'90s R&B Never Died: A Look at Today's Nostalgic Genre

August 8, 2017

dvsn | photo by Arthur Mola


90’s R&B music is forever golden and can’t be touched. Growing up as a '90s baby and now in my late 20s, old school R&B is still my favorite type of music to listen to. The 1990s seem like just yesterday, along with our favorites Jodeci, TLC, Brian McKnight, and even my favorite group of all-time, Boyz II Men. The nostalgia is at a perpetual high and always makes for a great time to visit memory lane. In today's music world, many songs embody a heavy '90s R&B influence. And so you're in luck, because the following artists and songs bring back the essence, and the sounds of this genre, but with a modern twist.


via @markpeaced on Instagram



All it takes is a group to appear and bring the '90s vibes back, and Sonder, the R&B trio made of Brent Faiyaz, Atu and Dpat is making this come true. The masterminds behind the scenes are Atu and Dpat, and the soulful vocalist is Brent Faiyaz. This trio currently has an EP out called Into, and is making noise. Into is a sultry and soulful mix that will have you in your feelings. The vulnerability exposed by this group is beautiful. If Intro is any sign, Sonder has a bright future, which you can catch sight of when they go on tour later this year.


Recommended songs:  "Too Fast," "Lovely," and "Care."




This artist's name is an acronym for Having Everything Revealed. When she came onto the scene, H.E.R.'s mysterious silhouette made us wonder who is behind the seductive voice. Turns out it's Gabi Wilson. She produces music with heavy beats over a strong atmosphere vocal, which gives her songs that '90s old school feel. The sultry singer currently has two EPs out: H.E.R Vol. 1 and H.E.R Vol. 2. She will be hitting up concert venues alongside Bryson Tiller come late summer.



Recommended songs:  "Losing," "Jungle," "Still Down" and "I Won't."




OVO Sound is known for producing good talent, and that can be said about dvsn --  a duo composed of Daniel Daley and Nineteen85. They toured alongside Drake last summer, allowing  Daniel to showcase his R&B-esque vocals. The duo's album Sept. 5th made noise when it dropped in 2016. For R&B lovers, dvsn brings warming and peaceful gospel harmonies embedded in their vocals, while mixing electronic beats and smooth guitar riffs with Daniel's confident falsetto. Currently the duo is working on their album “Morning After.”


Recommended songs:  "Hallucinations," "With Me," and "Too Deep."



Ella Mai

London’s own Ella Mai got discovered by DJ Mustard and is a voice you must listen to. The British singer showcases a sweet and soulful edge to her performances. Her music has a Rihanna vibe, but Ella Mai brings her own personality. She has a trilogy of EPs called Time, Change, and Ready (released earlier this year). Ella Mai’s voice is a step forward in the R&B scene, especially with its slow tempo and smoothness. She promises to work on her debut album after she finishes touring with Kehlani.



Recommended Songs: "Down," "10,000 Hours," "Anymore," and "Switch Sider."





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© Copyright 2018 Giselle Melendres - Mad Sounds Magazine

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