We are in the midst of an R&B Spring and it feels really exciting to witness. The style of music never really died but it suffered a major decline following the late naughties with only a sparing number of artists holding the flag high within the mainstream. However, the last five years or so have seen the mumblings of a new dawn with the breakout successes of acts like SZA, Shekhinah, Ella Mai as well as the steady dominance of subgenres like trapsoul. Locally, the record-setting success of Elaine’s Elements helped cement the ground for the genre’s relevance in a contemporary setting. That momentum hasn’t seemed to have slowed down with the turn of the decade as the genre is slowly announcing a possible spring. Artists of the R&B family have been among our most covered in this blog, so it felt fitting that our first playlist-centric article would be centered around the genre: Presenting Vibes, Love and Entanglements: An Exploration of Contemporary R&B and Soul within Southern Africa.
Vibes, Love and Entanglements consists of 29 tracks released roughly within the last year by artists either born or based within Southern Africa. All tracks are lead by different artists with the only exception being Doou$hii who boasts two tracks on the list, both vocally led by different artists. The playlist sonically explores the R&B family through its differing sub-genres and moods all the way from more contemporary R&B, acoustic soul and vintage, Motown-esque balladry to trapsoul, club-ready jams, quiet storm and a whole lot more iterations. Enjoy a list that mixes popularity with obscurity and sleek with experimental, including rising stars like Marcus Harvey, Ricky Tyler, Hunter Rose and Loyiso Gijana among Next Gen blog-favorites like TRON PYRE, Elizee, Lucille Slade, Benny Afroe and Love, Sechaba. With a look into what the next generation is bringing, here is Vibes, Love and Entanglements: An Exploration of Contemporary R&B with Southern Africa.