This Fresh Finds Fridays column curated by Flisadam Pointer features releases from Jordin Sparks, Annie Tracy, Robin Thicke, Alexia Jayy, Gallant, Mariah The Scientist, Layton Greene, Destin Conrad, Naomi Sharon, and Davionne.
Check out this week’s roundup and forget to let us know who you’re listening to in the comment section.
Jordin Sparks – “Call My Name”
For those sleeping on Jordin Sparks with her new single, she’s ready to wake them up. Although it has been over two years since the singer’s last full-length, that could be changing extremely soon. With her powerful song “Call My Name,” Sparks might just setting everything into motion.
The record, produced by Dem Jointz, is a bold showcase of Sparks’ often underappreciated vocal range. For the single whose sole focus is to shine a light on the uplifting nature of pure love, unironically, “Call My Name” forces you to become enamored with the Sparks all over again.
When the recording artist sings, “You gently came and broke down all my walls / And dealt with me so patiently / Self-sabotaged but you never leave at all / This love is yours / There’s nothing more that I want / So close the door / I’ll leave it for those sweet echoes through the corridor,” you believe her.
As an added bonus, “Call My Name” is divided into two small sonic parts. The majority of the track is a potent, soulful belted record to demonstrate how dynamic of a vocalist Sparks is. In the closing minute or so, the musician flipped everything on its head with a soft, heavenly arrangement. If you’ve watched her on American Idol or in movies like Sparkle, there’s no doubt Sparks can run the gambit. Still, somehow, when you witness it on “Call My Name,” you can’t help but be impressed.
In a post shared on Sparks’ official Instagram page, she outlined the inspiration behind the track. “‘Call My Name’ is an ode to a love so full, effortless, and pure—there’s a peace and contentment within it. You’ve all witnessed my rocky road in love, and now you can hear the culmination of what I’ve learned and now know in my bones,” wrote the singer.
“Call My Name” is Jordin Sparks’ follow-up to her previous singles “Stop This Feelings” featuring Rist Flik, “Stadiums,” and “Deux” with Elijah Blake.
Annie Tracy & Robin Thicke – “Close To You”
The legacy of R&B music runs deep. So, for lovers of the genre, witnessing long-established veterans connecting with newbies is always a magical movement. On their new collaborative single “Close To You,” Annie Tracy and Robin Thicke did just that. For Tracy, a Willington, West Virginia native, the link-up was a dream come true.
The track, which was co-written and produced by Mike Sabath, is an emotionally raw record. Tracy’s past in musical theatre is brought to the forefront as her emoting helps to blend the traditional elements of blues and R&B. On a record all about the regret of a love turned sour, it is a necessary technical ability.
“I didn’t even realize that I’ve never heard your voicemail / Until I broke it off and then you sent me straight to voicemail / I know that I’m confusing / I know this one feels personal / But please pick up the phone tonight (I know, oh, oh) ’cause I just need to hear your voice and I / I knew that this would hurt / This is why I didn’t wanna get close to you / Why I didn’t wanna get close to you,” sings Tracy.
Annie Tracy is undoubtedly a rookie to watch. Thicke’s contributions to the record are minimal. However, his smooth vocals are certainly the cherry on top.
On Tracy’s official Instagram, she took a moment to share a tender note. “Thank you so much for supporting me on this record, Robin. I’m so incredibly honored. I have so much gratitude for all of you, your constant love, and support of my music. We are just getting started,” wrote the singer.
“Close To You” is Tracy’s follow-up to her 5-track EP ACT I, which was released in June.
Alexia Jayy – “You” featuring Big K.R.I.T.
Too often, the terms viral sensation and talented are used interchangeably. However, those two words carry distinctly different connotations. Alexia Jayy fits under both definitions. The Irvington, Alabama, representation cultivated a massive online audience due to her striking vocal abilities. While personalizing covers to other musicians’ work is challenging, gaining traction on your own original works is even more difficult.
But with her new single, “You,” featuring Big K.R.I.T., Jayy makes it look so easy. The record, which was produced by Jim Jonsin and Wlpwr and co-written by Jay Lyriq, is a refreshing love letter in a world where being emotionally vulnerable is a rarity.
When Jayy sings, “You got me smiling / I ain’t ever felt like this before / Put it writing, this ain’t a dream and you ain’t gonna fold / I’m ready to love you / Only if you want me to / I can’t even stop myself / I want you and no one else / You make me feel so damn good / You, you, you,” if you aren’t partnered you find yourself questioning when you turn will come.
Alexia Jayy opened up about the support she’s been receiving. “I just wanted to come on here to tell y’all just how thankful I am of you guys because y’all have been so supportive with the music I’ve been dropping lately. ‘Supposed 2’ is doing well. ‘You’ is coming out on October 12, and I’m super excited about that. It’s amazing to me that a lot of you related to ‘Supposed 2’ as y’all did because, in all honesty, I was singing from my heart. I was going through a lot, and I had come to a healing point in my life… When I posted ‘You,’ in all honesty, I was singing to my man,” said Jayy.
“You” is the latest in a string of records, including past releases “Supposed 2,” “Over And Done,” and “I Need A Man.”
Gallant – “311!”
Supergroups are all the rage in rock and rap music. Over the past few years, some of the biggest acts have come together to creatively collaborate under one name. Fortunately, for R&B lovers, this budding trend could be on the rise. On his new single, “311!,” Gallant teamed up with Robert Glasper, Keyon Harrold, sneek, and Terrace Martin for a masterful display of pure musicianship.
With Martin also stepping into the role of producer, Gallant and the all-star gang set the atmosphere for the aching tale of heartbreak. The songwriting on the track amplifies the instrumental groundwork carefully laid down. “Three nights here by myself / Tryna reach her from the hotel / Said she’d be here by now / Maybe she’s lost or with someone else / Somebody dial 311 / Tell ’em check the phone towers / Last 48 hours feel like an eternity / Tell Red to let security loose / Throw one more night on the room! / Cause I know she must be missing me,” sings.
“311!” marks the first record shared by Gallant since his 2021 project, Neptune. Gallant doesn’t waste a note as he reminds you what the genre has been missing since his brief hiatus.
Mariah The Scientist – “From A Woman”
Mariah The Scientist has become a musical fixture for the new generation of R&B lovers. The singer’s latest London On Da Track-produced single, “From A Woman,” shows why that is. Mariah is caught up in love’s web, and she doesn’t want to escape.
The record, which was written entirely by the Atlanta native, is believed to be a tribute to another famous Georgian musician. As Mariah sings, “I close my eyes and trust your plan / Won’t let no one force my hand / You’ve paid the cost for true romance / And you want my love again / I thought I seen it all before / And now I’ve seen so much more / And finally, some doors will close / But here’s to open windows and / Look at the trust closin’ in / Here’s to someone I can depend on, yes / Sent from above, I am convinced / If it isn’t luck, I guess love exists,” you find yourself rooting for her whirlwind romance.
If it wasn’t clear who this sentimental record was about, the line, “Won’t call you Slime ’cause it don’t fit,” makes it apparent. Mariah is serenading her boyfriend, Young Thug. The rapper returned the romantic gesture with a response track, “From A Man.”
“From A Woman” is Mariah The Scientist’s first solo single since 2022’s “Bout Mine” and “Stone Cold.” In August, on her official Instagram page, the recording artist hinted that her next full-length is ready to go as she wrote, “Project so hard can’t even pick a single.”
Layton Greene – “Something”
Cuffing season is quickly approaching. Many single folks are frantically searching for this wintertime boo, but for Layton Greene that’s something she doesn’t have to worry about. The East St. Louis, Illinois native is already blissfully cuffed with her hopefully forever partner. Her latest single, “Something,” dives into their romantic embers.
“Free time / With you, I don’t ever need me time / Never had to do much to be mine / All these other n****s get the peace sign / You know I love when you rock the boat / That Casamigos make me lose control / We got the chemistry you can’t deny / I’m your Bonnie, come be my Clyde,” sings Greene.
The record is produced by The Breed and co-written with a host of songwriters, including Arnold O’Neal Dudley, Jr, and Rashad Alexander Johnson. Since her debut onto the R&B scene, Greene has carved out a lane for herself sonically. Her signature sound is bass-heavy instrumentation centered with an emphasis on raw stories about Greene’s navigation of love. “Something” is just that.
Greene took to Instagram to share a note with fans before the track hit streaming services. “Y’all, it’s been a journey. Thank you so much for sticking with me. Special thank you to everyone who is a part of this amazing record,” wrote the recording artist.
“Something” follows Layton Greene’s past single “Spin Again,” which was released in May.
Destin Conrad – “Luv N Devotion”
R&B rookie Destin Conrad doesn’t mind sonically mixing things up in his releases. For his latest single, “Luv N Devotion,” he injected the sounds of the Caribbean for an irresistible blend. Although the blend of R&B music with other genres, such as reggae and calypso, isn’t new, Conrad found a way to make the track sound fresh.
As Conrad sings, “Oh-ooh, since I’ve been meditating / From a distance, I’ve been movin’ slow / You my one weakness / When around, you lose my self-control / Can we revisit this when night gets over? / Feelings I thought that I was over / Got me being wasted and open / It’s not my decision, I fight / Submission, I try to act like I’m wireless / We both know that’s nonsense,” you know the person he’s lusting over might not be the best choice. However, once the rhythmic flow of the instruments kicks in, you lose sight of any red flags.
“Luv N Devotion” was co-written by Conrad and Leven Kali. Kali and Sol Was teamed up for the track’s production side. Conrad’s past singles include “Outta Control” and “Switch.”
Naomi Sharon – “Regardless”
OVO Sounds’ first lady, Naomi Sharon, has become popular for her combination of R&B and electronic dance music. But the Rotterdam, Netherlands native’s capabilities stretch far beyond that. On her latest single, “Regardless,” fans are treated to a stripped-back version of the vocalist. With just a guitar and a heartfelt message to deliver, Naomi lays it all on the line. For a record all about weathering the storm, this creative choice was a solid call.
“I left the world behind / I told the stars you’re mine / Why’d you tell me to walk away / But what if I don’t need no space / You just need some comforting / You just need my company now / Even if I’m brokenhearted, I’ll still stick around / Even if you’re brokenhearted, I’ll still come around / ‘Cause I love you regardless,” sings Naomi. So long as the romantic connection remains strong, Naomi will stand firm in the relationship, unaffected by outside entities.
“Regardless,” which was co-produced by Beau Nox and Jack Rochon, could be Naomi’s final single before the release of her OVO Sound debut album, The Obsidian. Her previous singles included “Definition Of Love,” “Another Life,” “Celestial,” and “Hills.”
The album’s pre-celebration event was held over the weekend. Naomi recapped the experience on her official Instagram page. “The ‘Obsidian’ launch event was a truly heartwarming experience. I felt so present and at peace, knowing that this is exactly what I’ve dreamed of since I was little. The time has finally come; the wait is almost over, and I am so ready to release this emotional piece of work and let it live in your living rooms, cars, clubs, and spiritual trips. I’ve come a long way. I never gave up and never will. No one will break my stride. And so it is,” wrote the musician.
DaVionne – “Twin Flame”
Atlanta, Georgia, is home to the sweetest peaches, rap’s biggest stars, and a tried and true R&B market. DaVionne is one of the newer acts that called the city home. The singer has steadily worked at her craft to solidify her name in the game, which eventually earned her a co-sign from the living legend Alicia Keys.
Now with stable footing, the songwriter is ready to lay the path for her official freshman rollout. Her new single, “Twin Flame,” is the bold first step. On the Natra Average-produced track, DaVionne linked up with fellow pen Christopher Gibbs to gift the world with the sensual record.
“Do you think of me when I think of you / You my twin flame / I can’t help but think when we was together now this is insane / I must know what you’re thinking / Know what you’re feeling / Don’t have to say a word / Oh what a feelings,” sings DaVionne.
It’s clear by the somber sonic surrounding her remorseful vocals that DaVionne is working through the reality that her once thriving romantic relationship is no more. With a run time of just over two minutes, “Twin Flame” is a bite-sized sample of what DaVionne has in store for R&B lovers.
DaVionne, excited about the formal launch of her forthcoming project, took to social media to give fans an update on what’s to come. “The leading single from my EP ‘Good Grief’ is out now! ‘Twin Flame’ is more special to me than I can even articulate. This project is my interpretation of the five stages of grief through the lens of a breakup. ‘Twin Flame,’ being the depression stage. My prayer is that you all grow with me through this,” wrote the entertainer on Instagram.
*Post photo credit: Loyal/TheFamousUnkwn