If you’re an R&B fan (and even if you’re not), here are some songs that should be added to your summer playlist … stat. Many of the singers listed below are up-and-coming artists, who have plenty of new music on the horizon.
1) “Red Room,” Hiatus Kaiyote
“Red Room,” released April 27 by Australian artist Kaiyote, is groovy and different from most new R&B songs out there. While there are hints of old jazz in the track, there’s also a certain indie vibe behind Kaiyote’s voice and lyrics.
2) “Make It Out Alive,” Nao, ft. SiR
Nao never disappoints when you want to hear a soulful song with meaningful lyrics. “Make It Out Alive” is a powerful tune, giving social commentary on the hardship of growing up in impoverished communities.
3) “SUNRISE,” MICHELLE, ft. Arlo Parks
This song is perfect for those moving on from a lover who spurned them, and one where the lyrics really hit the heart. MICHELLE’s voice is both relaxing and vulnerable at the same time.
4) “Damn Right,” Audrey Nuna
“Damn Right” is a song you’ll want to learn all of the lyrics to, but it’s difficult to keep up with Nuna’s quick quips. Nuna combines elements of rap, pop and R&B, creating a cool and unique sound. At only 22, she’s a newer artist on the block, but definitely one to be reckoned with.
5) “Juice,” Iyla
Fiery soul singer Iyla talks about the unexpected nature of love in “Juice.” The song is sensual and groovy, with a trippy music video to accompany.
6) “Too Sweet,” India Shawn, ft. Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Shawn sings, you ain’t met a woman like me, and she’s right. Her voice is smooth with beats and synth layered underneath; her style could be compared to a female Frank Ocean.
7) “Lovestained,” Hope Tala
21-year-old singer/songwriter Hope Tala’s music should be catching on like wildfire. The British performer’s voice with layered steel-drum sounds, creates a beautiful, unique sound.
8) “Magpie,” LAVA LA RUE
Released in February of this year, “Magpie” definitely has a sound a little before it’s time. LAVA LA RUE’s vocals and raspy rap refrains are easy on the ears.
9) “Grateful,” Mahalia
Released in 2019, “Grateful” is a timeless song about having serious feelings for someone. Mahalia, a 23-year-old R&B singer, couples hip-hop with soul to create a sound that really shows off her pipes.
10) “TTLC,” Eloise
Eloise, an up-and-coming young R&B artist, croons beautiful riffs in TTLC (This Thing Called Living). Her lyrics and voice reveal hints of Amy Winehouse behind them, as she takes certain sounds from old R&B classics and adds her own acoustic flare.