Browsing Tag

the weeknd

Leon Tikas – Beauty Queen: A Modern RnB-Tinged Echo of Iconic Pop Nostalgia

Leon Tikas stepped into the spotlight with ‘Beauty Queen‘, a standout track from his debut EP ‘Egoist‘, which masterfully nods to the pop greats while smouldering in smoothly stylised RnB innovation.

If Michael Jackson debuted Billie Jean in 2024 while falling in line with contemporary trends set by the likes of The Weeknd, the cult hit would carry the same hypnotically textured magnetism of Beauty Queen, which does far more than scratch at the surface of superficiality while proving that beauty is more than skin deep.

The seamless interplay between the effect-laden vocals and reverb-drenched instrumentals delivers a modernised 80s pop aesthetic, seamlessly integrated with a solid trap-esque backbeat. Tikas doesn’t just replicate the past; he reinterprets it, adding his own innovative touch to a familiar sound.

For fans of the genre, ‘Beauty Queen’ is not just a track to enjoy but a signal of the exciting direction RnB Pop is headed, with Leon Tikas at the forefront. Join him at the vanguard and hit play.

The Egoist EP is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Demmy Sober x Blkswn x PMP – Practice: A Vapoursoul Voyage in Alt-RnB

The Belgian-American singer, Demmy Sober’s latest single, ‘Practice’, featuring Blkswn and produced by PMP, is a mesmerising journey through the heart of alternative R&B and vaporsoul.

The track is a lush landscape of moody synths that cohesively contrast with her ethereally celestial vocal lines which harmonically glide over the trap beats and pulsating progressions, creating an atmosphere thick with reverb and emotion.

Following in the footsteps of The Weeknd, Demmy Sober steps out from any shadows to shine in her own right. Her demurely sensual vocal touch and the intimate, relatable lyrics speak of being a work in progress, something that everyone can relate to on some level.

The single is a testament to Demmy Sober’s evolution as an artist and storyteller, as she prepares to release her album, a project teeming with collaborations and rich in the essence of alternative R&B and vaporsoul.

With achievements like securing spots in Beatport’s TOP 50 Worldwide and iTunes Spain’s top 10, Demmy Sober is no stranger to success. Practice is a continuation of this journey and a track that will undoubtedly resonate with fans and critics alike, marking another milestone in her impressive career.

Practice will hit all major streaming platforms on March 7th; stream the single on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lust oscillates through Peter Stone’s alt-RnB earworm, Living Room Flows

Peter Stone’s latest single, Living Room Flows, is a strikingly soulful synthesis of contemporary RnB and classic pop nostalgia. Stone, a deft songwriter and producer, crafted a soundscape that resonates with echoes of The Weeknd’s instrumental genius and asserts his authenticity via the vocal lines, which act as a time portal to the classic 90s pop timbre.

The track is an intricate dance of melody and emotion, where desire’s tumultuous waves are captured in lyrical resonance. Stone’s words, a fervid stream of poetic consciousness, explore the theme of desire leading to a loss of control. This narrative of seduction and surrender is skilfully interwoven with melodies that pulse with an irresistible magnetism. The result is an earworm that is both hot and heavy, yet undeniably elegant in its execution.

The instrumentation is a lush, multi-layered affair that supports Stone’s vocal prowess without overshadowing it. Each note, each beat, is placed with precision, creating an auditory journey that is as thrilling as it is emotive. The track’s production quality shines, showcasing Stone’s meticulous attention to detail and his understanding of what makes a song linger with you after every listen.

Living Room Flows will officially release on January 13; stream the single on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Arrive at the brink of bliss with ACTHEKIDFROMSPACE’s euphoria-fuelled summer cocktail, POR Ti, ft Martina

Proving that summer is as much of a vibe as it is a season is the latest in a long string of seminal singles from Montreal’s brightest RnB luminary, ACTHEKIDFROMSPACE.

POR Ti, which features sun-kissed harmonies from the Argentina-born singer and composer Martina, who has been elevating the RnB, trap, and soul genres with her mesmerising vocal register, is an intoxicating tropic melting pot of genre-fluid culture.

With a few salacious lines worked into the production that boasts the same sweet, sugared, and polished sound of Owl City, POR Ti ticks all the Afro-pop RnB boxes while transcending the contemporary curve and driving you to the brink of bliss and allowing you to drift through it on cruise control.

With over 17k monthly listeners locking into his expertly rendered rhythms, the self-made Canadian artist and sound engineer has easily reached his goal of visualising his memories and feelings and allowing his staunch fanbase to vicariously live in the rapture of them.

Stream POR Ti on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Zach Haselow brought purity to passion in his synth-pop hit, Rent Free

Get hooked on the reverb-heavy retrowave synth lines in the latest electro-pop hit, Rent Free, from the Alaskan icon in the making, Zach Haselow.

With a soundscape that finds the middle ground between the Weeknd and the Midnight, it is all too easy to get into the lush electronic grooves of Rent Free, which soulfully pays homage to the phenomenon of all-consuming romantic obsession while traversing the insecurities that desire can forcibly manifest.

