We were so close to putting Zhu at the top of our 2014 R&B list. And even though he didn’t make the cut, he did help us distinguish the difference between today’s R&B and electro soul.
Before, the most notable difference the two was whether it was vocal or producer based, respectively. Where as R&B is focused on the soulful voices of today, electro soul generally cuts & chops memorable voices from the past and blends in heavy electro influences. Zhu is really the perfect intersection between the two, but we eventually came to the conclusion that his deep house influence was more fit for electro soul than the more traditional R&B (“traditional” in loose terms).
Also, keep in mind that even the musicians featured here are still electronically influenced in some way. Most music is nowadays. However, they play much more of a balancing act than their counterparts in electro soul. Hear for yourself and let us know your thoughts on today’s soul music and how you define it.
I know I focus too much on chorus too much of the time, but Corinne Bailey Rae’s is damn near perfect in ‘Put Your Records On.’ It quite literally put me to tears. She’s as inspiring in words, for the most part, as she is in vocal zest and Nehzui’s remix gives it the extra oomph it deserves. His electro brass is a bit… brass but essential for the sing-a-long.
The original clip of ‘Feelin’ hints at a real talented voice, minus the auto-tuning, but Tonefeld gave it a much needed production boost. And turns the tuned vocals into something tasteful.
On another note, this beat is so strange. I like it, especially with Samantha.
Sometimes I just cannot handle these downtempo producers. You know what I want to hear. So stop teasing me and get to the good stuff. Though I guess the tease is part of the trick. I’m just trying to say I like radio edits. But let’s be honest, I’ll never be happy, I’m a “critic” Ha.
SevnthWonder may only be taking on some already gorgeous vocals from a 90′s semi-hit, but I don’t see anyone else trying to top him. Vocals need updating every generation or so, so stop bitchin bout it and let’s actually do something for once. [note to self] And I’m not just talking about this song.
Check this out tomorrow in our Remixed Right 2014 (Vol. 2) (Vol. 1). I just wanted to preview a track from it, don’t mind the scrambled ramblings from above.
‘So High’ was originally released bout a year back but needed the mastering this latest release brings. Still does nothin for me compared to her ‘Nunchucks,’ now I’d love to see some fuckin around with that. But with this accompanying music video, ‘So High’ will do much more for her mass appeal. It’s Doja’s first fully produced track and it’s a polished prize to showoff that cunning lip of hers.
Figgy always gets me in a mood, a relaxed one at that. His music is meant for the tropics and it’s the closest thing I got right now. ‘Do It Like Us’ not only has the sound, but keeps the vocals fresh — which is where most producers fall off.
Zhu’s Nightday is the first album to come out in 2014 that I’ve even liked. Most music I like these days are released as singles, which honestly work best for many artists, but it’s nice to get a hold of stuff like this when I can. Great albums are far more rare than great songs.
I’ve already featured Zhu’s Superfriends track off of Nightday and in it I hoped dearly he was a she (there was alotta mystery going around at the time). But now we’re pretty 100% he’s a man, especially while finding something interesting in our inbox.
While going through our email to find some info a PR guy sent out about Zhu – oh, and how do you people find my email? ******! – I found a gentleman named Steven Zhu hit me up about a few of his remixes almost three years back. Now most likely they’re not connected and I’m just becoming my own little gossip blog, but they do both claim to live in Los Angeles …Steven Zhu has taken down his YouTube & SoundCloud links and…
Never mind. Just found proof. Zhu’s first name is Steven. Hello, Steven :P
… except Zhu does his own production.
Like Luminaire’s latest, it takes a few rounds of repetition to get a full sentence out of Pasta’s PB&J, but once you do you’ll be glad it did in such a way. It’s all about the build in these two, and all music really. Along with the drops of course.
I found Blood Orange in a peculiar way, through people in person. I know it’s not peculiar to most, but it’s been mostly the internet for me these days. I did however dig into Blood Orange and found something fresh of my own.
It isn’t so much about that sweet soul voice, but that ‘Sutphin Boulevard’ melody and its variations repeated. Kinda reminds me of Frank Ocean’s ‘Lost,’ another obsession of mine, just a bit cooler. Orange might actually beat out Ocean, only in instrumentals of course.