R&B / Soul: Winter 2022

Monarch R&B / Soul Recommendations

Mary J. Blige
Good Morning Gorgeous

Good Morning Gorgeous comes nearly five years after 2017’s Strength of a Woman, which produced her record-shattering single “Thick of It,” co-written by Jazmine Sullivan. The anticipated LP will be released on her imprint, Mary J. Blige Productions, in partnership with her newly minted deal with 300 Entertainment.

For this project, Blige went into the studio with none other than the amazing DJ Khaled and the uber talented H.E.R. In a statement, Mary shared that the new album is about life, love, and struggle but mostly triumph, “because I’m learning how to rejoice in the valleys and the droughts.” Blige recently told Tamron Hall about Good Morning Gorgeous, “I’m not cocky. I’m not arrogant. But I earned the right to say some things. I earned the right to say, ‘I feel amazing.’”

Bianca Jade
Everything I’ve Got

Rising Cuban-Jamaican singer and songwriter Bianca Jade has released her new hit single, “Everything I’ve Got.” The R&B soulstress looks absolutely stunning, and the sound is amazing. “Everything I’ve Got” delivers a symbolic message as she uses mirrors as a modem to symbolize self-reflection and overcoming self-doubt. Listeners will relate to the lyrics of this inspirational song as it highlights the struggles of trying to accomplish one’s goals. As the title implies, Bianca is giving it everything she’s got to make it as she faces and overcomes many obstacles along her journey. Bianca effortlessly and passionately belts out the lyrics to the song, which is sure to uplift many others who face similar challenges.

Ultra
Le Manege

Singer-songwriter November Ultra is France’s latest bedroom pop sensation. Often praised for her deep and warm voice, the hotly tipped November Ultra first entered people’s ears and hearts in November 2020 with the soothing DIY lullaby, “Soft & Tender.” Her first effort was quickly followed by the sweet and sour heartbreak anthem “Miel,” and a maxi EP, Honey Please Be Soft & Tender, which includes the gut-wrenching bonus track “The End”—giving us a taste of what she is all about: comforting, personal, intimate, and always very cinematographic bedroom pop.

She recently revealed the video, directed by Stef & Wyt, for her latest single, “le ManègeHERE. The single showcases the musical roots of an artist who grew up listening to folk music and R&B as well as enjoying music with a very obsessive Spanish grandfather addicted to ’60s musicals and Spanish copla, embracing all of it and proving the adage, “We contain multitudes.”

Wes Nelson
Say Nothing

Pairing light Afrobeat rhythms with pared-back guitars, breezy tropical production, and silky R&B melodies, ”Say Nothing” shows the world another side to Wes Nelson’s multifaceted artistry. Written by Wes and produced by regular collaborator Ayo Beatz (Fredo, Young M.A, KSI), it exemplifies Wes’s talent as both a vocalist and a songwriter, showcasing his innate ability to craft catchy choruses and infectious hooks that linger long after the song has finished. In fact, the track has already become a fan favorite, with an early snippet of the song shared on Instagram picking up over one million views in just a few days. Wes has firmly cemented his position as one of the country’s most exciting new artists, picking up praise from cultural commentators and musicians and attracted notable fans among the likes of Anthony Joshua, Idris Elba, Stevo The Madman, Chip, Krept & Konan, Raheem Sterling, Maya Jama, Mo Gillingham, S1mba, Jae5, SL, Ardee, Clean Bandit, A1 x J1, and many more. Achieving three consecutive Top 40 hits with “See Nobody,” “Nice to Meet You” featuring Yxng Bane, and “Drive” with Clean Bandit and Topic (about to hit Top 20), he has incredibly racked up nearly one million singles sales and over 250 million streams in just over a year.

Brynn Cartelli
Based On A True Story

Singer-songwriter Brynn Cartelli has unveiled “Jane (Live From Babe Studios),” the third and final track from her series of stripped-back, live reimagining of songs featured on her debut EP, Based on a True Story. In “Jane (Live From Babe Studios),” Brynn takes seemingly small moments from typical suburban experiences and turns them into candid, anthemic pop ballads that people of all ages can relate to. “Imaginary Stranger” fulfills a wish she held for years and vividly details her connection to her grandfather who passed away from lung cancer six years before her birth. Then there’s the piano-driven “Love You in My Mind,” which is based off a collection of stories from fans who were obsessing over crushes. Blossoming from an acoustic intro into a bouncy refrain, the buoyant “We Belong” captures an idyllic moment of teen freedom and friendship in lines like “We didn’t get invited to the party it’s fine, so we’ll sit around the fire and we’ll talk about life.” As the final addition to the EP, “Jane” pairs a powerhouse vocal performance with lullaby-style instrumentation that sees Brynn imagining what it would be like if she were someone else—specifically choosing the name Jane because that’s what her mom had almost named her.