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Proclaimed a “national treasure” by the Los Angeles Times, GRAMMY® Award winning singer, songwriter, producer, and actor Anthony Hamilton has achieved global sales of over 50 million albums. The North Carolina Music Hall of Fame inductee notably performed for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle, cementing his place in the history books as the “narrator of love.” His raw, awe-inspiringperformances garnered the attention of NPRwhere he starred in their Noteworthydocumentary series. He appeared in American Gangster and lent his voice to “Freedom” from the Academy® Award-nominated Django Unchained. Additionally, he became the “first R&B artist to sell an album at Cracker Barrel.” Next up, Hamilton will unveil his ninth full-length studio album in 2019.
Before Anthony Hamilton laid down the gospel as an R&B singer, the Charlotte, North Carolina native found his calling as a member of the church choir. “It’s like that feeling you get hearing somebody else lead that made me start to really pay attention to music, not just sonically but what it did to people,” says Hamilton, who began singing at six or seven years old. An introvert raised with his brother and sister by a single mother (his father left when he was nine years old), Hamilton found comfort in a foam-covered speaker while dreaming of stardom. “I was a child who had a very wide imagination and I would become the song. I used to listen to “Ben” by Michael Jackson a lot and I would dream like one day I’m gonna become a famous singer. I said that over and over again for years and I always believed it.”
Over two decades worth of label changes later (past deals included Uptown, MCA, Atlantic Records, Soulife Records, Andre Harrell’s Harrell Entertainment and Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def Recordings), Hamilton has found his happy place on RCA Records. Following up 2011’s Grammy-nominated effort Back To Love and his 2014 Christmas offering Home For The Holidays, the R&B cantor maintains his Southern sensibility and poignant songwriting on his fifth studio effort What I’m Feelin.’ Its lead single “Amen” — a melodic love note produced by Salaam Remi and James Poyser, praises a special lady’s efforts. “’Amen’ is just celebrating the beauty that a woman makes you feel, not just physical attributes, but the fact that she works, she goes to church, prays for you, cooks, cleans, just all those things that a woman brings to the table,” Hamilton explains.
The 12-track offering is also an emotional cleanse for the musician, who announced his divorce from his wife of nearly 10 years in 2015. “Anytime you spend that much time with someone, there’s a long connection that you have and even though it seems like you’re moving on, you’re still tied to the person,” he says who dedicates the reflective track “Walk In My Shoes” to his ex-wife. “I’m tellin my wife like you gotta be me, my past and all the things that shape me, all my fears, and whatever it is I’ve been through that made me the man that I was and hindered me from being the man that I wanted to be.” On other standouts like the melodic “What I’m Feelin’,” Hamilton opens up about the struggles of letting go. “We get into these relationships and sabotage them because of a fear of creating the unknown, the beautiful, the peace and a place where you can let go,” he says. “Being able to totally let go is something I look forward to doing.”
Recording majority of the What I’m Feelin’ in Nashville, TN at the iconic Blackbird and House of Blues studios, Hamilton reunited with longtime collaborator, Mark Batson, who produced some of his biggest hits including 2003 Platinum smash, “Charlene” along with his close engineer Bruce Irvine. The celebratory set showcases life’s highs more than the lows. In addition, Hamilton recruited guitar heroes Vince Gill for the country-leaning “Never Letting Go” and Grammy Award winner Gary Clark Jr. on the worldly “Ain’t No Shame.” On the latter, Hamilton belts, “Time waits for no one/ Ain’t no shame in playing hard,” as a PSA to never settle. “There are people that never experience anything outside their front porches,” he says. “Get off the front porch, walk in the yard and I’m sure you’ll find something that’s beautiful.”
Hamilton is known for flipping heartbreak into a blessing as heard on his biggest ballad “Charlene.” After a significant relationship had ended, he left his one-bedroom brownstone apartment in Harlem on 146th Street and Convent Avenue and took the train to 33rd Street to meet with producer Batson at a Manhattan recording studio. “My record deal [at the time], I was pretty much trying to get off. I remember I didn’t have a lot of money. At that time, I was heartbroken,” he reflects. “I just poured my heart out and [“Charlene”] was one of the songs that came out of it.” He notes that his soulful formula stays consistent with What I’m Feelin’, even on a personal level. “I’m fully capable of taking from a broken place and truly turning it into something amazing,” says Hamilton confidently. “I’m truly capable of loving in spite of my situation. I think I still have a fear of letting go to a degree and I think there’s preparations I need to do to get there. I’m not done yet.”
Hamilton’s decorated catalog includes his 2003 debut, Comin’ From Where I’m From (which carried the hit title track), 2005’s Ain’t Nobody Worryin’ among other efforts. He has earned several Grammy nominations, like “Po’ Folks,” the 2002 Nappy Roots collaboration that earned a nod for best rap/sung collaboration, and won his first trophy in 2009 for best traditional R&B vocal performance for his duet with Al Green on “You’ve Got The Love I Need.” He has also lent his vocals to a variety of talent includingNas, Rick Ross, Carlos Santana, Jill Scott, Tupac, and Al Green to name a few. His album What I’m Feelin’ released in 2016 received Grammy nomination for the title song.
