Posts Tagged ‘R&B / Soul’

KANDACE SPRINGS

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Q: What happens when you mix blues with a fresh old-school hip hop beat?
A: Capitol/Bluenote Records’ newest major label darling, Kandace Springs.

Currently hard at work on her newest album, Kandace has enlisted a team of experts: Pop+Oak (credits include: Alicia Keys/Rihanna), Matt Hales of Lianne De Havas fame, and Dre Harris.

Also with hands on the project, Evan Rogers & Carl Sturken, who gave Rihanna a shot at stardom years ago.

Her debut single Love Got In The Way is a pop-friendly introduction to the up & comer, meshing Kandace’s own style with the influence of Erykah Badu and Norah Jones. The track comes complete with a new official video that’s cool without pretense.

Check it!

#LOVEJO

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


We’ve never been shy when it comes to proclaiming our love for pop/r&b songstress JoJo. Now free from her former deal with Blackground Records, the 23-year-old is giving us a box of chocolates in the form of a free EP called #LoveJo.

In lieu of Valentine’s Day, the 4-track compilation tackles the theme of love in true JoJo fashion – melding sleek hip hop soul with sultry modern pop.

Aside from the intro + an unexpected gospel tune entitled Glory, JoJo covers two classic songs – Take Me Home by Phil Collins and Caught Up in the Rapture by Anita Baker.

All in all, as usual, JoJo delivers the vocal chills with ease.

Listen to JoJo’s modern take on Phil Collins below.

[Related Post: JoJo Goes “Genreless”]

RON LITTLEJOHN AND THE FUNK EMBASSY

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Got your afro? This band will take you back to the 70’s.

From the crooning double-vocals to the confident guitar, Ron LittleJohn and the Funk Embassy are reviving a movement I thought was forever embedded in nostalgia. Their music makes me want to don bell bottoms and march the streets with signs that read, “Freedom to the people!”.

Seriously. This music is weed. This music is sex. It’s got me grooving, strung out on the bed.

The longer I listen to funk, the more I realize this is where original rock n’ roll had its roots. It all started with soul!

All (good) music is interwoven. Genres are only a way to organize the magic.

These rhymes are simple, the poetry eloquent. It can make you dance, make you swoon, make you sweep stars under your pillow.

Ron’s voice makes me feel things I thought could only be invoked by British accents. It’s endlessly sensual, dangerously hypnotic. Meanwhile Alana offers a sonorous, foot-stomping harmony, vocal chords hitting the highest peak while still packing a punch. Their chemistry is shockingly hot- an ideal front for Thierry’s tight, rich song-writing. Pair that with the silky-smooth beats from the DJs…

But it’s not all a soundtrack for the id! Shining On (the group’s debut) is crammed with gems of honest substance, touching humour, and slick soul. The title track is a message of encouragement from Ron to his unborn daughter, Soul Devotion is a crash course in romance, while Light Me Up stirs the lusty side of life. Seems Like Yesterday faces the reality -and tragedy- of seeing old lovers, and Emma Lee wraps it all up with a perfect credit roll. Combined, you have a layer-cake of lyrical content, iced with flavourful sound. This album has been called a labour of love. I can see why; the sound is virtually spotless.

The amazing thing about this musical project is every musician involved is a master in their own right. Fifteen artists made contributions to this album, whether by snagging guest spots for certain songs or devoting their energies to the entire piece. What a roster!

It would be impossible to choose my favourite song. Luckily, they’re streaming all of Shining On through Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and Youtube.

Respect.

FIRST LISTEN: TLC – ‘MEANT TO BE’

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


Throwback Thursday takes on new meaning as TLC returns with a new song.

Co-written by Ne-Yo, Meant To Be is taken from the group’s forthcoming compilation album 20, set to drop in the States on October 15th. The midtempo R&B track is the only new song on the collection which otherwise features classic TLC jams like Waterfalls, No Scrubs, Unpretty, and Creep (among others).

Meant To Be is the second dosage of new TLC material to surface recently, as the group were also featured earlier this year on J. Cole’s summer single Crooked Smile.

TLC released 3D, their only studio album since the death of Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes, in 2002.

Listen to the new track below.

[Related Post: J. Cole Possesses Lyrical Fangs]

TOMÁS DONCKER BAND

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

This isn’t my usual jam. Still, my interest has been piqued like a mountaintop. (Forgive me for that one!) The Tomas Doncker Band is a fertile ground for funk, soul, jazz, and blues, fusing it all together with healthy spoonfuls of wicked guitar. Tomas got started playing with more groups than I could bother to mention. It wasn’t until 2008 that he got his own band together to release the Howlin Wolf EP.

