We’re pleased to have teamed up with the fantastic writers over at music website The 405. With a shared passion for discovering new music, they’ll be making the most of the Last.fm Hype Chart by doing a weekly exploration of the latest rising artists, based on the scrobbles of Last.fm music lovers. So without further ado, it’s over to The 405′s Larry Day:
We love finding new music at The 405. It’s pretty much the main thing that gets us out of bed in the morning (that and breakfast). However, sometimes it’s a bit of a slog to trawl through the Internet’s vast offerings – if only there was an easier way. That’s where Last.fm comes in. They’ve got some brilliant, intuitive Hype Charts, allowing you to search by genre or region (or both) for the sounds making waves at any given moment. Here’s some of the treasures we found from those charts. This week in our trend-hunt, we scrutinised New York’s (currently) favourite R&B. Oh yes, you can hone in on cities with these charts too.
The R&B Hype Chart in New York City
Younger sister of Mila J and T.U.G./Epic alum, the now Artium/Def Jam-based Jhené Aiko has been piquing interest globally for a while now with her smooth, satin-esque R&B tunes and earnest words. She’s roped in a breadth of class-acts on her EP and guested on high-profile cuts, working with Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, Drake and more, but the focus is always on Aiko and her perpetual daisy-cutter vocals, leaving emotional scars akin to gaping flesh wounds. One of the most promising R&B voices out there, Aiko is well worth far more than just a cursory glance.
K-pop/R&B star Taeyang’s sure got a wild dress sense and a flamboyant choice in coiffures, but don’t let that distract you from his blistering pop’n’B blitz. Lingering at the crossroads between dubpop and rap and R&B, ‘링가 링가 (RINGA LINGA)’ is most definitely a bangin’ choon in every sense of the phrase. Expect drops, drunken anthem choruses and earworms the size of pythons. Taeyang, meaning ‘Solar’, began life as a rapper/dancer aged 12, working with G-Dragon in YG Entertainment before becoming a member of Big Bang. He’s a flourishing solo artist too though, and released his debut LP Solar in 2010.
Known as a versatile producer/crooner, Tyrone Griffin, AKA Ty Dolla $ign, has been garnering moderate success with guest spots and isolated one-offs, but now, after his Beach House EP, he’s carving a path to his debut album. ‘Paranoid’, featuring B.O.B., has seen Griffin’s listeners multiply like rabbits on Last.fm, and it’s considerably ahead of any of his other tracks – around three times the amount of listens this week alone. With the sparse, twisted fingersnaps and trap beats mingling alongside elegantly dark synths (and the occasional vocal melody that slithers into Shaggy’s ‘Wasn’t Me’ hook), it’s a different kind of club R&B banger. It’s a lot more dangerous. There’s a liberal splattering of misogyny though, ye have been warned.
Well well well, it has been a while, hasn’t it Blu Cantrell? Star of the early ’00s, apparently she’s made a resurgence in NYC lately. Born into a family of jazz fanatics, her enthusiasm for noise came to a head in the year 2000 when she was recruited as a backup singer for Puff Daddy and Faith Evans, before swiftly blossoming into her own solo career. Expect ‘Breathe’ and ‘Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops!)’ to feature heavily in ’00s nights at clubs imminently.
The Guardian have called her “an x-rated Sade”, but South Londoner Rosie Lowe is so much more than just soulrotica; she’s slathered with bawling emotions and heartfelt yearning – it’s a deep-rooted kind of melancholy that needs a shoulder or two to drench in tears. Her greyscale aesthetic suits her bleakness perfectly, and though her music is so far scant, there’s much promise in this young R&B padawan.