Exclusives 19 June 2023
Author: Vince

5 Cold UK R&B Artists You Need To Know

19 June 2023

UK R&B is a continuous source of controversy when it comes to industry conversations. It is no secret that many artists feel a lack of visibility and support for the genre. Whilst US  R&B is mainstream and commonplace globally, UK R&B has at times struggled to leave its mark, with many artists struggling to find the support and assistance they need. However, this hasn’t stopped a flurry of new UK R&B artists from creating and emerging into the space pushing the boundaries of sound and redefining the genre and creating their own landscape in which they flourish. In this edition of R&B, we are shining a light on the future sounds coming from the UK’s most promising talent in the genre, focusing on those who fuse R&B with other genres to create a signature sound.

Safiyyah is a singer/songwriter born and raised in West London of Portuguese and Moroccan descent. Raised in the heart of Ladbroke Grove with strong connections to the local community and the different cultures that exist there. Safiyyah uses her music to open people’s eyes to themes of nostalgia, culture, relationships and independence. Safiyyah’s music cannot be boxed into a specific genre but contains elements taken from the Neo-Soul, low-fi, R&B and contemporary jazz scenes. Her influences include the dynamism and edge of Kendrick Lamar, Erykah Badu & Prince whilst also interpreting powerful female inspiration from the likes of Nina Simone, Sade and Snoh Allegra. You can hear these influences throughout her music as she blends and fuses this plethora of inspirations subtly throughout her own music. She is truly pushing the boundaries of the r&b soundscape she sits within.

Her latest release Lisbon is a truly romantic and experimental ode to her sound. With smooth sultry vocals laid across this laid-back beat. Lisbon is an introspective look into feeling like you don’t know where you’re supposed to be. Safiyyah describes writing the track during the lockdown. The song speaks of escaping not only from personal life but also literally. Having lived in London most of her life Safiyyah longed to be in Portugal where ‘people are happy and welcoming’. Simultaneously she was in a situationship unsure of where things were headed. Feeling like an old romantic Safiyyah felt a disconnect from the modern concept of romance. 

Safiyyah wants listeners to feel the longing in the track ‘whether it be wanting a new job, to relocate in life or to move forward in a relationship’. 

“Lisbon” will have an accompanying visual which will be available in June alongside the release of her E.P.  

Call Me Unique is a staple figure in the neo-soul, R&B and Jazz music scene.Singer/songwriter & guitarist Call Me Unique infuses the sounds of jazz, soul, future beats, and scat-singing. Influenced by the sounds of Lauryn Hill, Ed Sheeran, Ella Fitzgerald & Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes. Renowned for her love of scatting and eclectic performance approach, her vibe truly is “unique” Leaning heavily on her experimental musicality Call Me Unique creates powerful and impactful music with strong messages woven in through her lyrics. Born in Manchester and raised in Handsworth, Birmingham, she always portrays an honest and heartfelt performance to any willing crowd. She has been officially highlighted as the “Sound of 2019” by BBC West Midlands. She was nominated for Best R&B/Soul 2020, nominated and won: Best R&B/ Soul Artist 2019 as well as nominated for Best Music Video 2019 & Best Female 2019 by the Birmingham Music Awards. 

Call Me Unique is gearing up for a year filled with new music releases. Starting with “Pressure” the first single from her E.P. When’s Tasha Coming Home.

“With production by Reuben Reynolds, Call Me Unique combines soulful delivery with thought-provoking lyrics that linger on your mind. The chorus repeats the phrase “You don’t have to put it all on me”. Imprinting the idea that we don’t have to carry the world’s weight on our shoulders. Be kind to yourself. As an active advocate for mental health awareness, Call Me Unique encourages listeners through the lyrics of this track.

“Pressure” is complimented by a set of abstract visuals shot by @OlvrGFilms at the Hampton Street Art Spaces in Birmingham. Throughout the video, we see projections of prominent women. This highlights how far women have come and how many pressures they’ve overcome.” 

Currently Unique is on a UK/ Europe tour giving listeners plenty of chances to take her in live this summer. In the meantime, you can watch the “Pressure” video below or listen to the full EP here

Morgan Monroe is a highly sought-after singer-songwriter originating from Leicester. Her unique tone is equally as angelic as it is powerful. Morgan’s range often leaves audiences in absolute awe and her overall sound is equally as dreamy. Like many artists in the genre, Morgan pushes the boundaries to create her own take on what it is. Morgan is definitely one of the artists responsible for redefining R’nB from the UK perspective. 

Since the release of her 9-track project, Elvira Morgan has continued to rise to new heights gathering fans from across the globe. Morgan effortlessly blends fantasy and reality, masculinity and femininity. Breaking through stereotypes to deliver poignant narratives of love, heartbreak, submission and control. Morgan refuses to be defined by a singular narrative. 

Outside of her insane vocals and definitive sound Morgan’s artistry can be seen through her visuals and live performances. Morgan is a content queen and even when she isn’t releasing new music. She is always giving fans something new to get into on her social media. From Vocal riff challenges to studio freestyles to unreleased snippets with mini visuals. Morgan is here for her fans and is the gift that keeps on giving. You can lock into Morgans sound here 

Dxinx formerly Daina Is no stranger to the UK scene. The Youtube star is also widely known for her energetic, catchy and experimental sound. Although Dxinx fits nicely into the R&B bracket she always brings something extra. Whether that be her beat choices or melodic placements. Dxinx has a very distinct and powerful vocal that lends itself to a variety of sounds. Notably her experimentation with drill has created a new era of sound for the singer. Aside from her impressive vocals she further expresses her musical ability through bars which she effortlessly flows between.  

Her latest project is a personal and scathing look into the collapse of her marriage. Ordinarily, DXINX is private about the details of her relationship. However, in the latest offering, the singer opens up about very personal and intimate affairs in detail. Using R&B melodies over drill and trap beats. The elements collide and create a contrast between intense anger and hurt mixed with sadness.

DXNX is another multi-dimensional queen and she often shoots, directs and edits her videos herself. Elevating her music to another level with immaculate visuals. Daina is no stranger to expressing her sound through visuals and dance, with her video for X’s.

Her latest single “Beside Em” leans further into her signature sound. With melodic vocals sitting over a hard trap-infused drill beat with rap-like lyrical composition. All delivered with the conviction of a true vocalist. 

Daina enlists the help of Ghostface600 for the visual on this one check it out below.

JaydenClover is another Birmingham artist making her way to the R&B uncovered list. Jayden Clover has been building a name for herself for a fair few years. The likes of Kate Nash, Kid Kuddi and Aliyah form her signature sound which is ethereal and soft. 

Jaydonclover is a hopeless romantic with a tender soft-sung vocal that sweetens the blows of heartbreak and insecurity. With her poignant lyrics and seductive irony, Jayden’s music provides a soothing balm to those suffering from romantic turmoil.

2022 saw the introduction of Jaydonclover’s mixtape series room service? volume 1. Room Service? Volume One is a continuation of Jaydon’s highly successful collaboration with lo-fi producer dylantheinfamous. With features from, Bel Cobain, Kofi Stone, ZekeUltra and Phil. The concept project is a surreal fantasy set in a hotel. Each room represents life lessons. Touching on the topics of love, lust and self-doubt from the perspective of a serial seductress.
Jaydon has teased imminent new music via her social media. While you wait you should definitely check out her existing catalog here.

In next month’s R&B we will be looking at the male artists spearheading R&B fusion in the UK. If you missed out the last instalment, be sure to check that one out right here.