RnB had long been considered a dying genre after the noughties were over. Since around 2015, when artists such as Bryson Tiller, PartyNextDoor and Tory Lanez were lacing our music libraries with trap infused RnB, an even newer wave of artists have been brewing, and in 2017 we were blessed with a whole lot of greatness in the RnB sphere. The sound has evolved and the genre has been stretched to it's core by a new wave of artists who are ready to put their own stamp on the much demanded genre.
Firstly, it is important to point out, this is not discrediting the likes of Tiller, PND and Lanez. Merely commenting on the incredible talent this new group of RnB artists possesses.
Sampha performs 'No One Knows Me Like The Piano' Live
Sampha, H.E.R, Daniel Caesar, DVSN, Xavier Omar, 6lack, Jorja Smith, SZA, Brent Faiyaz, and SYD are just some of the artists that have put out incredible work over the last year or so, not just songs though, amazing full length albums. The reason that these artists are so special is largely down to the individual lanes they all work within. I listed 10 artists there, all of whom make RnB music and all with their own twist or style that makes them unique in one way or another.
Jorja Smith's hypnotic video for 'On My Mind'
Whether it's Daniel Caesar's ability to have you longing for someone to hold at night with Transform, then rejoicing and clapping along to We Find Lovemoments later. Perhaps DVSN's ability to not only hit glass shattering high notes, but also to make a song (Run Away) that is just over 2 minutes long sound like a sound track for an entire movie. Or Sampha's beautiful lyricism onNo one knows me like the pianowhere he describes his toil with self expression and longing for familiarity and comfort. Maybe it's just the fact that Brent Faiyaz (along with producing an incredibly silky & introspective album in Sonder Son) sang what will undoubtedly be a timeless hook on Goldlink's 'Crew.' In fact, I'm sure it's SZA's way of essentially making being a side piece sound so majestic and empowering on The Weekend.
Other than diversity in this new class of singer/song-writers, the nostalgic aura these artists give off is certainly not to be taken for granted. I am yet to meet a human being with a working heart that doesn't enjoy a bit of throwback RnB; but it's the capability to capture that same feeling given off in a RnB song where the video involved a lot of staring longingly out of windows or dancing in a rainy street, and to also create music that feels modern and fresh that is so impressive. A perfect example of this is Talk 2 U by Brent Faiyaz. Go listen to that and try not perform an Usher style dance routine in the mirror.
6lack performs a cover of On & On by Erykah Badu
RnB music at the moment is special, the artists mentioned in this article have only been around for a few years at most and are already a big part of why that is the case. Add this group to the likes of Frank Ocean, The Weeknd, Miguel etc and all of a sudden there is a plethora of stunning music just waiting to be cried to. So enjoy it.
Daniel Caesar's video for Get You