With close to a billion acts (note: probably an exaggeration, but it certainly feels that way to us) it’s pretty difficult to decide what artists to see. But if you’re looking for something that is rhythm and blues infused with a little sump’n else, these ten R&B-ish acts are not to be missed.
This duo from Boston, MA dabbles in experimental R&B. With influences such as Lil Wayne, J Dilla and Miles Davis, this pair is a must-see for anyone who likes their R&B with an electronic edge. The band recorded a brilliant cover of Drake’s popular stripper song “Houstonatlantavegas” and managed to make it wholesome and tolerable enough for even the elderly to listen to.
Sonnymoon plays Southpaw on Wednesday, October 19 as part of the Onyx 2.0 showcase.
Truly a soulful secret, Kendra Morris’ voice is unexpected—she doesn’t look anything like she sounds. She’s petite and fair-skinned but has southern charm infused in her bluesy, almost raspy voice.
Kendra Morris plays Canal Room on Wednesday, October 19 as part of the ASCAP showcase.
If you close your eyes, you can almost imagine D’Eon bumping out of the speakers at a Friday night house party. Unexpectedly, however, he manages to use production that can bop between ’80s R&B, house and weirdo jazz alike.
UPDATE: D’Eon is no longer performing at CMJ 2011.
Slipping away from Diddy’s Dirty Money to develop as a solo artist, Dawn Richard has an authentic R&B feel. If you enjoy the sounds of Brandy and Monica (“The Boy Is Mine,” anyone?), then you should definitely see what Richard has to offer.
Dawn Richard plays Gramercy Theater on Saturday, October 22 as part of the ICM/Carefree Nation/The Source showcase.
Don’t call it a comeback. The late-’80s female group known for its hits “Don’t Let Go (Love)” from the film Set It Off and “Whatta Man” featuring Salt-N-Pepa will probably (maybe) perform all of its classics to induce a trip down memory lane.
En Vogue plays B.B. King’s on Friday, October 21.
Next Page: Five more acts we think you should see