It’s the time of year when you’re bombarded with lists that rank every kind of significant thing from the previous 365 days. As we ring in the new year, I’m tossing my list onto the pile also. These aren’t all new artists who debuted in 2015, just a collection of artists who found their way into my heavy rotation playlist throughout the last 365 days.
NAO You may recognize her sweet almost warbly sound in the latest Samsung Galaxy commericial. She’s an R&B artist hailing from South London. I can’t get enough of her sound which reminds me of Denise Williams or Minnie Ripperton samples in 90-00’s hip-hip hop.
JODECI The brothas that made “Come and Talk to Me” a street anthem for romance have returned with an album after a 20 year hiatus. Time to step into your HiTeks and cargo vests and enjoy the signature sound of 90’s R&B.
DRAKE Let me make a distinction. I’m referring to the Drake who existed before his connection to Young Money. Listen to this flow on his Comeback Season Mixtape Track #12
MNDSGN He’s relatively new talent on the Stone’s Throw roster. His debut album “Yawn Zen” dropped in 2014. If you like Thundercat, that Miguel “Adorn” sound with some nods to JDilla, you should give him a listen. Oh, and his name is pronounced “Mind Design.”
ALEX ISLEY Talent runs in her family. Alex Isley is the daughter of Ernie Isley of the famed Isley Brothers. Drift with her soulful and authentic vocals over spacey and spare beats.
D’ANGELO & THE BLACK VANGUARD Been diggin’ his sound since the Brown Sugar. His latest album “Black Messiah” is pure fire. If you’re looking for substantial lyrics and harmonies, you’ll want to listen to the whole album beginning to end.
LEANNE LE HAVAS What’s not to enjoy about the folksy soul sounds of this singer/songwriter/instrumentalist?
LEON BRIDGES As a big fan of the classic 60’s soul sound, this dude is striking the right note. He seems as though he was just plucked right out of a time machine. Add this into a playlist with some Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings…