R&B music has held a storied presence 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 recently released “On The Low,” the culture of the rhythmic genre is alive and well. Today, many artists carry that same soul into contemporary sound.
Below, find seven R&B artists to look out for this year.
Dende’s eclectic sound will surely catch your attention. His recently released Pregnancy Pack EP, is as stimulating as it’s title. Beyond his musical releases, the singer has received major recognition from music camps such as Team Dreamville and popular playlist curators, R&B Radar.
An artist who deeply channels artists like Aaliyah and J. Paul, Peyton is an artist with a whole lot of soul. She released her debut album, PSA, and ended the year with her single “Perfect Peach,” a record with a nostalgic 70s feel.
Calling himself the Heisenberg of R&B, Ejay Mallard is pioneering his own lane, much like the famous scientist. Both unique and mysterious, Mallard is one artist who flies under the radar in Houston’s music scene. Carving out his own sound, Ejay’s music could be likened to 90’s R&B, mixed with production that fuses trap, and notes of gospel.
The multi-talented artist and producer B Val, is currently in the process of completing his forthcoming 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, In Time.
Songstress 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 made a strong case as a solo artist on her debut, Late Bloom. Her artistry aligns with R&B artists of today, such as Cleo Soul, or Alaina Baraz. Not only is her sultry sound heard alongside artists like fellow Houston artist Dende, she also lends her vocals on Kam Franklin’s latest venture, the Bayou City Comeback Choir.
After years of cultivating his musical prowess, Tobacco Ryan is beginning to receive the acknowledgment he deserves. While his musical talent is worth noting, his skills as a creative, place him at the forefront for indie sound, much like rapper Tyler The Creator. Tobacco Ryan has developed and curated concepts and rollouts for his music, like his Bald Boy University. His most recent release, “Cranberry Remix,” features Goldenchild and Houston legend Lil Flip.
Lauryn Harris is a passionate singer and songwriter whose sensous voice and earthy persona is similar to entertainers like Ari Lennox or Erykah Badu. Her sophomore EP TOUCH N GO, was a major highlight for her career last year, and fans are looking forward to releases in the new year.