A few years ago, there was some concern that R&B was losing traction. The golden shimmer of the 90s was far behind us, and people questioned whether R&B was ever going to have the same influence it once had. Pop music was everywhere, saturating R&B and Hip-Hop in both underground and mainstream environments.
Today, we’re thankful that R&B is in a much better place. A new wave of singers have buttressed the genre. Artists like SZA, The Weeknd, Bryson Tiller, Brent Faiyaz, H.E.R, and Daniel Caesar have brought a new excitement to rhythm and blues.
As a Canadian, I can say that Daniel Caesar has been particularly interesting to watch. From his experimental EPs on souncloud to his glorious debut album Freudian. His journey has been nothing short of an uphill climb and this year, we hope he gets the credit for it.
The Grammy’s would be remiss not to acknowledge the artist, at least in a nomination capacity, for best new artist. Freudian is a delicate blend of R&B, soul and gospel that tugs at the heartstrings. Caesar’s emotional delivery gives each song a deeper meaning. “Blessed”, “Get You” and “We Find Love” are beautifully nuanced and unsurprisingly album favourites.
For many, including the artist, Freudian is therapeutic. “This body of work is about examining my most complex feelings and thoughts more directly. I’m more exposed than ever on this album. It’s like I’m in therapy, but it’s on display,” noted Caesar in a statement to The FADER.
Heartbreak, like any wound, requires healing and Freudian does just that. With so much great material from R&B artists this year we certainly look forward to what the 60th anniversary has in store.