The humbly sweet hit couldn’t be purer in its passion or more polished in its production; the melodies seem to effervesce around the funk-dripping basslines that will arrest your rhythmic pulses and refuse to let go until long after the fadeout. After spending over a decade perfecting the art of songwriting and producing, Zach Haselow has achieved a sonic signature that is as honed as it is distinctive.

Rent Free made its debut on August 18th; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The San Diego Emissary of Soul, Sedríque, Held No Prisoners in His RnB Pop Hit, Sick Of

Taken from his ingeniously titled debut LP, Seduction, the standout single, Sick Of, which has racked up 50k streams on Spotify to date, is the perfect introduction to Sedríque’s fiery brand of contemporary RnB pop.

Sick Of captures the raw, messy, and visceral emotions that follow a toxic relationship and an even more toxic breakup. Some songwriters write what they think their audiences want to hear, and others stay committed to melodising harsh truths, Sedríque well and truly put himself in the latter camp with the soulful vitriol in Sick Of, which will be a hit with any fans of Chris Brown and the Weeknd. The razor-sharp rhythmics of the lyrical blows against the steady tempo of the soul-heady instrumentals created intoxicating aural alchemy that you will want to intoxicate yourself with time and time again.

After finding his voice at the age of three when he started to perform solos in the church choir and learning how to accompany himself on piano by the age of ten, the singer-songwriter’s teeth were well and truly cut by the time he focused on creating one of the most seminal RnB pop records of 2023.

Check out the Radio Edit of Sick Of by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Move Over Eilish, Rallen is Reigning Supreme as the Ultimate Bad Guy in His New RnB Hit, Berserk

Winnipeg-born, Toronto-based singer-songwriter Rallen caressed the roots of RnB with the dreamily nostalgic melodicism in his latest single, Berserk.

Much like the rest of his discography, the short and salaciously sweet release gives an intimate view into his psyche around the soaring sax notes and 80s-esque synth lines. The contrast between his candour and honeyed harmonies gives the release an oceanic depth as he attests to choosing pleasure over peace and professes to be anything but the perfect romantic protagonist.

If any single proves that we’re all just tormented people trying to get by, using sexual currency to find our worth, it is Berserk. Rallen’s commitment to sonically visualising his experience of adversity and affliction has established him as one of the most authentic acts on the RnB scene. It is only a matter of time before he reigns as supreme as the Weeknd.

Berserk was officially released on July 14th; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Wassko has unveiled his moody RnB synth-pop rendezvous, Not Around

Wassko broke ground and hearts with his debut EP, Figured You’d Care, featuring the heartbreak hit of a standout single, Not Around. With a sonic signature that scribes itself between the Weeknd and The Midnight, Wassko reached the pinnacle of RnB-infused synth-pop style in Not Around, which becomes a dualistic lesson in sincerity with the vocal contribution from Rama, who gave the other side of the love story where elusiveness has severed the connection.

Even though the Haifa-residing artist only made his debut with his genre-melding sound, which frequently borrows from RnB, hip-hop, soul, EDM, and punk, last year, he’s already well on his way to establishing himself in the industry.

His 2023 EP is a testament to how honed his skills have become; it takes a fine balance of songwriting dexterity and sonic engineering to visualise such a complicated yet perfectly-rounded hit that paints raw emotion in kaleidoscopic colour, instead of the black and white lenses which are typically used to orchestrate love songs.

Not Around was officially released on June 30; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Max LaMont captured the vibe of Hollywood in the summer with his latest single, The Last Day of June

LA alternative artist, Max LaMont, didn’t hang around bringing the summer vibes this year; his latest single, The Last Day of June, which traverses bitter-sweet teen romance tropes through an alt-bubble gum pop tonal palette, debuted on March 31.

Fans of The 1975 and the Weeknd won’t want to miss out on the intoxicating 80s RnB pop vibes that are superlatively synthesised in the intoxicating hit, which teases what is to come from his forthcoming EP.

The magnetically shy artist’s charisma is undoubtedly a major part of his appeal; everything he turns his talents to is raw and definitively the real sincere deal. Beyond his relatability lies his classically trained virtuosic flair; he is trained in operatic and musical theatre; as a result, he’s been in a myriad of live productions, including Oklahoma, La Boheme and MASS.

Stream The Last Day of June on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Can’t Promise You That: Alex Omen regrets that he couldn’t be the one on Let You Down

Feeling so much sadness and massive regret for something mentally deep that had to end, Alex Omen tells us about a sad story that millions will relate to in this romantically strained world, Let You Down.

Alex Omen is an alternative RnB and hip-hop artist who brings so much true love and care into each one of his carefully layered tracks.

Blurring the line between modern hip-hop and soothing R&B, his songs are uplifting with a sense of melancholy. Omen names The Weeknd, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean as his major influences.” ~ Alex Omen

Spectacular in nature and sending our spirits into a rather revealing universe, Alex Omen has projected an enlightening story in the best possible fashion. Gosh, the vocals are rather dreamy here. Each note is crisp and rather special, on a planet where true romance is so rare to find.

Let You Down from alternative RnB and hip-hop artist Alex Omen sends us all into a harrowing former love picture which has sadly cracked through the sands of time. Taking us into a movie-like story and sending us shivers of details which will flood many memories like a blocked drain, to wash our tears and show us what it feels like when two hearts are shattered.

Hear this fine new single on Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen