Spooky season is in full effect. To prove it, the ThisIsRnB team shared their top 10 favorite scary Halloween-themed R&B songs. However, legendary vocalist Brandy has another holiday on the brain. After years of faint whispers, the singer has announced her very first-holiday album, Christmas With Brandy, which is due out on November 10.
Victoria Monét and Tyla brought their viral records to live night television with breathtaking performances on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Speaking of visuals, recording artist Kevin Ross premiered his video for the track “Ain’t Mine” exclusively on ThisIsRNB.
In addition to the influx of visuals, there was a flood of new music to drop. This Fresh Finds Fridays column features album releases from Brent Faiyaz, Mariah The Scientist, Keke Palmer, Destin Conrad, and Arianna Reid, as well as singles from Mary J Blige, Sango, Yebba, Tiara Thomas, Nippa, and Summer Pearl.
Check out this week’s roundup below. Don’t forget to let us know who you’re listening to below in the comment section.
Brent Faiyaz – Larger Than Life
Brent Faiyaz is striking while the iron is hot. The singer’s latest album, Larger Than Life, has arrived fresh off the heels of Brent’s recent singles past singles “Moment Of Your Life” featuring Coco Jones and “WY@.” In typical fashion, the 14-track body of work is a soundtrack of today’s turbulent dating market. As the Columbia, Maryland, native’s star power reaches new heights, so does the tensions in his relationships.
As the project title suggests, Brent’s fame makes him bigger than most of his circumstances. However, tracks such as “Dawged Em Skit,” narrated by TTM Dawg, “WY@,” and “Pistachios” outline why he finds himself stuck in scenarios that don’t match his status. To the outside, the subject matter appears to be repetitive, but if you dig deeper, Brent is just a creature of habit. With Larger Than Life, Brent pulled out the big guns, securing a production credit from Timbaland and a guest vocal appearance by Missy Elliott. However, it lacks in several areas that his previous album, Wasteland, excelled, including cohesion, dynamic storytelling, range, and more. Also, outside of the promoted singles, there’s only one true stand-out track, “Outside All Night,” featuring A$AP Rocky and N3WYRKLA.
To fans’ surprise, Brent’s “Wish U Well” record did not make Larger Than Life‘s final tracklist. Instead, he stacked the project with vocal features from Babyface Ray, A$AP Ant, CruddyMurda, Tommy Richman, FELIX!, and more, and production by Dpat, Jonah Roy, and Mannyvelli, amongst others.
Larger Than Life is a minor drop in the bucket that is Brent Faiyaz’s discography. Sadly, this easily makes it one of his most forgettable projects to date.
Keke Palmer – Big Boss Deluxe
Saturn’s return has been showering Keke Plamer with abundance. The multi-hyphenate is having a phenomenal year in film, fashion, and music. In May, Palmer dropped her first studio album in three years. Now, she’s doubled back with the Big Boss Deluxe version. The initial album featured ten tracks. On the deluxe version, Palmer added four additional tracks, including “Ungorgeous,” “Serious,” “Assets,” and “Crazy Things.”
Of the newest records, the Kenneth “KP” Paige-produced ballad “Ungorgeous” and uptempo “Assets” are easy standouts. Although Palmer is a veteran in the industry, Big Boss Deluxe is the breakout moment in music for many newer fans. She’s dominated the big screen and small screens, but music is the last frontier she has to master. Big Boss Deluxe does just that.
On CBS Mornings, she opened up to host Gayle King about the core of the multiple-layered project. “I experienced a lot of misogyny and also insecurities. We all have these narratives that we tell ourselves. My first record deal at twelve years old with Atlantic Records told me that I was always going to have it hard with music and that no one was really going to allow me to be me… The movie is about me overcoming that narrative,” said Palmer.
The Big Boss feature film is available for viewing for free exclusively on KeyTv. Click here to watch now.
Destin Conrad – Submissive
Three seems to be Destin Conrad’s spirit number. In just three projects, the singer found a way to maintain a creative stride. The Tampa, Florida native’s latest album, Submissive, which featured three lead singles (“Luv N Devotion,” “Outta Control,” and “Switch”), has unlocked his groove. Destin peeled back a layer of himself across the body of the work’s nine featured tracks, exposing his ego, past mistakes, and romantic woes for all to witness for judgment.
To say, at one point, that Destin was young, dumb, and in love would be an understatement. So, it’s safer to declare that the recording artist fell victim to his own emotionally immature susceptibility. The album’s core theme is growth across the board, but especially in the love department. In fact, the title Submissive serves as a clever triple entendre. The first meaning is to relinquish complete control to God. Secondly, to be obedient to his emotional needs. The final is blatantly depicted in the project’s cover art.
Sonically, Submissive can be found at the intersection of alternative R&B injected with Caribbean flair. in which the standout songs include “Low Tide,” “One Thing” featuring Jordan, and “Super Paradise” featuring Masego.
Destin took to his official Instagram to share a message with fans and his Louie about the album. “My third project, ‘Submissive,’ is out everywhere! I’m feeling vulnerable, anxious, and happy for y’all to hear this sh*t… Shoutout to Louie Lastic, my big brother. I love you, Looshk. Thanks for making songs with me forever grateful.”
