoah I would recommend you read the interview I did with her back in late 2016 (click here). — Taliwhoah is another one of those versatile artists who sound amazing no matter which genre.

If you are an avid PBR&B/Alternative R&B fan, I would recommend you listen to her debut project Melodies of Madness If you like funk/psychedelic music I would recommend you listen to her song FunkIf you enjoy R&B/Reggae I would recommend Alright (Genre: Baile Funk) as well as one of her latest songs Details.

—The point is, she has music that will cater to everyone while staying true to who she is as an artist.

When I interviewed her back in 2016 I asked her if she had any plans for 2017 and she alluded to something but wouldn’t give any details. It seems that what she alluded to was her being on radio shows all year including in studio performances on The Vibe Jam Sessions & Soulmate Selections, and releasing her second project New Wave Order Vol. 1 (just to name a few things)

To listen to her latest single Meds (Genre: Pop) click here.

To listen to her newest project click here.

To stay updated with Taliwhoah make sure to follow her on: Twitter, Instagram