The Year Was: 2015 in Alternative R&B

2015 has to be one my favourite years for R&B releases, especially for the Alternative sub-genre. With R&B moving away from it’s traditional roots more and more, we’ve seen the genre expand and take on more experimental variations with artists like FKA Twigs, SZA, Frank Ocean, and Banks, to name a few. Anyone who knows me, knows I love 90’s R&B, so I can be biased at times but this surge of creativity is amazing! The genre has produced some great artists.

2015 saw The Weeknd return with his Sophomore effort “Beauty Behind the Madness”. Thou I’m not to keen on the singles, BBTM had a couple bangers, this album gave me some needed nostalgia, we got to relive the sound that brought us The Weeknd - with an added sense of growth and production depth. One of my go-tos has to be “Tell Yours Friends”.

If you haven’t heard of Kelela you’re slacking, she dropped off her first EP “Hallucinogen” in 2015. From this tape we got various forms of the genre, Kelela takes elements from other sounds and merges them with the basis of R&B, she adds hints of Electronic, Dance and Trap, throughout the EP - basically she likes to experiment with her sound. Watch the Dance and Trap influenced “Rewind”, if that's not enough hit up “All The Way Down”.

NAO gives R&B more of an electronic / dance vibe with elements of Funk, she still has a couple deep bass cuts thou, listen to “Apple Cherry” off her EP “February 15” below. NAO puts you in that vibe where you need to belt out all her lyrics whether your in your whip, yard, on road, wherever. Her sounds just that vibes-y. She also dropped off her debut effort “For All We Know” this year.

Thou Tory Lanez is a Rap artist, he does blur the lines of Hip-Hop and R&B at times, his “Chixtape III” outlines that, with a of the production taking samples from R&B classics like “You Don't Know My Name”, “Say My Name” and “Walked Out of Heaven”.

I know I left off a couple bangers like Erykah’s “But You Caint Use My Phone”, Alina Baraz & Galimatias’ “Urban Flora” and Jeremih’s “Late Nights” to mention a few highlights from 2015, but this post was getting a bit too lengthy.