Submissive is Destin Conrad’s mental, emotional, and professional tipping point, where he sheds his juvenile ways for the promise of a secure future.
Arianna Reid – Love Heals All
Patience’s virtue is what could ultimately push R&B newcomer Arianna Reid to the forefront. The Brampton, Ontario native’s debut EP, Love Heals All, is the start of a musical marinade. In just three tracks, “Soulmate,” “Deeper Love,” and the title track, Reid has done with takes nearly triple that to accomplish – define who she is are an artist.
Reid managed to fill the listening audience’s appetite with a sampler course as the sole songwriter, producer, and vocalist for the record. Reid’s sonic palate is an elemental blend of traditional gospel hymns and alternative music. With Reid, the devil’s in the details, and Love Heals All has plenty to latch onto. Reid’s vocals are harp-like as they create a gentle environment for the brutal realities of heartbreak land like a feather upon a freshly fluffed pillow.
Reid shared a message with supporters in a post uploaded to her official Instagram page. “I will always hold this project dear to my heart. I wanted to see it actualized so much that I did everything I could, learned what I didn’t know, saved what I didn’t have, and flew to where I’ve never been to see it actualized in this moment! Sometimes, you work for something for so long, and it feels so hard, but now that it’s here and all finished, I feel nothing but ease. As it comes to fruition at midnight, I can say that this was made with so much love, intent, and care! This introductory project encapsulates not only love but also me and my artistry! Enjoy this project and prepare for what’s coming next,” Reid wrote.
Reid’s sound is apparent. Her mission is clear. Love Heals All is a trickly simplistic project. It’s short, sweet, and straight to the point. Love Heals All showed that Reid has braced herself for the marathon ahead.
Mary J Blige – “Still Believe in Love” featuring Vado
Sometimes love is a losing game, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a gamble with your heart. Grammy Award-winning singer Mary J. Blige has experienced romance’s highs and lows. Despite it all, she still believes that someone special is there for everyone, including herself. Her latest single, “Still Believe In Love,” flexed why she’s considered the Queen of Hip-Hop and R&B, bringing in Vado for the genre mashup.
“Just ’cause you see me alone and I’m all on my own / It don’t mean a thing / Just know I could find me somebody so easily / I can’t lower my standards / I demand a guy to treat me like the queen that I be / In the middle of the night fantasize he only thinkin’ ’bout me,” sings Mary.
In the age of horrible relationship takes on social media, the track, which was co-written with Bradley Thomas Jr. and Elliot Trent, is a glimpse of why knowing your self-worth is essential. Co-producers DJ Cassidy and Jeff “Gitty” Gitelman’s light-hearted approach to the instrumentation created an airiness to what could’ve quickly turned into a heavy record.
“Still Believe In Love” is Mary J. Blige’s first original release since her album Good Morning Gorgeous, which dropped last year.
Sango – “Drifted” featuring Jayla Darden
Sango is back outside. So, nature is officially healing. This time, it’s material for himself instead of crafting something for someone else (i.e., Drake’s recent For All The Dogs album). The musician teamed up with a group of amazingly talented folks to bring his creative concept to life. On his new single, “Drifted,” he called on singer Jayla Darden to carry the record vocally, and the Detroit, Michigan native did.
With the co-production assistance from Grammy Award winner Kaytranada and Savon, the track is the grooviest heartbreak song you’ll hear all week. As Darden sings, “Back in the city, you miss me / I know that you miss me / First thing that you say when you hit me / Crazy, you really grew up with me / Sneaking to spend private time with me / I remember but we grown now / Can’t nobody take my phone now / No one’s watching us / So what’s stopping us? / Or maybe it’s because we’ve drifted, drifted, drifted / When I moved away my goals shifted,” she’s desperate to hold onto her childhood lover, but distance, maturity, and more all run interference.
If Sango, Kaytranada, and Savon were around to conduct your break-up, it would be hard to stay down in the mud. Their shake-up of R&B and electronic elements will make you forget your worries. Or at least that is what happened during the instrumental break at the end of “Drifted.”
Sango is keeping things close to the vest by not revealing details about his creative spark these days, but Jayla Darden took to Instagram to talk about working with the producer. “So much of Sango’s music reminds me of home. [I’m so] grateful to be a part [of it],” wrote Darden.
“Drifted” is the second single off of Sango’s forthcoming album, North Vol. 2.
Yebba – “Waterfall (I Adore You)” featuring Sweata
Yebba has made live recordings of her signature artistic packaging. From her collaborations with Grammy Award-winning recording artist PJ Morton, Lucky Daye, and more, the West Memphis, Arkansas native has treated fans to a myriad of memorable performances. On her highly-anticipated new single, “Waterfall (I Adore You),” featuring Sweata, she’s continued that tradition but in record format.
