On The Wave: The Tunes that Have Made 2019 (So Far)

Kicked off 2019 raving about how much good music is out and we quite literally haven’t been able to keep up!

We’re always updating the ‘On The Wave’ playlist across the streaming platforms so you can always keep up with the best new music R&B / Soul has to offer. But there’s been such a steady stream of good music, it’s been tough finding the best time to publish a piece about this on here. So now, we’re bringing you a supercharged update of our 2019 faves since our February update. Our top pick R&B tunes for 2019 (so far) down below.

Ari Lennox & J Cole brought the FYAH with Shea Butter Baby

Avid On The Wave followers will have noticed Ari Lennox & J Cole’s Shea Butter Baby was our opening track for a hot minute. A classic bedroom banger, the duo followed the song’s release with the sultriest video that had fans everywhere swooning. The delicious visuals aside, Shea Butter Baby, is another powerful showcase of Lennox’s unique ability to make true Neo-Soul ever fresh. The song, featured on the Creed II soundtrack, has been Lennox’s most successful to date, with the video being streamed over 10 million times on YouTube alone. 

We’ve been raving about Lennox’s stand-out talent as early as 2016 and even named her as one to watch back in 2017. It’s taken longer than it should’ve but it’s always a great moment seeing a deserving talent get credit for the work they’ve put in. Ari Lennox has announced her debut album, also titled Shea Butter Baby, will be dropping May 7 2019. It’s definitely one to keep a keen eye out for.

The EPs you need to be spinning

It’s been EP season, many of which definitely deserve a spin. The standouts for us have been the releases by Melle Brown, Jerome Thomas, Sasha Keable and Amahla. 

Melle Brown - Intersection

It’s no secret we love Melle Brown over here. She kicked off the show at our biggest show to date last summer. The Producer / DJ / Radio Host introduced her unique brand of Jazz & Neo-soul infused House music on debut EP, Blossom. She’s now back with Intersection, taking that sound to the next level of sophistication. With a stellar feature set including Tiana Major9, Olli Hannaford and LayFullStop. Intersection is a MUST HEAR. Debut single, Background Noise even got Elton John’s seal of approval, featuring on his Beats1 show and his Elton Loves Playlist. Not many 22 year olds in the game can boast of such.

Jerome Thomas - Mood Swings (Volume One)

Jerome Thomas also delivered a stunner with his melancholy vibes but deliciously rich Mood Swings (Volume One) EP. Thomas has been pretty consistent with delivering that buttery-smooth Neo-Soul that has us aching for more. At 9 tracks-long and featuring the likes of Jarreau Vandal, Mood Swings (Volume One) is just what the doc ordered. We could listen to Thomas’ croon all day and you should too.

Sasha Keable - MAN

Sasha Keable’s MAN is 4 tracks of jazz-laced Soul music goodness and each and every track is top notch. From up-tempo to croony classics, it’s all you want from an EP.

Amahla - Consider This

Amahla buzzed on our radar last year with her single, Old Soul. As the name suggests, it’s a vintage-feel Soulful tune. Consider This is a project in the same vein, but if you’re up for good throwback feels, it’s truly special. Amahla has a certain authenticity about her, a purity to her voice, a dedication to songwriting and storytelling that stands her apart. Consider This explores Domestic Violence, Race and Class with a maturity far beyond her years. It’s no surprise she won the PRS Lynsey De Paul for outstanding songwriting.

Celeste - Lately

Drawing inspiration from Billy Holiday with vocal inspirations from Aretha Franklin, Celeste makes the dreamiest chill vibes Jazzy-Soul. 

Lately is one for those who appreciate down-tempo languid rhythms delivered with lush dexterous vocal prowess. Perfect for Soulful Sunday chilling.

The video trend continues

Collard, the 24 year old South Londoner making the most nuanced futuristic old Soul armed with a piercing falsetto, has been in a steady stream of releasing music. 2 of our faves, Ground Control, featuring the prodigous  Kojey Radical, and Hell Song make our playlist. He’s also released lush visuals for both.

Another newcomer, BAELY, released his debut single and video, Talking to the Walls. Chronicling an intense, at times toxic, relationship, BAELY’s power vocals sitting on the funk-infused production commands attention.

Stream the playlist now on Spotify or other platforms via the embeds below. Follow so you’re always up on game.

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