Nowadays, R&B has minimal presence in mainstream music. Some of the artists in the genre have adopted sounds from other popular genres on their latest work. They do so to gain support from major labels, build buzz among young fans and make hit songs. Others continue to make music that’s distinctly R&B but they’re often forced to be on independent labels or on major labels that don’t see their music as a priority. In both scenarios, the singers and groups tend to be limited to radio stations in the urban adult contemporary format and lack the resources needed for promotion to the masses.
In the midst of this dilemma, many R&B fans bemoan the genre’s state. Radio and television are no longer reliable sources for the music loved by them, so fans often reminisce about better times. However, there’s actually a lot of great R&B music out today – fans just have to seek it out more actively than they have in the past. To do so, people need to know about the platforms that still highlight the genre.
With that said, here are nine sites that can help you find the R&B music that seems to be missing lately:
Thisisrnb succeeds in covering a variety of R&B music. Fans can find veterans such as Tank covered just as much as up-and-coming artists such as Sonyaé Elise. The site also features interviews with singers as well as updates on album news, videos, tours and more.
Okayplayer tends to highlight impressive music and R&B is part of the trend. The site covers various styles of music, but new R&B music worth a listen does appear on the site.
Singersroom keeps fans informed of what their favorite R&B singers are up to – whether that’s new songs, interviews or endeavors outside of music.
Next2shine doesn’t focus solely on R&B but it does highlight young talents that might slip under the radar. For instance, the site recently called fans’ attention to the album Malibu by Anderson Paak.
Many fans are aware of the work done by the Afropunk movement to showcase black art, so it only makes sense to check the site for R&B artists, such as Elle Pierre.
Rap-Up does feature hip-hop heavily. However, following the site can help you catch new music, performances and videos from R&B artists as well. One of the gems pointed out by Rap-Up recently is Sevyn Streeter’s acoustic version of her song “Love in Competition.”
Wax Poetics is a magazine dedicated to both contemporary and vintage forms of Soul music as well as other black genres. The magazine’s content helps fans understand the rich musical history that artists still contribute to today.
YouKnowIGotSoul offers new music, interviews with artists and unreleased demos on its site like others mentioned in this piece. However, the site also provides articles that analyze aspects of R&B like the absence of new music from Maxwell and the work done by singers after their time in the limelight comes to an end.
Even though it’s a podcast rather than a blog or magazine, Red Light Special functions just as much as the sites mentioned above when it comes to supporting R&B. The podcast, hosted by Rob Markman and Kristin Coral, features interviews with household names and young talents within the genre. The conversations offer insight into how records were made as well as how they affect fans.
The podcast is young, but it has already proven to be an important platform for artists and their work – whether they have a project buzzing like Trapsoul by Bryson Tiller or a great album in need of more attention like Code Red by Monica.
Until record labels decide to get behind R&B acts once again, fans should use these platforms to find, support, and share R&B music. For those in New York City, 107.5 WBLS is a great radio station to listen to if you want to hear new R&B that’s out as well as classics. And of course readers can come to Blavity throughout the year for recommendations from the team.
Where do you get your R&B news? Let us know in the comments below!