Valentine’s Day isn’t until next month. However, several entertainers are getting a jump start on their love day. Singer Kali Uchis and rapper Don Toliver used the official video for her single, “Tu Corazón Es Mío / Diosa,” to announce that they’re pregnant with their first child together. That wasn’t the only baby news shared by a music couple. After months of speculation, Halle Bailey and DDG took to their official Instagrams to confirm the birth of their first child together, son Halo.

But what really has R&B fans caught up in the rapture of love is the potential for new projects from their favorite artists. Following an explosive 2022, Kehlani revealed that they have returned to the studio leading fans to believe that a new full-length project could drop this year. Also, Solange nearly broke Instagram when she unveiled her 2023 multidisciplinary piece at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, In Service to Whom, was available in part for viewing on her official website. Could the world get a new album from Solange? We don’t know for sure but supporters are certainly hoping so.

So, who actually shared new music this week? This Fresh Finds Fridays column features releases from serpentwithfeet, Shaé Universe, DaVionne, and ByHaze.

Check out this week’s roundup below. Don’t forget to let us know who you’re listening to in the comment section below.

serpentwithfeet – “Safe Word”

Serpentwithfeet’s forthcoming album, GRIP, is merely weeks aways. After teasing the project in 2023 with the release of its lead single, “Damn Gloves” featuring Ty Dolla $ign and Yanga YaYa, fans now have a second offering from the body of work. The musician’s second single, “Safe Word,” is just as infectious as the initial track.

The song, which was co-produced by  Sensei Bueno, I Like That, and Mike Irish is about being caught so deeply in physical intimacy that you must take precautions before becoming tangled with your lover. As the song’s title suggests, finding a piece of reality to pull down the veil from fantasy you find yourselves entrapped in. 

“A penny saved might be a penny earned / But if you save that freaky sh*t for later, you’ll never learn / A penny saved is a penny earned / But save that freaky sh*t for later, and you’ll never learn / Oh, the safe word, the safe word is me, the safe word is me,” sings serpentwithfeet.

“Safe Word” fit snug into the vision for serpentwithfeet’s soon-to-be released project. On Instagram, he shared the inspiration behind the upcoming album. “‘GRIP’ is all about touch. ‘Cuz baby, I’ve been shaped by some heavy hands. I hope this album animates something special in you,” wrote the singer. 

GRIP is due out on February 16. Click here to pre-save/pre-order.

Shaé Universe – “What’s Luv?” 

Shaé Universe’s music is the remedy for a down-bad certified lover girl. The London native’s latest single, “What’s Luv,” is a whimsical reminder that love does come with conditions. For  Shaé, the utmost priority is that she feels respected, protected, and preserved from harm.

Across the Fred Cox-produced record, the singer encourages others that adapt that stance. “What’s love if you ain’t speakin’ from the heart? / Empty promises, you should’ve never started / Now I’m gonna have to love you from afar, Some days, they feel the hardest / I’m willin’ to lose everything to find myself / If that would help / Me overcome the feelin’ stuck inside myself / Your love would tempt me, but left me empty,” sings Shaé.

Despite how caught up you may feel, this song is your brutal reminder that even when you may not want to, sometimes you have to walk away to protect your future self. Regardless of the conflicts your self is battling. 

In a statement shared with ThisIsRnB, Shaé Universe says the inspiration behind the song. “‘What’s Luv?’ is for anyone who’s ever lost themselves in love. People who love hard and passionately can often forget that, ultimately, no one can pour into them more than themselves. I wrote this song as a reminder of that. Love people, love life, love love, but also ensure you love yourself enough,” said the songwriter.

“What’s Luv?” is the lead single off of Shaé Universe’s forthcoming album, Love’s Letter slated to drop on Valentine’s Day via The Orchard.

DaVionne – “Not The One” 

Based on co-signs from Alicia Keys and J. Cole, DaVionne is next up in the R&B space. But according to her latest single, “Not The One,” when it comes to emotional games, the Augusta, Georgia native couldn’t even been considered. 

The record, produced by Natra Average, is the antithesis to DaVionne’s previous track, “Twin Flame.” Alternating between grit of grunge and the ferocity of rap, “Not The One,” is a melodic diss track to her ex. Throughout the song, DaVionne’s anger remains the centralized focus. Although the reasoning for the tension in an imagined relationship isn’t clear, the listener can clearly grasp something’s off. 

Was it infidelity? Could it have been overt disrespect, maybe? But what the listener can understand is that whatever it was, DaVionne is no longer willing to tolerate it. But before she walks out of the relationship, she wants to air out her grievances. 

“I don’t know why you steady f*cking with me / Tell me why you stay fucking with me / I’m not the one, not the two, not the motherfucking one / just give me space I’m just three seconds away from burning this down / Don’t you fucking test me / I’ll beat the case / You were talking all the shit back then but what about now,” sings DaVionne.

The singer’s upcoming EP Good Grief, in which this track will appear, is set to be released later this year. On Instagram, DaVionne discussed the thematic direction for the project, writing, “This project is my interpretation of the five  stages of grief through the lens of a breakup.”

ByHaze – “Real Bad”

ByHaze is in love and he wants the world to know. As a musician what better way to hard launch your boo to the world than through song. On the New Jersey’s new single, “Real Bad,” the singer pulls inspiration from Yung Miami (of the City Girls) infamous lingo.

At its core, “Real Bad” highlights the giddiness of a fresh relationship in which that emotional tenderness between partners ushers in a healing sense of romantic innocence. Co-produced by Jesse Blum and Josh Colby Glazer, “Real Bad” showcases just how fluid ByHaze is musically. The lyrics, crafted by ByHaze and Shanté Simpson, are quintessential R&B. However, the melodies and cadences are textbook rap. It is then tied together with the infectious Jersey Club production. 

“Dumped all of your hoes for me / We together now you go with me / Right here where you supposed to be / I knew the first time you went home with me / Choosing up, he cuffin’ me / New norm he ain’t bluffin’ me / Gagged him now he blushing, sheesh /Thought that love was blind / But now I see / Your always on my mind / Nothing like a bad dream / Hate it when you leave / Need a time machine / Checked your co-star / You’re aligned with me,” sings ByHaze

In a statement shared with ThisIsRnB, ByHaze spoke about the record. “[Real Bad] is a queer anthem for the masses infused with joy, the Jersey Club sound, and [emotional] light. It’s an invitation to celebrate the unapologetic and boundless love between me & my partner.”

*Post cover photo credit: Denzel Golatt


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