When you love a genre, there’s an insatiable desire to discover more sounds from the artists shaping the scene. From Jhené Aiko to Alina Baraz and 6lack, there’s a handful of talented singers creating rhythms that have attracted a global audience. However, after rinsing and repeating the songs in their catalogue the next step for music lovers is artist discovery. Most music lovers turn to artist discovery to find up-and-coming artists whose impressions resonate with those similar to their favorites.The recent “How I Met vs How Y’all Met” trend on social media proved that individuals take pride in discovering artists at the early stage of their career. Meanwhile, for online publications, we take pride in supporting artists while they’re on the rise.
Here’s a list of rising R&B artists you should have on your radar. Some of them are a few steps from going global while others are bubbling under. However, most R&B lovers are sure to discover an artist or two…or all ten in this article.
Jada Nycole Ellise
There are some artists you just want to see live after listening to their music — Jada Nycole Ellise fits the script. She makes R&B songs that will make you call in sick at work just to listen to her music in the bathtub while sipping a bottle of wine. She released her debut album, Temporary Colors in June and the first word that will come to most listeners after one listen is “Talent.”
Essential Song: Comfortable
Shaé Universe is one singer who has been on a roll. She attracted a large following through song covers which she posted on Twitter in the early stage of her career. Artists like Ella Mai, Tory Lanez, Stormzy, and Chance The Rapper have recognized her for putting a spin on their songs. She is a versatile singer who gives the genre her own treatment. When she’s not switching flows, she’s fusing it with other genres. The British singer is a step away from becoming a global sensation and now is a great time to get into her music.
Essential Song: You Lose
Montreal-based artist, Shay Lia is another versatile singer. Her self-assured approach shines on her debut EP, Dangerous as well as on her recent songs. Her latest single, “Love Me, Love Me Not” is a warm, melancholic blend of R&B and Afro-beats.
Essential Song: Love Me, Love Me Not
Joël is an Independent Toronto-based R&B singer who uses his music as a form of therapy. His most recent release, “Well Done”, is a deeply personal tune about his grandmother’s legacy.
Essential Song: On Point
Dawkins’ music is created for the people who may feel voiceless, hopeless, and alone. Through her music, she encourages women to know that love is not painful, abusive, or draining. As an artist, her strength lies in her voice and sincere lyrics.
Essential Song: Contradictions
Faye is a singer-songwriter from Toronto. Fans of Amy Winehouse will most likely enjoy her songs which are a smooth blend of R&B, Jazz, and Soul. Her debut EP, Dear Diary will be released later this year.
Essential Song: Don’t Make Her Cry
Priscilla Raie (known by her stage name Cilla Raie) is a British R&B singer and songwriter. Her songwriting skills opened doors for her to write for other artists while creating soulful tunes for herself. Through her upcoming EP due for release in 2021, she plans to pay homage to R&B and share what it’s like to walk a mile in her shoes.
Essential Song: Ain’t No One
Zhé Aqueen is different. Aqueen’s vocal range, Persian silk rhythms, sultry harmonies, thought provoking lyrics and captivating stage presence helps to create her own lane. She’s an eclectic artist on a mission to use her voice which drives peace, awareness, and self-love. Her music makes the ideal backdrop for a creative’s dream. Zhé sets the mood with an energy so strong it can’t be ignored.
Essential Song: Crazy Love
Valencia Rush is a passionate and energetic singer. She loves being in control of the creative process of music making hence why she writes and performs all of her songs. Those who have witnessed her performance will undoubtedly enjoy a thrilling experience as that’s one of her happy places.
Essential Song: Vibe
Neo-soul crooner, Aria Bléu brings something fresh to the scene. Although the American singer has only one EP in her discography, it’s a transparent project with some details about her life and evolution over the years. Her goal as a musician is to connect with listeners by sharing the commonalities that keep us connected.
Essential Song: Joyride