Sometimes the best new R&B can be hard to find, but there are plenty of great rhythm-and-blues tunes to get into if you have the time to sift through the hundreds of newly released songs every week. So that R&B heads can focus on listening to what they really love in its true form, we’ll be offering a digest of the best new R&B songs that fans of the genre should hear every Friday.
Since the last update of this weekly R&B and Afrobeats column, we’ve received plenty of music and news from the genre’s artists. Daniel Caesar continued his journey towards his next project with “Let Me Go” while Zacari recruited his fellow TDE labelmate Ab-Soul for “Motions.” SZA joined Lizzo for a “Special” remix and Rihanna shared details about her upcoming album while speaking about her Super Bowl Halftime Show. Elsewhere, Chiiild released “Antidote,” Janelle Monae shared the release date for her next single “Float,” and last and certainly not least, Beyoncé became the winningest artist in Grammy history.
Here are some more releases on the new music front that you should check out:
Kelela — Raven
At long last, Kelela’s comeback is finally complete. The singer released her sophomore album Raven which she describes as a “deep-dive into facets of dance music that have always excited me” and her “first breath taken in the dark, an affirmation of black femme perspective in the midst of systemic erasure and the sound of our vulnerability turned to power.”
Masego — “Two Sides”
It’s almost too obvious that Masego has a project on the way, being that the singer will head out on tour in a couple of months. We’ll have to wait for the official announcement if it’s true, but until then, you can enjoy his latest single “Two Sides.” On it, Masego tips his cap to the Geminis in the world while also singing about the fun and enticing sides of love.
Eric Bellinger — 1(800)Hit-Eazy: Line 2
It only took a couple of years, but Eric Bellinger and Hitmaka reconnected for 1(800)Hit-Eazy: Line 2, the follow-up to their debut joint project 1(800)Hit-Eazy. Through 14 songs, Bellinger and Hitmaka call on Fabolous, Cordae, Kalan.FrFr, Blxst, Tink, and Muni Long for bass-thumping records that touch on romance and nightlife fun.
Roy Woods — “Don’t Love Me”
This year may be the year that Roy Woods returns with a new project. It’s been three years since his last project, Dem Times, but it now seems like he’s getting ready for a new full-length effort. Woods returns with “Don’t Leave Me,” a self-aware track that warns a girl about falling in love with him and he knows his past and the pain he’s caused toward others.
Ayra Starr — “Sability”
The queen of Mavins, aka Ayra Starr, is back with a new chune. “Sability” touches down as an uptempo, dance-ready track that will surely give you another reason to love the afrobeats singer. Her stock should keep rising if her future releases are anything like her stellar 19 & Dangerous album.
Pheelz — Pheelz Good
Following hits like “Finesse” and “Electricity” with BNXN fka Buju and Davido respectively, Pheelz is showing off what he can do in the spotlight with his new EP, Pheelz Good. Through 8 songs, which feature the aforementioned records, Pheelz thrives as the lead, and tracks like “Pheelz Like Summer” are proof of that.
Ryan Destiny — “Lie Like That”
Ryan Destiny flashed her potential as a singer back in 2020 with the release of records like “The Same” and “Do You,” but up until the end of 2022, we didn’t hear much else from her. That streak ended with “How Many” in December and she starts a new one with the release of “Lie Like That.” On it, she questions a lover’s inability to be truthful while boasting about her ability to give it straight and unfiltered.
Iyla — Appetite For Disaster
Three years after Other Ways To Vent, singer Iyla is back with her latest project, Appetite For Disaster. Through seven songs and features from Symba and Benny The Butcher, Iyla guides listeners through her “quest for the ‘impossible’ and my unwillingness to settle.” She adds that the project’s “title evokes what the last two years have felt like for me both professionally and personally.”
Col3trane — “Simp”
With his upcoming EP Chekhov’s Gun out this spring, Col3trane offers the latest taste from the project with “Simp.” The upbeat track sees Col3trane commit to the simp lifestyle: loving your partner out loud and expressing this desire openly to them.
Ebony Riley — Ebony
Ebony Riley may be a new name to most, but her face is quite familiar. Formerly known as Riley Montana, the Detroit-born singer is stepping to the mic with her new EP Ebony. Fresh off a deal with Interscope, Riley crafted the “deeply personal” project with the goal of bringing listeners on a journey towards understanding her and her artistry.
Jahkoy — “Loving Game”
With a new project on the way, Jahkoy continues the road to it with “Loving Game.” The track weaves his R&B sound into a pop backdrop that results in a groovy and infectious record. As for the song’s contents, Jahkoy sings about the fun he has playing the little game that love can sometimes be.
Kariyonte — “Rider”
Hailing from Thibodaux, Louisiana, R&B singer Kariyonte began her journey in music in the church. Years later, we’re now hearing her own records, with the latest being “Rider.” The new record follows her 2022 EP Lost Out.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.