Now they’re back and keen to collaborate! And collaborate they did: every song on Power of Trinity… A Slight Return features a new artist. Tomas describes the music he plays as global soul, which he considers “the sound of our collective conscience”.

Their 2013 EP is being released in support of a charity that supports young women in Ethiopia. Sound!

As for the sound itself, I’m not sure what to say. Do I like it? Definitely. Beyond that I find it difficult to describe. There’s a rhythm here I’m not accustomed to, one that breaks barriers rather than putting them up. It’s pure fluid, and it’s rushing fast.
 

LIZ

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Pop/R&B newcomer Liz is creating ripples and buzz with her new track Day N’ Nite, a collaboration between the Los Angeles-based artist and producer Ryan Hemsworth (Frank Ocean). Together, the pair have created a soulful pop song that’s worth noticing. Day N’ Nite is slick and effective, a soft-shelled single that makes a dent upon first listen.

Her tone and understated swagger on this track reminds me of Stacie Orrico.

Listen to Day N’ Nite below!

NEW VIDEO: LUKE JAMES FEAT. HIT-BOY

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


A few months back, I wrote about R&B newcomer Luke James and his rise to stardom as an opening act on Beyoncé’s Mrs. Carter Show tour. At the time, his single/video combo for I.O.U. was creating waves and noteworthy in its own right.

Today, James has premiered a new music video for his single Oh God (featuring Hit-Boy), and it’s pretty cool. Directed by Sarah McColgan, the clip is cinematic, classy and oh-so-chic. Three labels that also seem to fit James as an artist.

Luke’s debut album, Made To Love, is set to drop later this year.

Watch the just-released video for Oh God below.

[Related Post: Luke James Comes #Beyoncé-Approved]

JOSS

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

After rising to fame in 2003 with her massively successful + multi-platinum debut album, The Soul Sessions, Joss Stone is back and better than ever. With the release of The Soul Sessions, Volume 2, Stone has just released the worldwide premiere of new single The Love We Had (Stays On My Mind), a piercing and powerful cover of The Dells’ hit from 1971.

All that really needs to be said is that her voice is crystal clear and potent. She owns this song completely and reclaims her throne as the heroine of soul pop.

Video below.

Welcome back, Miss Stone!

CURRENTLY PLAYING BRANDY ON A LOOP

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


This track is perfection!

[Intro:]
Hardly breathing, hardly breathing

[Verse 1:]
I really wanna take you back
It’s killing me watching you walk away, yeah
But my head ain’t okay with that
And lord knows how much I want you babe
It hurts me but you can’t stay

[Chorus:]
This old heart of mine won’t let you break it
Not again, not again
Been hurt too many times and I can’t take it, not again
Cause I’m hardly breathing
One more teary eye or sleepless night
Just might kill this heart of mine
Hardly breathing, hardly breathing

[Verse 1:]
Begging won’t do nothing
Forgave you many times along the way
Yeah, yeah, ah,
My mama said don’t trust him
But deep inside my soul I found a place
And now I want you out baby

[Chorus:]
This old heart of mine won’t let you break it
Not again, not again
Been hurt too many times and I can’t take it, not again
Cause I’m hardly breathing
One more teary eye or sleepless night
Just might kill this heart of mine
Hardly breathing, hardly breathing

[Bridge:]
Feels like I’m on my last life line,
And I can’t take a chance,
Of not being able to breathe again
Another heartbreak and I might die inside
So I learned from the last time,
That loving you ain’t worth losing my life

[Chorus:]
This old heart of mine won’t let you break it
Not again, not again
Been hurt too many times and I can’t take it, not again
Cause I’m hardly breathing
One more teary eye or sleepless night
Just might kill this heart of mine
Hardly breathing,
Hardly breathing

[Outro:]
Just might kill this heart of mine

LUKE JAMES COMES #BEYONCE-APPROVED

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Meet Beyonce’s opening act for the European leg of the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, R&B crooner Luke James. This isn’t his first time at the rodeo though. The New Orleans-based artist actually joined Queen B onstage once before, opening for her in Atlantic City last year.

Getting his start singing background for Tyrese, and later, writing songs for the likes of Chris Brown, Britney Spears, Keri Hilson, and Justin Bieber (among others), Luke signed with super producer Danja and released his mixtape, #Luke, in 2011. His mixtape single I Want You earned him a Best R&B Performance nomination at the 2013 Grammy Awards.

Recently, Luke released a track called I.O.U., which serves as the second single off his forthcoming Made To Love disc, which drops later this year.

Video for I.O.U. below.

I suspect big things from this dude!

(That sounded dirty, and for once, I totally didn’t mean it that way!)