Two RnB soul luminaries in their own right, Holly Santonato and Mona, teamed up for the collaborative single, ‘Wildfires’; a serious contender for the most stylish RnB track of the year.
The release flows with the change in the tide of contemporary RnB; between the affectionate and amorous tropes, you’ll get to explore the darker, far more insidious side to love. This multi-faceted track is steeped in enough realism that it will simultaneously remind you of the importance of knowing your worth and how sweet it can be to utterly surrender to another soul. It’s a stunning extension of the ‘playing with fire always leaves your fingers burned’ motif that perpetuates through contemporary culture.
With the distinctively soulful dual vocals pulling together to offer plenty of collaborative chemistry over melodic downtempo trap beats, it’s impossible not to fall into the serene and sultry atmosphere in Wildfires.
Whether they’re working together or solo, we hope to hear more from Holly and Mona in 2021 and beyond.
You can check it out for yourselves by heading over here.
After racking up over half a million streams with his EP, ‘Therapy’, New Orleans-hailing alternative artist Tasty is here with his latest sonic evocative firestorm, ‘Grow Up’. His lyrical exploration of growing pains collides with instrumentals which exhibit his versatility throughout the progressive track that incorporates elements of alt-rock, synth pop, hip hop and plenty of other textures in-between.
Carrying the same angst as Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory, the same atmospheric grooves as The Midnight and plenty of the new wave hip hop sound, Grow Up is a stunning act of unintentional genre-defiance. There is a real sense that the authenticity flowed through unadulterated expression, which explains Tasty’s success since rebranding themselves from a hip hop artist to a pioneer of the new wave.
The second single from forthcoming E.P. ‘Lovin’ Under The Influence’ (following-up his debut, ‘Drunk Text’), ‘One By One’ is a little slice of modern R&B that mixes up Usher and Timberlake with The Weeknd, Future, and Drake. It’s a chilled, mellow track, deep bass and laid-back programmed parts underlaying Heyman’s relaxed, gentle upper-register vocal. Mixed in with collaborator Jaq Moon
‘One By One’ has got daytime Radio One or Kiss FM written all over it; that smooth-groove soulful sort of R&B vibe going on, that sort of beach-day chill out relaxing-yet-uplifting track that’s contemporary yet comfortingly old-school all at once.
‘One By One’ is out now across all major streaming platforms. You can hear it now on Spotify, and follow Jace Heyman on Facebook and Twitter.
Spoken word poet and independent artist Tea Sea dropped his most evocative track to date with the release of his 2021 single, ‘Vitals’, which bridges the gap between how love manifests in real life and how it appears in lyrical form.
Vitals took inspiration from the mental mania that transpires after falling for someone as vulnerability and insecurity broil to the surface. The Odenton, MD-residing artist’s raw yet melodic single perfectly captures romantic anxiety, but the beats in the indie RnB trap single brings a soulful groove that your rhythmic pulses won’t want to resist.
Tea Sea’s vocals are connectable from the first note. You will immediately sense the intimacy and find the resonance through the humble clean vocals in the articulate release that will undoubtedly put Tea Sea in good stead with his career in 2021 and beyond.
His debut release, ‘Kaleidoscope Jellyfish’, hit the airwaves in 2018; since then, he’s proven that he’s got the determination to put his name on the map. With three singles released so far this year, lockdown has been beneficial to his creativity and artistic hunger – it is safe to say that his debut LP definitely won’t bite.
Seattle-based hip hop artist and producer Hot Sacci made his debut in 2018 and has remained prolific ever since. His latest single, ‘ICEY BOI’, shows just how dynamic their playfully subversive sound has become.
After a moody intro, ICEY BOI evolves into a melodic feat of RnB-infused trap where Hot Sacci refuses to hide behind a façade. As soon as you hit play, you’re confronted by authentic personality, making it all too easy to fall into the downtempo, almost dreamy versatile track. If you’re looking for tracks for chilled summer nights, look no further than ICEY BOI.
ICEY BOI is now available to stream via Spotify. Connect with Hot Sacci via Instagram.
If it has been a while since you encountered a truly pioneering RnB artist, strap yourselves in for Figgy Fargo’s EP, ‘A Fall from Space’; it’s a dreamy trip through the Pennsylvania-born artist’s psyche. With the melodically futuristic ambience, it practically demands to be on your vibe-out playlists.
The standout single ‘Out of Me’ is an evocatively jagged masterpiece through which Figgy Fargo wears his influences on his sleeves while ensuring that not one moment of A Fall from Space feels assimilative. It is safe to say that any fans of Drake, Lil Wayne and Juice Wrld will want to delve into the rhythmically mellifluous, emotionally torrid track.
A Fall from Space is now available to stream via Spotify.
Through tropic trap-pop beats, euphoric imagery and radio-ready RnB vocals, Lenken’s latest single, ‘Into Mine’, has all the makings of a summer playlist staple. We may not be there yet, seasonally, but Lenken has a unique way of bringing tonal warmth through their vibrant soul-loaded sound.
So far, the artist’s vocal timbre has earned him a finalist position in NZ Idol in 2006, an opening spot for JA RULE and the top spot of the iTunes Independent Christian/Gospel Charts. With his influences including soul, contemporary pop and 90s RnB, there’s an instant feeling of familiarity with tracks such as Into Mine. His humble charisma has a way of making you feel right at home. Any fans of Ne-Yo, Usher and Boyz II Men shouldn’t hesitate to hit play.
Taking a set of playful, poetic lyrics and mixing them up with a watertight groove and bounce, and a chunk of metaphor-heavy imagery, and deliver it all with a non-stop energy and flow, and you’ve pretty much got the recipe for this serving of tea (sea). ‘Vitals’ is a tale of lost-love set to an R&B-tinged hip hop backbeat, equal parts Kendrick Lamar, XXXTentacion, Childish Gambino, and The Weekend.
There’s elements of old-school heroes in here too – Biggie, Dre, Mos Def, and Eminem all feature in Tea Sea’s quickfire wordplay, while there’s elements of soul and eighties street hip hop in the backing beats.
With an official video/visualiser steeped (geddit?) in eighties video effects and 8-bit arcade game visuals, Tea Sea brings us a nice little slice of retro-modern here in ‘Vitals’.
Check out the video for ‘Vitals’ on YouTube; follow Tea Sea on Instagram.
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.
A trappy R&B-styled mix of pop and soul, with some delicious sampled guitar lines and a salaciously smooth vocal from South London native Shojon – from his forthcoming project ‘Greenwich Views’ – is a sleek little mid-tempo track, polished and velvety with plenty to showcase Shojon’s chilled flow and urban, emo-rap style.
Shojon’s already making waves in the South London scene, following collaborations with Lady Leshurr, Maxsta, and Nolay, a performance at the O2 Academy in Islington, and over 150k Spotify streams; now, with a concept video directed by Craig Heathcote – a man well-known for producing storytelling ‘real-life’ videos giving a voice to marginalised and LGBTQ+ communities in London. Shojon’s ‘Theorem’ takes a walk through part love-story, part mental health journey, the video itself showing a modern day cupid balancing the emotions of those he comes across on a Greenwich walk. Shojon currently works with the mental health charity Mind to raise awareness for mental health issues; ‘Theorem’ is a cracker of a track that should go a long way to doing that all by itself.