Singer Daniel Daley and producer Paul "Nineteen85" Jefferies make up dvsn, the alluring duo that hails from Toronto and is the newest signee to Drake's OVO Sound record label. The mystery surrounding the artists (Daley chose to keep his identity hidden) isn't a gimmick; in fact, it coincides with their entire sound.
Creating tunes that are the perfect soundtrack to a bedroom romp, dvsn explores the sexual side of R&B that draws inspiration from the likes of Prince, Marvin Gaye and the bump n' grind '90s R&B era. Dvsn released their debut album Sept. 5 back in March, which is overflowing with steamy, dark vibes.
There is a reason why Anderson .Paak landed a spot on XXL's Freshman cover this year: The California-bred artist is one of the most exciting acts to emerge in the past few years in popular music as a whole. Paak is a musician in every sense of the word, as he sings, raps, plays instruments, and writes and produces his own songs.
He unleashed his second album Malibu earlier this year, and it is an exciting blend of contemporary R&B, soul, funk and hip-hop that immediately makes you want to groove like no one's watching. Paak has collaborated with the likes of Schoolboy Q, Kaytranada, Dr. Dre, and Domo Genesis. His latest feature on Mac Miller's "Dang!" is the perfect end-of-summer jam.
Most people know PJ Morton as the keyboardist of Maroon 5, but he also as an awesome solo career as a singer. PJ released his first studio album Emotions in 2005, and continues to put out jams that capture the soulful essence of his hometown, New Orleans.
NYC's Ro James is one of the newer faces in the R&B game, but his soulful music will make you think he's been doing this for decades. James' influences range from Prince to Lauryn Hill, and he creates charming, feel-good tunes that are reminiscent of his friend Miguel's oeuvre. Ro James is currently celebrating the release of his debut album, Eldorado, which arrived in May.
BJ the Chicago Kid does neo-soul so damn well, making his midwest upbringing all the more authentic. The singer's 2012 debut LP Pineapple Now-Laters led to a handful of collaborations and a deal with Motown for this year's follow-up album, In My Mind. BJ's sensual lyricism and captivating vocal tone also lends itself beautifully to hip-hop collaborations, as seen with 2014's "Studio" with Schoolboy Q and "Blessings" with Chance the Rapper.
Forget Justin Timberlake for a moment, because it's JMSN who is the epitome of modern-day blue-eyed soul. The Albanian-American (whose real name is Christian Berishaj) has an innate charm similar to D'Angelo, which can mostly be heard on his third LP, It Is. JMSN creates a sonic experience both on record and on stage, and will surely take flight once the mainstream world gets hip to his unique musical flavor.
Jesse Boykins III is a soul singer who hails from Chicago, but he sets himself from fusing various sounds from all over the world. He has a handful of albums under his colorful belt, and they all provide exciting interpretations of R&B, hip-hop, reggae (Jesse is of Jamaican descent) and electronica.
Toronto is overflowing with young, hungry artists, and the latest one to garner attention across the border is Jahkoy Palmer. He provides a youthful mix of R&B and dance, while he flexes his talent by rapping and singing. Jahkoy has already received co-signs from Drake, Pharrell and the Smith siblings without an album, so just imagine how much more he'll explode once the debut finally does drop.
After penning songs for big-name artists like Rihanna, Trey Songz and Usher, Elijah Blake went on to jump-start his singing career in 2012. Since then, he's dropped various EPs and collaborated with Dej Loaf on the radio favorite "I Just Wanna..." Elijah released his debut full-length, Shadows & Diamonds, last year.
Don't let Christopher Gallant's age fool you. The singer may be 23 years old, but he has the pipes of an artist who already knows the ins and outs of the ever-changing R&B game. Gallant's debut album Ology (released in April) reveals his innermost thoughts through heartfelt songwriting, and highlights his floating vocals.
The way he guards an introverted personality underneath smooth production with songs like "Talking to Myself" and "Bourbon" is a true art form.
Roy Woods is another OVO Sound signee, and he encapsulates the incredibly dark and moody vibe that his city (Brampton, Ontario) is known for. The 20-year-old singer is inspired by the likes of Michael Jackson and The Weeknd; the screeches and yelps are slightly reminiscent of the former icon's vocal style, and Woods unravels them through murky production. His take on reggae is also way more authentic than his label boss Drake, as the singer has Guyanese roots.
Bryson Tiller seemed to come out of nowhere, as the small-town singer managed to completely own 2015 with his debut album, TRAPSOUL. The smash record features songs like "Don't," "Sorry Not Sorry" and "Exchange" that you couldn't escape no matter where you turned.
Like Chris Brown and PartyNextDoor, Tiller does "fuckboy R&B" very well. He's not a soulful belter, instead utilizing a singsong rap flow that is easily memorable. In a world that is heavily reliable on social media, Tiller's tales of love and exposure are instantly relatable.