When a girl in Starbucks spells your actual name (Juan) incorrectly, what are you going to do? Well, you can argue, or – if you’re Juan Mallorca – you can take it, make it your stage name, and roll with the punches.
Hailing from Miami, Floridian native HUAN, brings us his first solo single ‘Days’, a mix of soft, summery Fresh Prince hip hop beats, deep beats, and HUAN’s mellow, chilled East Coast delivery. It’s a prefect little summer hip hop track, radio-friendly and with a killer groove, HUAN’s delivery and lyrical imagery wrapped up in some serious flow and melody.
Previously a semi-pro athlete, now at just 26 HUAN has dropped a classy, sunny little hip-hop track that deserves to be blasting out of car windows all summer long.
From Laderis Lorne’s new single, ‘Heartbreak (The Pain Of It All)’, ‘Heartbreak’ ,the title track, is a call to a lost lover, an ode to – as you might expect – heartbreak and sorrow, the end of a relationship, and longing and recrimination amidst the ‘what ifs’. Hailing from Oklahoma, Edwin ‘Laderis’ Lorne delivers two tracks of open, honest insight into life and loss amidst the swells of synths and thundering TR808 beats.
Horne’s got some flow, a sweet high register just bordering on falsetto at times, and a nice set of lyrical metaphors to go with his beats and basslines, and ‘Heartbreak’ is soft yet aggressive, wanting yet indignant, and all over downright fly.
NYC-based artist, Kira Rizavi’s unique spin on RnB is as soulful as it is forceful. Her latest single, ‘Fly’ exhibits her tendency to meld the old-school roots of soul with her contemporary attitude, to resounding effect.
Through the vivacity in her vocals, her introspective-deep lyrics aren’t just inspiring, they’re empowering. If any up and coming artist has what it takes to keep RnB on-trend and undeniably authentic, it’s Kira Rizavi. By taking influence from icons such as Diana Ross, Fergie and Grimes, Kira Rizavi found the power in her own distinctive voice.
LA RnB singer-songwriter, Aisyah’s accoladed career may have started in the film music industry, but tracks such as her latest single, ‘Slow Down’ prove that her sound is just as evocative when it is hitting the airwaves instead of the big screen.
Slow Down was created in collaboration with RnB pop singer, Pisces Kid who brought an immersive duality to the soundscape. Anyone looking for tips on how to keep RnB pop contemporary should hit play on Slow Down and grab a pen.
Emotions may run high in the amorously intense mix which captures that all too familiar feeling of needing to hit the breaks and set boundaries in a relationship, but all in all, this smooth soul-filler boasts a rare cathartic potency which you’ll want to indulge in time and time again.
San Diego-based artist, Bottled Minds is set to release their most viscerally sweet cloud rap single to date with ‘PARANOID’, the emotive earworm may battle with fraught emotion, but with the artist’s signature sound which pulls in elements of RnB to mellow out the mix, PARANOID resounds with an exemplary optimistic feel.
PARANOID is a perfect testament to the artist’s ability to explore raw and stigmatised emotions and relay them without a hint of self-apathy or romantic cynicism. If the lyrics and harmonically dynamic vocals fail to leave you enraptured, the sugared reverb-laden trappy melodies will be happy to test your soul’s capacity to feel.
Danny Paul’s latest 2-track release, Your Money / No Bail gives you the nostalgic A-side and B-side experience while allowing that experience to introduce you to RnB which could have only transpired in the 21st-century.
The first single runs you through all the torrid emotions which can come to fruition while exploring romantic possibility, while the second single switches from a hedonistically sweet tone to a retrospectively melancholic one which is still packed with sonic sex appeal.
Within Danny Paul’s signature take on RnB, you’ll be able to pick out hints of pop, trap and hip hop, but mostly, you’ll detect their unique sound which resounds on the airwaves with infectious distinction.
Danny Paul’s latest release is available to stream on all major platforms via this link.
With vocals as evocative as Tom Odell’s and a charisma which captivates you just as much as his artfully powerful sound, it’s impossible to imagine a dull future for US singer-songwriter and performer, Mo Safren.
The perfect introduction to their constraint-less sound is ‘Bagels and Coffee’; the soulfully slick piano pop ballad carries all of the accessibility of a mainstream pop track and all of the improvised unpredictability of jazz. Attempting to affix genres to this powerfully progressive single would be an act of futility, but you will be able to note Safren’s dynamic array of influences which includes everyone from Chopin to Sinatra.
Bagels and Coffee is one of those phenomenally rare singles which you feel like you could listen to a thousand times and still not have picked out the beauty in every subversive curveball.
The official music video to Bagels and Coffee is available to stream via YouTube.
There was no forgetting PANDDA after being introduced to their futuristic approach to RnB pop in 2018 through their single ‘Ultimatum’, no RnB artist has been able to parallel their perfect balance of expression and accessibility either.
Their latest sticky-sweet earworm, ‘Rose Gold’, proves just how right we were to get excited about PANDDA’s melodically fresh sound. This time, it’s the lyrics which bowled us over. Usually, RnB tracks released around Valentine’s day work like TV adverts which sell us insecurity and insignificance. PANDDA completely obliterated that narrative with lyrics such as “you really don’t need nobody else, doing just fine by yourself, if there’s anything you want you can buy it yourself, if there’s anywhere you wanna go, fly yourself”.
The smooth and steady vocals allow the lyrics to resound with sincerity, the matter-of-fact meditative delivery makes it impossible to argue with the introspection.
If R&B got drunk on Cristal one night and ended up in a lost-weekend New York hotel-room tryst with smooth jazz, then the unexpected offspring a few months later might sound very much like Landon Sears and ‘Shea’; a mix of Blue Note deep groove jazz, smooth R&B, and a little touch of old-skool hip-pop thrown in for good measure. ‘Shea’ has one of the catchiest pop choruses dropped so far this year (so much so that we’ve been singing it for the last couple of hours since first hearing the track), a perfect emotive story in the ‘shea butter lotion/the scent she leaves my home with/whenever I undress her’ lyrical hook.
Sears’ vocal is superb, suiting the track perfectly, sounding chilled, easy, and languorous atop the horns, grooving bass, and Rhodes piano, the track overall sexy, sensual, and fun, clearly having as good a time as, it seems, Sears and his fictional fragranced heroine.
If ever a track had the perfect crossover of serious musical credibility, groove, and sheer radio-friendly commerciality, it’s Landon Sears’ ‘Shea’. The album ’88.1’ from which it comes was released on January 30th(Sears’ birthday); you can hear ‘Shea’, and the rest of ’88.1’, on Soundcloud. Follow Landon Sears on Instagram and Facebook.
Manchester-based newcomers, MODELS’, latest single, ‘Thriller,’ will send you swooning right back to the 80s. With glassy synths, RnB-style romanticism and intimate indie vibes, the three-piece were successful in creating a sweetly elysian soundscape which would have dancefloors swaying – if they were accessible right now. But the extended sax solo and the smooth rock n roll crooning is just as enamouring when hitting you through a pair of headphones.
The level of passion contained in Thriller could convert cynics into hopeless romantics. It’s a stunning release which will undoubtedly stand MODELS in good stead when venues in Manchester are safe to house their honeyed retro sound once again.
Thriller was officially released on February 14th you can check it out via SoundCloud.