About two years ago I had grand plans to write a post about emerging R&B songwriters who I believed would be the future of the genre, however I procrastinated and before I knew it a majority of the songwriters on my 'to-be-written list' hadn't exactly materialised into what I had expected.
Now its the first quarter of 2011 and the state of R&B has deteriorated so far that I find myself disinterested and often disgusted in a lot of artists and producers who I'd check for religiously through the period of 2005-2008. With that said, I feel there is still hope beyond the bad euro house production, 'in the club, hands to the sky, on the dancefloor' limited subject matter and Antares Auto-Tune on ZERO (full) setting.
So here is my 2011 list of emerging R&B artists/songwriters who I believe can steer things in a creative, forward thinking, genre-testing and well written direction:
The dude has been around for a minute now (he has over 100 leaked demo's online), but most recently writing for Diddy's Dirty Money project. "Shades" from Last Train To Paris is a perfect example of how intelligent and interesting Fauntleroy's songwriting style is. Also check out:
KC has been responsible for almost all of those super catchy Rick Ross/DJ Khaled hooks we all love to shout along to in the club as well as Keri Hilson's biggest hit "Knock You Down" but you have to listen to the songs he writes for himself to really appreciate the creativity and technicality of his songwriting. Having Danja in his corner also helps. Check out:
Its only been a little under a year since we first heard of Lab on Tinie Tempah's "Pass Out" and he's widely known as one of the most talented songwriter/producers in UK. From his production and songwriting on Tinie Tempah's "Wonderman" to Loick Essien's "Drunk Love" … Really excited to hear his forthcoming debut on Simon Cowell's Syco label:
A lot of demo's leaked between 08-09 that Lonny had written with Midi Mafia for various artists, including the incredible "Quickly" for John Legend & Brandy. He has recently signed with Tricky Stewarts Red Zone Entertainment as a solo artist under the name Frank Ocean. His new mixtape Nostalgia,Ultra. displays just as well as his older demo's how creative and outside the box his songwriting is. Also check out:
Doesn't really need an introduction at this point. "Grenade" is one of the best R&B records in recent memory. "Fuck You" by Cee-Lo is another fantastic Bruno penned song. Pretty much anything he touches right now is gold. Excited to hear how is debut LP comes out.
The ArchAndroid was a great musical experience but I find it difficult to listen to beyond "Cold War", "Tightrope" and a couple other songs. Theres so many scattered moments of greatness in every song but only a few great songs. Once she manages to channel her talent and musical ability into songs that connect and relate to a wider audience, she will be un-fuck-with-able.
Have I missed somone? Let me know!