Eric Bellinger – Or Nah
Eric quickly rose to the top of people’s lists after the release of his mixtape ‘Born II Sing Vol. III‘ in the spring of 2013, and throughout the year he only continued to impress fans everywhere. Now, with his own buzzing single at radio with “I Don’t Want Her,” the singer/songwriter is promoting heavily for the release of his first official album The ReBirth. This joint is only a throwout remix Eric recorded with fellow Cali native Marcus Moody, but he still flexes his amazing talent for melody and wordplay. We can expect much more from him this year!
Bando Jonez – Sex You
Bando Jonez is still a very new name, as he has just begun to emerge this year with his debut single “Sex You.” But, he is already heating up the airwaves in Atlanta, and working on his debut album with hitmaking producer Polow Da Don, due out on Epic. We need a little more music to give him a full co-sign, but if this joint is any indication, then Bando won’t be a new name for too long.
Kelela – Go All Night
Kelela might also be a very new name for you, as she was only officially introduced to many on Solange’s Saint Heron compilation. However, her 2013 project Cut 4 Me received high praise from outlets such as Pitchfork, SPIN and The Fader, while we are still debating her sound as a whole, if she can develop it into more tracks like “Go All Night,” we will be rocking with her all day.
Ro James – A.D.I.D.A.S.
Ro James has had us excited for a couple years now, and last year solidified the NYC based crooners buzz as he released his acclaimed ‘Coke, Jack & Cadillacs‘ EP, and headlined his first sold-out show at Highline Ballroom. James is one of those artists that is so normal, yet so unique and mysterious at the same time. His talent is too raw to be boxed in, and his writing connects universally. He is an original and a leader, and one that has to be on lists for not only R&B, but all music everywhere.
Candi Kush – Wussaname
Candi Kush aka Candice is an emerging singer/songwriter signed to Ne-Yo’s Compound Ent., who grabbed our attention toward the end of last year with the release of her debut mixtape Live From The Smokers Room. One of the standout tracks was clearly “Wussaname,” which showcases Candi’s big voice, and edgy attitude. While the female market is getting pretty flooded, with Ne-Yo in her corner she’s got a serious fighting chance.
Kendall – Reward
This young lady will be making her official impact very soon, but for now she still’s our little secret. Kendall is a very talented young singer/songwriter signed to Atlantic Records, and her father is actually El Debarge! On “Reward” Kendall blends sweet and sultry R&B with a catchy Pop twist, while flexing effortless range. Watch out Ariana!
Candice Glover – Damn
Winning American Idol doesn’t guarantee commercial success as we’ve seen numerous times. Season 12 already seems like it was ages ago, but R&B fans everywhere were elated when South Carolina native, Candice Glover won the competition. So, she might have a leg up on some of the other up and comers on this list, but she has still had to work just as hard to make an impact following the show. It appears her time might be here though, as her new single “Cried” is doing great on the Urban AC charts, and he debut album Music Speaks will be landing in stores on February 18. A standout cut from the LP is the strong ballad “Damn,” which finds the vocalist portraying the ‘other woman’ in a relationship, and expressing the heartache of that situation.
August Alsina – Make It Home
We’ve been pushing August for a few years now, and he finally broke out last year, landing a No. 1 single with “I Luv This Sh*t,” which was followed by the release of his debut EP Downtown: Life Under the Gun. But, it’s just the beginning for the New Orleans native, as he begins building momentum for his full-length album Testimony. Switching from the party vibe, to a more serious tone, August shows he is much more than a one hit wonder on “Make It Home.”
Jhené Aiko – The Worst
At this point most of us are just counting down the days until the release of Jhené’s debut album Souled Out. To hold her legions of fans over, the L.A. songstress dropped the ‘Sail Out‘ EP at the end of 2013, and it is certainly receiving a ton of burn, specifically the dark and mesmerizing song “The Worst.” We can’t wait to hear what she has in store for her first official LP.
Cheers to 2014 and all it has in store!! Tell us who else you are looking forward to hearing from this year in the comments section below…