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I don’t know about the rest of you, but few things bring me more joy than discovering new music. Whether through Spotify, music video channels, or Pandora, I am always finding something new to listen to and finding new favorite artists way outside of the usual genres I listen to.
One of my favorite ways to learn about new music, however, is through other people. This is why I’m starting What’s on Your Playlist, a series where contributors and editors at Vada can give you five of their favorite songs they’re listening to right now. I figure the best way to start this off is with myself, so here are five of my favorite songs I’m listening to right now.
1. Donald Byrd – Think Twice
I’ve been a fan of hip-hop music since I was seven years old, and I don’t think you can really appreciate hip-hop if you don’t appreciate the music that it comes from. It’s no secret that hip-hop borrows a lot of beats and melodies from jazz and old-school R&B music. What a lot of people don’t realize, however, are these songs are oftentimes just as good or better than the song that sampled them. Donald Byrd’s ‘Think Twice’ is definitely one of those songs. The song has been sampled 24 times either for a part of its composition or lyrics. It’s amazing to see how even one small piece of a song can be used to make something completely new, and that’s why this song has made it on my list.
2. KING – Mister Chameleon
‘Mister Chameleon’ is the newest single from KING, a grossly underrated R&B trio. The song tells the all too relatable tale of a woman who gets to know a man one way, and then he switches everything up unexpectedly and makes himself seem like an entirely different person. The ladies of KING usually tend to keep their songs short with only two verses, but in those short songs we get to see their immense talent. I really hope one day this group will get the props it deserves and put out a full length album.
3. Iman Omari – Take You There
I first discovered Iman Omari’s music when I was listening to Solange Knowles’ Saint Heron compilation album. The Los Angeles based singer tends to fuse an abstract, alternative sound with sensual vocals that make you feel like you’re floating on a cloud. ‘Take You There’ from his recently released EP, Samadhi EP, is no different. Over a piano, saxophone, and bass guitar imbued melody, Iman Omari sings about what he would do if his love interest let him take their relationship to the next level. What really seals the deal for me, however, is the well-placed sample in the chorus from Gretchen Parlato’s ‘Better Than’ from her album, The Lost and Found. The whole package that is this song gives the listener a sensual experience they will want to listen to again and again to experience.
4. Gabi Wilson – Something to Prove
If you were a fan of Elle Varner’s ‘Only Wanna Give it To You’, then you will definitely want to check out Gabi Wilson. She got some buzz after playing at The BET Awards, and even though she was only on for a minute and half, that was all she needed to capture me as a fan. ‘Something to Prove’ is a throwback to the brief era during the mid-2000’s when there was a heavy link between R&B and pop. This song samples The Isley Brother’s ‘Between the Sheets’ as she puts her foot down to tell an indecisive boy that if he wants her, he needs to stop playing and prove it. I’m sure this will not be the last time we hear from Wilson, and I’m just interested to see what she’s going to put out next.
5. Mo Lowda & The Humble – Curse The Weather
If you have never heard of the Philadelphia based band Mo Lowda & The Humble, now is the time to get familiar. The first time I heard them play was when I was taping them for a television show I was producing for my alma mater, and they absolutely blew me away. Off of their LP of the same name, ‘Curse The Weather’ is one of those songs you cannot help but be swept up into. The vocals of the lead singer will remind you of the lead singer from Kings of Leon on ‘Use Somebody’, which is still one of my favorite songs to this day. The songwriting is also stellar, crafting a song that anybody can relate to on any level.
Keep an eye on this band, because I would not be surprised to hear more from them on bigger platforms in the near future.
Now, it’s your turn. What songs are on your playlist right now? Feel free to let me know in the comment section below.