The neo-soul wave of the 90’s was formed by a loose-knit group of like-minded musicians who reflected the souful originals of an earlier, more artistically inclined era. These artists were known for their strong songwriting, solid musicianship, stellar vocals and for their individual, innovative music and eclectic, artistic personas. This next wave of R&B artists are their successors.
1. Jamila Woods
Chicago born and raised Jamila Woods’ latest “Legacy! Legacy!” was released last month. Her music is imbued with both soul and consciousness. She’s already worked with her fellow Chi artist Chance the Rapper, surely the first of her star collabos to come.
2. Sebastian Mikael
Signed to the same label as Trick Daddy, Sebastian Mikael’s sound is much different – he’s reminiscent of a D’Angelo in the 90’s. That’s not a bad thing! His latest is “I C U U C Me” Pt. 2.
English singer/songwriter NAO hails from East London and combines a silky soul sensibility with EDM for an eclectic sound. Her latest release is “Saturn.”
Detroit has produced a host of music talent and Lorenzo “Zo!” Ferguson is no exception. Despite a low profile, his music both with his own band and Foreign Exchange can’t be denied. “Skybreak” is out now and he’s touring. Check him out at Zo3hree5ive.com.
5. Bridget Kelly
New Yorker Bridget Kelly has weathered the ups and downs of the music business and is now navigating the reality TV landscape. Her latest release is 2018’s “Reality Bites.”
Prince co-signed this Detroit-born, Houston-raised singer/songwriter, who has the funk vocals of a Betty Davis married to the sexuality of a Li’l Kim but with the soulfulness of a Jennifer Hudson. Her major label debut, “Cuz I Love You” is out now.
Drake recognized the talent of this Canadian duo, comprised of two brothers Daniel Daley and Nineteen85 and signed them to his OVO Music label. Only one is out front though, singer Daniel, while his brother Nineteen85 creates the sexy, moody soundscapes.
8. BJ The Chicago Kid
He’s been working hard for a minute racking up credits, but is still flying somewhat under the radar. Let’s hope not for much longer for this talented Chicago-born artist.
9. Brent Faiyaz
Maryland-born singer/songwriter Brent Faiyaz, known to his family as Christopher Brent Wood, has made a name for himself for broody soulful tracks that convey heartache as well as passion.
10. Ari Lennox
Lennox, a D.C. based singer/songwriter is signed to Dreamville Records, J. Cole’s label. Her first studio album, “Shea Butter Baby” is out now.