I wanted to start this post off by wishing everyone a Happy New Year. Although for some, 2016 wasn’t that great, I feel like a lot more people had an amazing year. On that note, 2016 was definitely a great year for mainstream music; having almost every great artist release great projects (including Frank Ocean). I know I say this a lot, but I was originally going to write a “artists to look out for in 2017” post but I realized that almost all the artists on my list were R&B/Soul/Neo Soul artists. In addition, I spent most of the year observing and studying different artists and their projects in 2016. Many artists that are notorious for Hip-Hop albums revealed a much softer side last year. Kanye West went from “New Slaves” to “Ultralight Beam” amongst other artists that showed a more vulnerable side like Chance the Rapper, Kid Cudi, and Childish Gambino. Contrary to most people’s opinions, I really loved their albums; especially “Awaken, My Love!”
Like I mentioned, 2016 was a great year for mainstream music and a preview to what we’ll see in 2017. I have this weird theory that people are fed up with “mumble” rappers so they’re starting to turn to R&B; what many artist claim to be “real music”. We can save that argument for a different post but when I say R&B, it’s really a huge umbrella for soul, neo soul, contemporary R&B, funk and even disco. Lately, I’ve been obsessing over anything with a funky beat.
Last year I discovered some amazing artists that are not very known and I think it’s time to share those with you all. It all started while I was digging through SoundCloud and stumbled upon an EP titled “The Pink Polo” by Masego and Medasin. I fell in love and decided I wanted to find more music like that. Luckily, it wasn’t hard to find related artist and I began to build a playlists of undiscovered artists. By now, a lot of these artists have been signed to big labels, toured the country, and performed at big name festivals but are still not getting the attention they deserve (at least not in Las Vegas). I’m going to spotlight some of the artists I believe are going to make a huge impact in 2017 as well as attach my R&B Playlist featuring some of my favorite artists. I hope you all enjoy the music as much as I do.
H.E.R. has kept up a mysterious persona with little to no press and no performances to back her incredible sound. “I want it to be about the music — its honesty and realness. I’ll reveal who I am in due time” she explains to LA Times. This was very well though out, as the acronym H.E.R. means “Having Everything Revealed”. In 2016, she debuted her first project titled H.E.R. Vol. 1 but there’s speculation of a sequel coming out this year. It’s something about her angelic voice that keeps me glued to my headphones. She is definitely one to keep an eye out in 2017.
Only 18 years old, the Texas artist has definitely caught the attention of big names in 2016. I’m predicting Khalid on every music fest line-up this year, with out a doubt. He has a very unique sound and should be considered 2017’s best upcoming artist. There’s no information on whether he will be coming out with any new music but he just announced a 21 city tour around the U.S. This is huge considering how young he is and having only 11 original songs on SoundCloud but I am a little upset he won’t be stopping in Las Vegas *insert sad face emoji*.
Like I mentioned earlier, The Pink Polo EP was something that really caught my eye and Masego is part of the genus responsible for it. The 22 year-old has created his own genre of music which he calls “Trap House Jazz”. He’s really incomparable to anyone in the game right now which is why he is one of my artists to watch in 2017. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us this year.
All I have to say is that I’m literally dying to see them perform and they are highly slept on. I don’t know why because they’re actually signed to OVO but I guess you all can keep sleeping so that when I finally get to see them live, I’ll probably get front row seats. But really…the music is addicting. I haven’t felt this way about music since I first heard The Weeknd. They’ve also only released one project so they are long over due…2017? Please?
From Canada, the 20 year old has mastered the arts of singing and rapping. His most recent concert was opening for PartyNextDoor at the Observatory in LA but there’s no information of upcoming projects or tours. He definitely has lots of music out but hasn’t gotten the recognition for it. He’s really unique and his sound really intrigues me so let’s see what 2017 has in store for Roy Wood$.
She is one of my most recent and most prized discoveries in music. A true goddess and incredibly talented singer/songwriter, hailing from the UK. Her music recently started creating a buzz in the U.S. so with that you can thank me later for putting you on. She has a 4 track project on SoundCloud titled Project 11 and I highly recommend listening to the whole thing. I have no doubt the world will find out about her this year and make her a star (although she already is one). U da best Jorja.
I’ve definitely wrote about her before but people still don’t seem to get the point. NAO is ironically the future. Her sound is so ahead of our time, I’m really hoping people will get the clue this year. Then again, she is another British queen so it might take some time for her music to make is across seas. She would’ve been perfect for a festival like Soulquarius. Don’t sleep on NAO.
Man… OVO is killing it with the new artists lately. Dvsn, pronounced “division”, are a Duo comprised of Daniel Daley and Nineteen85, hailing from Canada. They only have one project titled SEPT 5TH which can be found on most streaming platforms. Since they are singed to OVO that leads me to believe they will be on festival line ups this year or hopefully announcing a tour soon. They definitely HAVE to release a project this year, thats without a question.
I’d like to thank everyone for reading this post. I’ll leave you with these 50 songs of pure bliss. Enjoy the gems I’ve been keeping a secret to myself, it was time to stop being selfish and actually share them with everyone. Please enjoy! Until next time…