R&B and the future of the genre is looking bright. The top stars of the current crop in the game, Jhené Aiko, Kehlani, Summer Walker, and Teyana Taylor cover the latest issue of Billboard.
The four singer-songwriters have an in-depth conversation on the current state of R&B, the future, how the industry responds to the genre, how consumers respond to the genre, other artists from different genres attempting R&B, radio, and more. During the conversation, the four-some talk comparisons on R&B from the past, to the current sounds. Here’s a snippet of the conversation:
“Kehlani: The comparisons we get to the older artists won’t ever make sense because we’re in a different time, experiencing things at a different rate and in a different way. They didn’t have social media, so [our music] is a lot about how we interact with our thoughts. But it’s still people being honest: “I might not be what you think I am — let me take you into what I feel.” That’s what I appreciate the most right now.
Taylor: Where R&B is now takes me back to where it was in the ’80s and ’90s with Anita Baker and others. It’s about how they were expressing themselves, how they sang with soul.
Walker: R&B is better than the hip-hop of 2020 to me because that can get super shallow and repetitive. Or there’s the whole mumble rap trend, where you don’t even know what they’re saying. We’re really opening up, getting deeper — and that’s good”.