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.
Wizkid and Tems’ remix of “Essence” with Justin Bieber leads this past week’s highlights. The pop star received a warm welcome by Wizkid to try his hand at the Made In Lagos highlight. Elsewhere, VanJess arrives with Lucky Daye by their sides for a remix of their own through an updated take of “Slow Down,” a fan-favorite from their 2021 EP Homegrown. Lastly, Nao continues to impress listeners ahead of her upcoming third album with her latest single, “Wait.”
Wizkid — “Essence (Remix)” Feat. Justin Bieber & Tems
Wizkid and Tems’ “Essence” is without a doubt an eligible contender for song of the summer in 2021. Since the release of Wizkid’s fourth album, Made In Lagos last fall, the song has naturally grown in appeal and in popularity as its entry into the Billboard Hot 100 serves as proof of it. Now, it gets a commercial boost thanks to a remix with Bieber that will also appear on the deluxe version of Made In Lagos out August 27.
VanJess — “Slow Down (Remix)” Feat. Lucky Daye
Nearly three years after gracing the world with their debut album, Silk Canvas, VanJess made their long-awaited return at the beginning of the year with the release of their Homegrown EP. The project delivered a number of collaborations with the likes of Garren, Kaytranada, Devin Morrison, and more, but the highlight from it was the duo’s solo effort, “Slow Down.” Months after the EP’s arrival, the track gets a warm upgrade with help from Lucky Daye, who shares the same label as VanJess and undoubtedly comes through on the remix.
Nao — “Wait”
The R&B world is a little over a month away from being blessed as British singer Nao is preparing the release of her third album, And Then Life Was Beautiful. The 13-track project is lining up to be a strong follow-up to her 2018 release, Saturn. Laying off what amounts to her fifth single from the upcoming album, Nao steps forth with “Wait.” The tender single tackles a low within a relationship as the singer begs her partner to work with her through their problems rather than running away from them.
Che Ecru — “Do What You Gotta Do”
Last year, Boston native Che Ecru absolutely unloaded on the music side of things by releasing not one, not two, but three projects: Still Single, Projection, and Til Death. After stepping out with a single earlier this year, Ecru is back with more thanks to his “Do What You Gotta Do” track. His latest is a dancehall-inspired single that places the ball in the court of a seemingly indecisive lover. The singer appears to be nonchalant to his flip-flopping companion as he insists that their decision, no matter what it is, will be understood in the end.
Salaam Remi — “All I Need Is You” Feat. Claudette Ortiz
After concluding 2020 with his Black On Purpose project, Salaam Remi is back in action with former City High member Claudette Ortiz for their new single, “All I Need Is You.” The climactic track finds the singer confessing that she’s found all she needs and more in a new lover. “I have many songs I love in my vaults and Claudette Ortiz has always been one of my favorite people,” Remi said about the track. “This song still feels as great as when we recorded it many years ago. So happy to be sharing it.“ The single will also appear on Remi’s upcoming project.
Jawan — “Cause & Effect”
Back in 2019, Atlanta’s own Jawan shared his debut project Broken. The independently-released project delivered ten songs that found the singer best introducing himself to the world, and two years later, Jawan looks like he’s almost ready to give the world his next body of work. His latest single, “Cause & Effect,” examines his current relationship as he watches it unravel while criticizing his partner for their actions. In his eyes, their wrongs have come right back to bite them where it hurts the most.
Goodboy Noah & Brasstracks — “Backseat”
With his debut EP, Nice, which he released in May, now in his rear-view mirror, Goodboy Noah is already treating the world to more new music. The Los Angeles singer’s latest release pairs him with NY-based producer duo Brasstracks for an infectious new song titled, “Backseat.” Noah described the track as “the start of a new sound for me,” adding, “I tried to make it timeless and classic, while remaining true to myself, sonically and lyrically. And Brasstracks ran it into the end zone with an insane brass section.”
Lonr. — “Read My Mind” Feat. Yung Bleu
At the very minimum, love requires us to give our all, but even then, success within it is not guaranteed. That’s something Grammy-winning singer Lonr. tackles on “Read My Mind” with Yung Bleu. “This is a song about relationships that we want to happen or work out, but might not have a chance,” he says. “Whether it’s being afraid of commitment or the wrong place at the wrong time, these are thoughts we have about someone we can love.” The new single is set to appear on Lonr.’s upcoming EP, Land of Nothing Real 2, which arrives later this fall.
Pip Millett — Motion Sick
At just 23 years old, Pip Millett has found her own voice in UK’s music scene, and her latest project, Motion Sick, is evidence of the singer’s talents. The five-track effort delivers contributions from Ghetts and Gaidaa while addressing the times she “felt lost when things around me have started to change,” as she states in a press release for the project. “My core self is still there but without change there cannot be any growth,” she adds. “Motion Sick is about the various changes in my life. With this change I have tried to find comfort in the simple things.”
Kirby — “Break Her Heart For Me”
Ariana Grande once asked her love interest to “break up with your girlfriend” because “I’m bored,” and on Kirby’s new song, she plays the role of the girlfriend who hopes to make her partner hers and hers only again. The Mississippi singer, who is the main woman in this growing love triangle, notices that her lover’s eyes have gravitated towards another woman. As a result, she requests that they break their mistress’ heart and send them away in order for her and her man to fix their relationship and grow in the right direction.
Hunnah — “Appreciate”
The Ethiopian-Canadian singer arrives with an absolutely ear-pleasing single with “Appreciate.” The lush singer grapples with the struggles of being Black in the world while elevating the beauty within and behind one’s skin. “This song came from conversations with friends about feeling unappreciated and unseen as black women moving through the world and specifically in the realm of dating,” she said about the track. The song is set to appear on her upcoming EP, Unloved, which arrives this fall.
Rashida Briana — “Baby You”
Chicago’s own Rashida Briana is here to make an impression and her debut single, “Baby You,” is certainly a strong enough release to do just that. The track is filled with love that the singer-songwriter has to offer to a special individual in her life and her impressive vocals deliver a message and performance that’s hard to ignore. At 25 years young, Briana is worth the listen and anticipation for more.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.