READERS PLEASE NOTE: This article was published
By Tianna Reno and Daniela Sosa Roque
Rising local R&B artists like Daniel Caesar and Majid Jordan prove there is no shortage of talent in Toronto. However, other lesser-known musicians may have flown under your radar. Here’s our round-up of R&B artists you should seriously consider adding to your playlist.
Adria Kain is vulnerable in her songwriting, but she can also be bold, especially in her ability to flawlessly transition from upbeat to mellow verses. In 2016, the Toronto vocalist released Kainthem, a track that artistically experiments with pacing. Kainthem starts off with soft tones and unexpectedly shifts into a dance-pop mood. A play on words with her own name and the word anthem, this song embodies Kain’s individuality as an artist. She released her EP, Still in Love, only a week ago and it’s full of smooth sounds and rich vocals.
Recommendations: Sunrise and Kainthem
The Scarborough native Jahkoy doesn’t like to be constricted by genre, as his sound fuses together elements of R&B, house, pop and hip hop. In 2016, he released his EP, Foreign Water. This is where the Toronto singer-rapper catches a Cali vibe and collaborates with School Boy Q. Released this September, Jahkoy’s new single, All This, is R&B meets chill rap flow. He is also currently signed to Def Jam Recordings, which hosts other artists such as Jhené Aiko and 2 Chainz.
Recommendations: Odd Future and Poison
Lou Val’s first album this year, Lonely In Paradise, reveals all kinds of different emotions to listeners. But, it’s his single Use Me where we witness Lou Val’s ability to draw on his own experiences for inspiration. Use Me avoids sounding too melancholic, opting for an upbeat rhythm instead, but it’s an anthem for anyone who has worn their heart on their sleeve. Lou Val’s soulful ballads deserve a long overdue spot in your slow jams playlist.
Recommendations: Use Me and Float
At only 19, Raahiem sang backup vocals on dvsn’s debut album Sept. 5. In 2017, the Brampton artist released Fear of the Unknown, featuring Dive, Fear and Love & War, which were released earlier that year. “I was looking to showcase the fear and insecurities, that we all have, in a manner that everyone could relate to,” he told Noisey. Mixing traditional and contemporary R&B tones, Fear of the Unknown feels profound and authentic, with themes of love, ambition, and fear.
Recommendations: Dive, Love & War, and Paradise
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A few days ago, Allie released the dreamy visuals for Back to Her, a single from her latest EP, Euphoria. The Kount, producer of Euphoria, has been working alongside Allie for years and they’re truly the perfect duo. In Back to Her, her voice soothingly floats from note to note, blending into the steady electro-soul beat. Allie’s beautiful, silky vocals are definitely worth your attention.
Recommendations: Vertigo and Back to Her