As the year swiftly approaches its conclusion, we find ourselves reflecting on the rapid passage of time, much like the previous months. In light of the holiday season enveloping us, we are delighted to present the November lineup curated to satiate your appetite for musical exploration so you can be spending more quality time with your cherished family and friends.
Hometown: Ashby, ENG
Recommended Tracks: "Better Man," "Time Will Tell," "Out Of Mind"
Spotify Monthlies: 337,527
Sekou’s “Better Man” is a sweeping portrayal of the self-reflective lows of heartbreak, one that feels better fit as the beginning to an opus than a mere 17 minute EP. Among honeyed baritone vocals that slide over minimal production and subtle piano bars, the track is an ode to Sekou’s vocal prowess and its need for little to no support from external instruments. Released as his debut single back in May of this year, the record was followed by his first EP Out of Mind, a six song project that effortlessly boasts the UK artist's strongest attributes, charming lyrical vulnerability melded into good old-fashioned love songs.
Discovered from performances in a car park in his hometown, Sekou first performed “Better Man” in 2022 at the BBC Music Introducing tent at the Glastonbury Festival in 2022. In the year since, the emerging artist has worked alongside some of the most prominent producers, including Yakob and Sounwave, giving listeners swooning ballads and musing the highs and lows of love. With over 300k monthly listeners already, Sekou no doubt knows his own place within contemporary R&B, especially when it comes to hopelessly alluring hooks and universal narratives of intimacy. Yet even in a space where themes and styles can start to sound familiar, Sekou effortlessly stands out and i’m excited to see where he goes next. – Sundhya Alter
Hometown: Toronto, CA
Recommended Tracks: "call me when you get this," "Give In," "LANSDOWNE"
Spotify Monthlies: 69,019
If you’ve missed the days of pure soulful R&B don’t worry because Liza has got you covered to satisfy all of your cravings. The Toronto based Ethiopian-Canadian R&B and neo-soul artist brings to her tracks delicate and sensual notes that bounce off playfully her soulful productions, that makes you reminisce on the golden days of R&B. Remember the days of Leona Lewis, remember the shivers you’d get. Trust me, Liza is making homage to the empowerment of women that this era opened us to.
Her music is characterized by strong vocals and progressive production, drawing heavily from R&B and Neo-Soul while bringing a modern touch. I told you, she’s surfing on the next wave of R&B and women in the music industry. In 2021 she released “LANSDOWNE” which showcased her vulnerability and the rawness of her lyrics. Her productions are notable for their minimalism, highlighting her powerful voice and emotional depth. While this release has attracted her the most spotlight, I’ll admit that I’ve developed a particular soft spot for her track “Give In” that captures a more upbeat spark, giving it this extra energy kick that contrasts perfectly with her tender style.
In addition to her solo work, Liza has been featured on Daniel Caesar’s project CASE STUDY 01 and was selected as SoundCloud’s “Artist to Watch” in October 2020. And to top off everything, she has also established herself as a compelling live performer by having performed at several major music festivals in Toronto, including uTOpia Music Fest, Canadian Music Week, Manifesto, NXNE, and as an opening act for the Lauryn Hill.
Liza is paving her way through today’s music landscape – thanks to her exciting blend of Ethiopian heritage, traditional R&B, and neo-soul influences. She’s heading to become one of the next landmarks of female R&B figures and I’d suggest you keep an ear out for her. Just to make sure you stay current. – Emma Neveux
Hometown: Wellington, ENG
Recommended Tracks: "Homesick," "Roses," "Peach"
Spotify Monthlies: 200,703
Whether through his luscious melodies or his candid social media presence, Finn Askew relates to fans in a way that has propelled him towards being an artist of this generation. The Wellington, England product found his footing during the pandemic with the incredulous earworm “Roses,” and his since proven himself a talent worth keeping tabs on with releases “Peach,” “Used To This,” and most recently “Homesick,” a subtly groovy track with some heart to it.
Askew has developed a fluid sound that is able to oscillate between pop, hip-hop, and R&B with little friction, and it's a winning combination. He’s a reliable feature as well, starring in singles “Feather” with Lost Kings and “I Won’t Let You Fall” by WHIPPED CREAM. No matter the setting or dynamic, Finn Askew is due to shine, and at this point his trend has become his new standard. – Kieran Kohorst
Hometown: Moreno Valley, CA
Recommended Tracks: "PUSHING BUTTONS," "ZIG ZAGGING," "DID I CALL AT A BAD TIME?"
Spotify Monthlies: 329,007
Asha Imuno falls in line with the likes of Jordan Ward, AG Club, and Frank Sativa as artists who are coming up into a niche of jazzy experimental hip-hop. Asha Imuno is a singer, songwriter, and producer allowing himself full creative freedom in all aspects of his music. Inspired by the likes of Erykah Badu and Kendrick Lamar, he’s carved a unique blend of soulful R&B and West Coast hip-hop. Asha’s breakout track “ZIG ZAGGING” garnered over 11 million plays on Spotify alone and gave him exposure on all streaming and social platforms.
My personal favourite niche of hip-hop is the chill jazzy pocket of the genre that blurs lines with R&B and indie as well. Asha Imuno falls perfectly into this and I gravitated to his sound immediately. He’s got such a feel-good sound and countless songs that can be played on any occasion to catch a vibe. I’m excited to see what Asha Imuno has to bring with his upcoming album PINS & NEEDLES on the horizon. He’s been opening up and curating more personal reflective music on some of the singles leading up to the project. – Milly Wensley
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Recommended Tracks: “I Don’t Wanna Fall In Love Again”, “Tangerine”, “Dead To Me”
Spotify Monthlies: 61,816
Philadelphia native Noah Richardson translates somber topics into upbeat alternative-pop melodies. He credits his atypical upbringing in a funeral home as one of the key sources of inspiration. Noah's wide vocal range, paired with distinctive guitar riffs, delves into themes of challenging relationships and the struggles of mental health.
Having been noticed by "American Idol” and NBC's "The Voice,” Noah is currently on a “cold weather: mini- tour”, performing in states including Michigan, Ohio, and New Jersey. Keep your ears open for new releases from Noah Richardson and you will not be disappointed. – Samantha DeCarlo
Hometown: Winchester, VA
Recommended Tracks: "Frostbite"
Spotify Monthlies: 16,335
There are many things that can help an artist stand out within country and folk genres, and a memorable voice can go a long way. Armed with powerful vocals and a soulful pen, Jake Kohn has everything it takes to become a notable name as a songwriter and a folk vocalist.
His heartwrenching single “Frostbite,” might be the only one available on streaming platforms, but it speaks volumes as to his future. Heartfelt, raw and memorable, “Frostbite,” is a perfectly balances the highly visual nature of country, and the authenticity of the folk and singer-songwriter genre. Perfect for the bleaker and more brutal months ahead, “Frostbite” is the perfect single to suck you into Jake Kohn’s unforgiving orbit. – Olive Soki