Forget the pre-packaged Kehlanis and Tinashes of the world - we’re ready for something fresh and innovative! And fortunately, these women artists rep what they stand for hard, and provide exactly that for us lucky listeners. These swaggy females should be on your radar immediately, if they’re not already.
This artist hails from the east side of Toronto and has Jamaican roots. She frequently works with talented producer Machinedrum, and her tracks are a clean, crisp, and contemporary representation of R&B, rather than the tired stuff that’s always recycled nowadays. No whiny ballads here!
Our favorite work by Ravyn is her album Midnight Moonlight, which was released six months ago. Her tracks have vibey, spaced out energy - the perfect booty music to pair with some dimmed lights and a good glass of red. Well-curated radio shows like Soulection have given her love, so why haven’t you?
Gavin Turek’s aesthetic brings us back to the 80s, with a a punchy, synthy sound to match. Her voice reminds us of Abra and Alunageorge, seductive and juxtaposing with the beat like a retro dream (check out her most recent single, The Distance). She brings the joyful funk that is more rare amongst a sea of R&B songstresses and makes it hard not to break out in dance
Bonzai will unite Alt Rock and R&B fans, and that’s no easy feat. Her dance-guitar track I Feel Alright is our choice track - it’s bound to get a rooftop party bouncing, but also laid back enough to Swiffer your room to. She classifies herself more as electronica, and we’d agree, but she has more unexpected production than standard members of the genre, While some of her tracks might sound a bit underwhelming on headphones, do Bonzai justice with bassy speakers turned up to 100 or do yourself a favor and just go see her live!
Ok, this 22-year-old is pushing the “emerging artist” line, since she’s already been featured on a track with Ty Dolla Sign. Interscope scrambled to sign the South London raised artist who reminds many of Tinashe and Kehlani, and for good reason. Her voice is syrupy smooth, and lies in the sweet spot of that R&B/soul bridge - we can’t wait to hear more from her.
Jorja garnered a lot of attention this year after releasing the addictively catchy “Tyrant” with Kali Uchis, a genre-breaking song that somehow seemed to merge Latin inspiration with surf rock. She gives us that elusive “it” girl vibe while still seeming like a homegirl that would be fun to slumber party with. Her voice has been compared to Amy Winehouse, which is a bold statement - would you agree?
Singer and songwriter Liana Banks is not about genre, and it shows in her tracks. You might recognize her for her wild green hair and alternative style, but her voice is just as memorable. She’s worked with Lilly Allen and PnB Rock before, and to have equal vocal and writing talent in her world is a rare but winning combination
Rachel Foxx is just 23, and you wouldn’t guess it from her voice. Her relatable lyrical reflections sound like pages were ripped out of our own diaries. But instead of only filling the predictable R&B sphere, her jazz-electro infused beats stand out as unconventional, and you can still have a chill blaze sesh to them.
People a calling Joyce a realer version of Jehne Aiko, and after seeing the latter perform a disappointingly autotuned set last year, we would have to agree. Joyce’s #1 inspiration is Tamia, and we can hear it in her silky, nostalgic songs that bring us back to a simpler time.
Sampa the Great
This poet doubles as a boundary-pushing singer-songwriter and rapper. Talk about a quadruple threat! Her following hasn’t exploded yet, but we get a feeling that it soon will. Her provocative lyrics indicate her political passions, and her voice melts like butter in our ears. What did the universe do to be blessed with such evocative and conscious work, reminiscent of Talib and Mos?