“Born and raised in Los Angeles, R&B singer/songwriter Jhené Aiko first rose to prominence in the early years of the 2000s when she signed to Epic and contributed vocals to several tracks for labelmates B2K. Coming from a musical family, with two of her sisters (Miyoko and Jamila) members of the group Gyrl, Aiko had plenty of musical training to launch her later successes through various appearances on music videos and soundtracks.
After collaborating with other artists during her early to mid-teens, she took a brief hiatus to finish her education. In 2011, she released her comeback mixtape, Sailing Soul(s), comprising dreamy, minimal R&B vocals; it was entirely written by Aiko and featured collaborations with Drake, Gucci Mane, and Kanye West. In 2012, she signed with Def Jam through No I.D.‘s ARTium imprint and released the single “3:16AM.” The following year proved to be pivotal for Aiko — she was featured on Big Sean‘s Top 40 hit “Beware” and teamed up with Drake for an appearance on his highly anticipated album Nothing Was the Same. Critics praised her performance with Drake, which raised her profile globally. In November 2013, she released her debut EP, Sail Out, which included the tracks “Bed Peace” (featuring Childish Gambino) and “The Worst,” the latter of which peaked at number nine on Billboard’s R&B chart. The album also garnered two Grammy nominations, including Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best R&B Song for “The Worst.”
Souled Out, her proper debut album, was released the following September and hit number three on the Billboard 200. The album also spawned several singles, including “To Love & Die,” “The Pressure,” and “Spotless Mind.” Aiko then collaborated with rapper Big Sean on the 2016 side project TWENTY88. Several more singles followed, including “Maniac,” “Hello Ego,” and “While We’re Young,” the last of which was featured on her 2017 full-length, Trip.” – Aneet Nijjar, AllMusic
“Throwback R&B singer Raphael Saadiq was born in Oakland, CA, in 1966, and started playing music six years later. He played bass at church and school and enjoyed his place on-stage at various local hometown events. After high school, Saadiq won a chance to join Prince and Sheila E. on the Parade tour. Such an experience inspired Saadiq to make music his life, and before the ’80s came to an end, he formed Tony! Toni! Tone!.
Saadiq went under his birth name of Wiggins while in Tony! Toni! Tone!, and was joined by his brother, Dwayne Wiggins, and cousin Timothy Christian. Tony! Toni! Tone! made their debut with “Little Walter” in 1988. Two years later, they were mega-stars thanks to the success of their second album, The Revival. The ballad “It Never Rains (In Southern California)” and the club-friendly “Feels Good” were major hits and the band eventually sold six million albums. However, Saadiq left the group at the height of its fame.
A solo career was in the works by the time the mid-’90s rolled around. Two singles for movie soundtracks — 1995’s “Ask of You” from Higher Learning and “Me & You” from Boyz N da Hood — were Saadiq‘s proper solo introduction, but not exactly satisfying. He was used to being part of a band, so a solo career made him a bit apprehensive. Saadiq bowed out for some normalcy over the next few years.
Lucy Pearl was Saadiq‘s next project, where he joined with En Vogue‘s Dawn Robinson and Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest for a short-lived super-group. Saadiq also had his hand in producing material for the likes of Macy Gray, TLC, the Roots, and D’Angelo. In 2000, his song “Untitled” won D’Angelo a Grammy. Inspired by his new “gospedelic” approach, he captured a new sound for himself while recording material between Oakland and Sacramento. The end result was Instant Vintage, which earned five Grammy nominations in 2003. The blaxploitation era-referencing Ray Ray and the ’60s-flavored The Way I See It followed, respectively, in 2004 and 2008; the latter was nominated for three Grammys. Stone Rollin’ was released in 2011, just after Saadiq and his band of the same name backed Mick Jagger for a Grammy Awards perfomance of Solomon Burke’s “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love.” The album maintained Saadiq‘s streak of throwback-oriented releases.” – MacKenzie Wilson, AllMusic
Inspired by 90’s R&B, super producer Nineteen85 & singer/songwriter Daniel Daley teamed up to form the group DVSN. Daniel’s use of Falsetto, reminiscent of Maxwell, along with his lyrical and vocal vulnerability, have people starting to take notice.
DVSN focuses on authentic conversations in their music, while bringing both intimate moments and memories to life. It’s a compelling time to revisit the so-called ‘baby-making’ sounds of twenty years ago, and push them into the future. Their use of backup vocalists, also known as ‘The Choir’ is prevalent in their music, giving a nod to their influence of growing up in Christian households.
