R&B music has been present in Houston for years. From Destiny’s Child’s breakup ballads like “Emotion” and “If,” to H-Town’s “Knockin The Boots,” to Dende’s “On The Low,” the culture of the rhythm genre is alive and well. Today, many artists carry this same soul into contemporary sound.
Below, find seven R&B artists to watch this year.
Dende’s eclectic sound will surely catch your eye. Its recently released EP Pregnancy Pack, is as stimulating as its title. Beyond his musical releases, the singer has received major recognition from music camps such as Dreamville Team and curators of popular playlists, Radar R&B.
An artist who deeply channels artists like Aaliyah and J. Paul, Peyton is an artist with a lot of soul. She released her first album, Message of public interest, and ended the year with his single “Perfect Peach”, a record with nostalgic overtones of the 70s.
Calling himself the Heisenberg of R&B, Ejay Mallard is pioneering his own path, much like the famed scientist. Both unique and mysterious, Mallard is an artist who flies under the radar of the Houston music scene. Sculpting his own sound, Ejay’s music could be compared to 90s R&B, mixed with a production that fuses trap and gospel notes.
The multi-talented artist and producer B Val, is currently in the process of finishing his next album From the H44d to the hills. In the meantime, he’s released romantic singles like “Magic” and plans to release a deluxe version of his 2020 effort, On time.
Singer Lilly Avianna’s soulful voice can be heard on many Houston songs like Uncle Tino’s “Green” and Jew-Buh’s “Kami’s Lookout,” but she got her start as a solo artist, Late flowering. Her artistry aligns with today’s R&B artists, such as Cleo Soul or Alaina Baraz. Not only is her sultry sound heard alongside artists like Dende, another Houston artist, but she also lends her voice to Kam Franklin’s latest adventure, the Bayou City Return Chorus.
After years of cultivating his musical prowess, Tobacco Ryan is beginning to receive the recognition he deserves. While his musical talent is noteworthy, his skills as a creative place him at the forefront of indie sound, much like rapper Tyler The Creator. Tobacco Ryan has developed and curated concepts and deployments for his music, such as his bald boy university. His latest release, “Cranberry Remix,” features Goldenchild and Houston legend Lil Flip.
Lauryn Harris is a passionate singer and songwriter whose sultry voice and down-to-earth personality resemble artists like Ari Lennox or Erykah Badu. His second EP TOUCH AND GO, was a highlight of his career last year, and fans are eagerly awaiting releases in the new year.