New Age R&B

Miguel Wilson

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Photo: Pigeons and Planes

In the world of music, it is no surprise to see artists mature throughout their careers, and I, like many others, enjoy following their progress. What is even more exciting to see is the evolution of the music industry itself. In this week‰’s edition of Nayhoo, I‰’d like to take a peek into the new developments being made in R&B today. More specifically, I would like to talk about a new(ish) trend I have noticed. There are more and more collaborations being made in music; gone are the days of boy bands. Today, we have producers and vocalists coming together to make what I have coined as the “super-artist.‰” Yes, I realize producers have been around since before music even began. What is different about today is that these people that were formerly only really worshiped by hardcore fans and music award shows, are being held to the same fame as their singing counterparts.

For an example of this new “super-artist‰” one need not look further than Sonder. This group is comprised of Brent Faiyaz, Atu, and Dpat. I can say confidently that they are producing some of the most awe-inspiring music you will ever hear in your life. No, I don‰’t say this lightly. Hours of my life have been spent just blasting their music and it feels like each time I listen to them I notice some new piece, a new sample, or even a new emotion within myself (clichÌ©, I know). They hit the music scene originally with their EPs: Victoria, Undone, and Sheath. In January of this year they birthed “Into‰Û, an EP that has received plenty of buzz. I highly suggest listening to their songs: “Sirens‰Û, “Too Fast‰Û, and “Slow Drag‰” (a personal favorite).

Another artist that I have discovered recently is Dvsn. Paul Jefferies and Daniel Daley make up this musical dynamo. Jefferies has really made a name for himself as a standout producer for artists like Drake, Jennifer Hudson, and Nicki Minaj. Daley, the vocalist of the group, puts noticeable effort into his craft with highlight tracks like: “Body Smile‰Û, “The Line‰Û, and “Nuh Time/Tek Time‰Û. Their new album, Morning After, really showcases the new areas and sounds R&B is going. A lot more thought is being put into production these days, but Dvsn shows that lyricism and vocals don‰’t need to be compromised because of this.

My introduction to these artists led to complete immersion. I discovered artists like Col3trane, Abhi//Dijon, and MIKNNA that are playing their own part in evolving today‰’s R&B. All in all, it‰’s exciting to see the ways people are choosing to express their messages. However, the true beauty of R&B is the unified message of love, or the lack thereof, that seems to run through all of these songs. Nonetheless, it‰’s safe to say the day of the “super-artist‰” is upon us.

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