Black Artists You Should Be Listening To

Leon Bridges – His latest single “Sweeter” is a grand statement. Buttery smooth vocals guide this track as Bridges narrates the racial injustices Black people face today. The chorus details his heavy heart, “Hoping for a life more sweeter/ Instead I’m just a story repeating/ Why do I fear with skin dark as night?/ Can’t feel peace with those judging eyes.”

Bridges has always been one of my favorite new artists for the past couple of years. Listen to “River”, “Beyond”, and “Coming Home” and I guarantee you’ll feel his warmth in a matter of seconds.

 

Victoria Monét – You might know her as an elite member of Ariana Grande’s cute friend squad, but Monét is making a name for herself in the pop/r&b genre. Her voice is gentle, sweet, and sultry. Recent singles “Ass Like That”, “Dive”, and “Experience” are superb in their production style and sound. Check her out:

 

Amber Mark – Mark’s voice is one of my favorites in the industry today. She first caught my attention with her 2017 album 3:33am. “Monsoon” spoke volumes to me, and the way her voice sounded so natural and strong kept me yearning for more of her music. Since then, Mark has released other incredible singles like “Generous”, “My People”, and “Love Is Stronger Than Pride”.

 

John Legend – His latest album, Bigger Love is one of his best releases to date. It keeps Legends usual crooner-esque voice but shifts to a new-age sound that feels light and happy. “Ooh Laa” is fun and sexy, while “U Move, I Move” is a sweet duet with R&B princess Jhené Aiko. Lead single, “Conversations in the Dark” is a gorgeous piano-led love song that will tug right at the soul strings.

 

H.E.R. – I can’t say enough good things about H.E.R.. I’ve been captivated by her for so long I can’t imagine not having her songs when I need them. “Hard Place” is one of the greatest songs of all time, and I’ll stand by that forever. Her artistry is so evident in every single song she releases. Not only is she an incredibly gifted singer but musician as well. “Best Part”, “Changes”, “Hopes Up”, and “I’m Not OK” are all some of my favorites but honestly I can’t skip one song when I’m listening to H.E.R..

Her latest single, “I Can’t Breathe” details the Black Lives Matter movement and what our current world state is like:

 

Chloe x Halle – These two have captivated my heart and soul with their latest album, Ungodly Hour. The voices, the beats, the lyrics, everything about this album is a VIBE. Chloe and Halle are going to be in this industry for a lifetime with the amount of talent they have. Originally known for singing flawless covers of pop songs, these sisters sprouted into two mature singing angels. Listen to “Ungodly Hour”, “Don’t Make It Harder On Me”, and “Do It”.

 

Beyoncé – Need I say more? A legend with a discography that is nothing short of iconic. Stream her latest single “BLACK PARADE” released on Juneteenth. Yoncé sings about her heritage, hometown, and returning to her African roots. One word: POWER.

 

Lizzo – It’s no secret Lizzo has been dominating the music scene for the last year. With self love & acceptance at the core of who she is, I can’t help but feel so in love with the artist she’s become. Her 2019 album Cuz I Love You is an absolute masterpiece from start to finish. Revel in her vocals on “Cuz I Love You” then shake your ass to “Soulmate” and “Tempo”. And don’t forget about 2016’s “Truth Hurts” and “Good As Hell”.

 

Kendrick Lamar – Kendrick Lamar doesn’t make music like other rappers do. His lyrics are poetic and intricate, some even feel like puzzles or brain games. Lamar’s 2015 album To Pimp A Butterfly and 2017’s DAMN feel even more relevant today than they did back then; a sad yet true reality. Listen to “Alright”, “i”, “DNA.” and “m.A.A.d city”. No one does it like Kendrick and no one ever will.

 

SZA – Her flawless 2017 album titled, Ctrl melted my brain into a pile of feelings. From the lovely “Love Galore” to the self reflective “Supermodel”, SZA spills her feelings without any inhibitions. Spoiler alert: she sounds this good live too. I’ll be playing this album till I’m 80.

To support the Black Lives Matter movement, read through this article that details where you can donate: https://nymag.com/strategist/article/where-to-donate-for-black-lives-matter.html . Whether it be bail funds, victim memorial funds, or policy reform organizations, every signature or dollar counts towards making this world a better place. Please do your part.

 

 

 

Who You Need: Gia Woods

WHO: Gia Woods

WHERE: Los Angeles, CA

GENRE: Pop

TOP SONGS: “Heart Won’t Forget” and “Only a Girl”

Gia Woods is making her own rules, as we hear on her track “Jump The Fence.” She sings with a raspy sweetness, “I’ma jump the fence, won’t second guess, cause the way ya got me feelin’s, got me feeling dangerous.” Her sultry attitude draws you in at the start of every song. Her latest single, “New Girlfriend” features a light/groovier beat, read more below to find out the inspiration behind it!

What do you want people to feel while listening to “Jump the Fence”?  

“I want people to trust their own intuition more. I think a lot of times people get in their own way by always needing outside reassurance or acceptance. This is about overcoming that and doing whatever it is that makes you the most happy!”

What can fans expect from your debut EP? 

“I’m really focused on releasing tons of new music. So lots of singles and eventually an album or EP. But definitely new music every month! So you’ll have to stay tuned to find out!”

What’s your opinion on LGBTQ representation in music? 

“I like the fact that it is becoming way more widely accepted than any other time, and that so many talented artists have been brave enough to be open and vulnerable through their art. But I also just hope that people don’t treat sexuality as a new fad.”

Who are some of your current musical influences? 

“I’m always listening to different genres. But especially been listening to a lot of 80s and 90s music!”

Explain new single, “New Girlfriend” and how that song came to be? 

“This was an outside song that I had heard through my A&R. I fell in love with the topline as soon as I heard it, and I knew exactly how to make it my own so I booked a day with the writers and we tweaked the lyrics. Then I spent some time referencing production ideas with the producer and it all came together super naturally. It was an honor to work with people I truly respect! This is one of my favorite records that I was lucky enough to make mine.”

Learn more about Gia Woods, here!


 

Learn more about me!

-Abbey

Weekly Favorites

 Ariana Grande’s new merch: Including “thank you next,” “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored” and more! Including shot glasses, shirts, and even SOCKS.

https://shop.arianagrande.com

HER’s Grammy performance: The R&B singer slayed her first ever Grammy performance, complete with a gorgeous electric guitar and a killer sparkly jumpsuit. Watch for yourself here:

 

Ariana Grande’s interview on the Zach Sang Show: She opens up about the making of thank you next alongside her production team (who she graciously invited to the interview). The pop star also opens up about the inspiration behind “Ghostin,” “In My Head,” and more standout tracks on the album while also shedding light on why she didn’t perform at the Grammy’s.

 

The trailer for the new movie “Yesterday”: This movie focuses on a young man named Jack who gets suddenly hit by a car. When he wakes up, he realizes the world doesn’t know who The Beatles are. Jack ends up stealing their songs, playing them, and ultimately becomes a superstar. Also starring Mama Mia’s Lily James, and British actor Himesh Patel.

I can’t wait to see how The Beatles songs are re-imagined into another beautiful storyline (if you’ve never seen Across the Universe, go watch it on Netflix right now.)