The record, which was co-produced by John Rooney, is a token of appreciation to multi-instrumentalists, spoken word artists, and, without question, soulful storytelling. Yebba and Sweata, alongside musicians Musicians Casey Benjamin, Malachi, Elena Pinderhughes, James Francies, Burniss Earl II, and Justin Tyson, cascade in love’s overflow without shame.
“Find a couple threads / Thеy run from my head through this mattress / As it spins on its axis / You’re heavy as lead / Pressing that cross on your necklace / Against my chest / Mirrors break, just to multiply / Obsessions fade / Overtime / What can I say? / These feelings don’t subside / And what remains, love is whatever we make it tonight,” sings Yebba.
As the conductor, vocally, Yebba guided the dream team of artists through an outlook on love. But the musician’s pure precision is equally a starring role. Both parts came together to mold a blissful slice of a fantasy they won’t mind visiting repeatedly.
Yebba took to her Instagram to express her appreciation to her collaborators. “I’m so blessed to get to work with people who are all artists in their own right and still down to develop these ideas with me. Thank you for showing up & always being yourselves,” wrote Yebba.
She continued, “Hey, Sweata, thank you for writing so well on these changes. You’re very special to me. I wish you the best in music-making. Thanks for joining me on this one.”
Outside of Yebba’s living recordings, “Waterfall (I Adore You)” is the first new release from her since 2021’s Dawn.
Tiara Thomas – “Hit You Right Back” featuring Tone Stith
Time is a luxury most people on their grind can’t afford to sacrifice. Unfortunately, that small window of availability gets even more complicated when a dating life is thrown into the mix. On her new single, “Hit You Right Back,” Tiara Thomas chronicled that daily struggle.
The track, co-written with Chelsea Lena and John Busser, brought in fellow singer Tone Stith to give the full report of this emotional battle from different perspectives. Thomas’ casual relationship has gotten more complicated than intended.
“Told you what it was you knew what it wasn’t / When you be off the bubbly you saying you love me / When I don’t say the same then you say I’m frontin / But I ain’t playing games / I’m just catching planes / And I ain’t got the time to argue right now / I ain’t got time to be tied down / I don’t need something complicated / Just good sex and conversation so / Ima hit you right back,” sings Thomas.
On the other hand, Stith’s romantic issues, according to him, are due to his chaotic schedule. “Lately I’ve been grinding, stacking paper making moves / I keep missing calls swear I ain’t tryna be rude / I’ll be home tonight it’s on sight when you come through / Blowin out your back I know you been in the mood / I just need time and patience / Cuz we still a vibe, girl you know what I like / But sometimes I be hesitating / We be together no ties / Like it better with you on the side,” sang Stith.
No matter what side of the coin you land on in your attachment style, “Hit You Right Back” is relatable to all.
“Hit You Right Back” was co-produced by Jeff “Gitty” Gitelman, Marcus “Slade Da Monsta” Slade, Nascent, and Wallis. The record is Thomas’ first single since 2022’s “Don’t Talk Back.”
Nippa – “Ocean Drive”
Nippa is North London, England, specifically Tottenham’s most promising R&B act. The singer’s bad-boy persona and irresistible charisma are an addictive combination. On his latest single, “Ocean Drive,” he uses both characteristics well.
The BenjiFlow-produced track, which was co-written by Joshua Jones, is all about Nippa’s lively love life. Apparently, prior to his rise to fame, he had a tough time locking in with just one lovely lady, but now it’s nearly impossible. Nippa uses that record to showcase that although his options are abundant, he is more than willing to settle down with the right person. Unfortunately, his vision is too clouded at times by his fast-paced environment to distinguish the difference.
“Get it on the whip / Crack it off in the Uber / Eat the c*ochie at my crib / Now we deading all the rumors / Lights off, take a pic / Think of me when you miss / So you know what it is / She gon’ let me touch her,” sings Nippa.
For Nippa, time is relative so there’s nothing better than the present. “Ocean Drive” is Nippa’s most recent single after “Reverse” and “Maddest Hoes.”
Summer Pearl – “What You Want”
The pool of R&B talent making a splash in the genre within the United Kingdom is overflowing. London native Summer Pearl is a newbie vying for the ear of avid listeners. Her latest single, “What You Want,” will surely get the job done. The track, which was co-written and co-produced by Mitchell, is a sensual serving of soul.
“Pick your poison. I got what you like / ‘Cause you are chosen I’ve been waiting for this one night,” sings Summer Pearl. She’s not here to mince words. Summer knows the saying: closed mouths don’t get fed, and she’s starving.
Summer vocal technique with Mitchell’s modern production sensibilities created a mix of the genre’s rich past and shimmering present. “What You Need” is one of the many tracks to appear on the recording artist’s debut mixtape Outmysystem, which is due out on November 17.
In a statement shared with ThisIsRnB, Summer spoke about the forthcoming project. “These are songs that I needed to get out of my system in order for me to move on. To be able to move on and get over that relationship, romantic or platonic; to move on but not forget the loss of friends and family,” said Summer.
Summer Pearl’s past singles include “Waste Your Time” with Liam Bailey and “Green Eyes.”
*Cover photo credit: Nailah Howze (@cloudnai)