After putting out a few tracks on Soundcloud in late 2015, they signed to Drake’s label OVO Sound in Feb. 2016. Releasing their debut album ‘Sept 5’ on April 1, 2016, they then toured with Drake on both his Summer Sixteen Tour (July – Oct 2016) and his Boy Meets World Tour (Jan-Mar 2017). They gained even more momentum after being featured on Drake’s ‘Faithful’ off the Views album (April 29, 2016). Oct. 13, 2017 they released their sophomore album ‘Morning After’, accompanied by a world tour from Jan 20 – April 4, 2018.
“New Orleans’ PJ Morton is a versatile keyboardist, songwriter, and producer known for his own pop and R&B albums, as well as his studio work for other performers. Emerging in the early 2000s, Morton gained early notice working with artists like Kierra “Kiki” Sheard, DeWayne Woods, and Musiq Soulchild before issuing his own albums, such as 2013’s Grammy-nominated New Orleans and 2017’s Grammy-winning Gumbo. Since 2010, he has been a member of Maroon 5 and has contributed to many of the group’s albums, including 2012’s Overexposed, 2014’s V, and 2017’s Red Pill Blues.
The son of fellow recording artist Bishop Paul S. Morton and Pastor Dr. Debra Brown Morton, PJ Morton was born in New Orleans in 1981. He played music growing up, and eventually majored in marketing at Morehouse College, graduating in 2003. During this period, he launched his music career, releasing an album with his short-lived group Freestyle Nation, and contributing to India.Arie‘s Grammy-winning 2002 album Voyage to India.
Over the next few years, he released genre-crossing independent albums such as Emotions and Perfect Song while collaborating with Anthony David, Faith Evans, Monica, and Kierra “KiKi” Sheard. He also had a breakthrough success with the gospel hit “Let Go,” written for DeWayne Woods. Morton‘s 2010 album, Walk Alone, featured his own version of the song, and he and his father performed the GMA Dove winner for the live release Bishop Morton Celebrates 25 Years of Music.
Along the way, Morton relocated to Los Angeles. In 2010, he joined Maroon 5 as a performing keyboardist and background vocalist. The work didn’t slow his solo career; he signed to Young Money and released the album New Orleans — featuring guest appearances from Stevie Wonder, Busta Rhymes, and Maroon 5‘s Adam Levine — in May 2013. The album’s single “Only One” earned him a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Song.
Despite his success, Morton grew dissatisfied with Los Angeles, and eventually moved back to New Orleans, where he founded his own Morton Records label. In 2017, he returned with his fifth solo album, Gumbo, which included appearances by Pell, BJ the Chicago Kid, and the Hamiltones. Also included on the album was a cover of the Bee Gees‘ “How Deep Is Your Love,” which won the Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Performance. Morton re-created the album live in 2018 and released it as Gumbo Unplugged (Live), which featured guests like Lecrae and Yebba. The holiday-themed Christmas with PJ Morton followed in November of that year.” – Andy Kellman, AllMusic
Sirius & Company (Ms. Kim & Scooby)
Ms. Kim & Scooby Bio:
Sirius Company feat. Ms. Kim & Scooby
As one of the lead singers for the famed trend-setting
Go-Go band Lissen, penned the “godson of Go-Go”,
and the motivating factor of many of Lissen’s sellout
performances all over the east cost, his soulful, heart
pounding melodies and his smooth vocal styles can not
Ms. Kim: The First Lady of GoGo, Kimberly “Ms Kim”
Graham is definitely a trend setter for female GoGo
artists. In 1995 she made her way onto the GoGo
scene with the infamous Wickedest Band Alive, Rare
Essence. “Ms Kim” performed with Rare Essence for
years where she made her footprint in GoGo. During
her run with RE she set the bar a new high for women
in GoGo when she recorded Ashlee Simpson’s “Pieces
Together these amazing entertainers, have teamed up
with an extremely talented group of musicians, to form
their own band and sound, soon to be re-discovered as
they embark on a career as a groundbreaking style of
of band never before seen in Go-Go. Sirius(ly)
Be’la Dona feat. Sugar Bear
With an undeniably recognizable falsetto, Kyle Dion possesses soul that extends far beyond his 23 years. Dion’s transition from SoundCloud to stage was seamless, proving out on stages across the country on tour with the likes of BJ The Chicago Kid, & Khalid. Most recently hopping off tour with his longtime supporter, Partynextdoor.
The South Florida native’s cult following grew into a loyal fan base that has given him more than 15 million cumulative streams (Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal etc). If you look at the related artists section of any popular modern R&B artists you are likely to find his name in the top 3 (Daniel Caesar, H.E.R, Brent Fiyaz, DVSN, Jorja Smith, Ella Mai, Sabrina Claudio…), securing his name in the conversation, and his music in new fan’s ears. Dion’s latest single “Brown” is the third song to drop from his forthcoming full-length album and gives great sonic insight into what he has in store for the world.