Photo courtesy of Brandon Jernigan
One evening I was riding an Uber back home and the driver had music playing. The voice I heard intrigued me to the point where I felt compelled to "Shazam" the song. Since that day I've been a fan of Brent Faiyaz who, as I later learned, is a part of a group called Sonder. This Sunday I had the opportunity to see them live at a sold out show at The Chapel in San Francisco.
The trio composed of Faiyaz and producers Dpat and Atu, who embrace 90s R&B style as their own while simultaneously establishing their own unique musical identity. In January the trio released Into, their first EP together. Faiyaz has his own separate EP called A.M. Paradox, and has contributed to Godlink's hit "Crew,"which features Faiyaz's smooth voice throughout the chorus. On Sunday night during their Into Tour, Sonder established a vibe of appreciation for 90s R&B, which was a focal point during the concert and a promising future for their fans.
The evening began with “Feel” to set the mood just right. Faiyaz showed the crowd his vulnerability as he sang about his lover wanting to be with him, but picking another man. "Searchin" was next on the set list. The ambiance of the live set intertwined perfectly with Faiyez’s sultry voice, as they began to transition to "Care." The singers alluring presence demonstrated a love for the smooth R&B jam. Faiyez introduced a new song to the crowd named "One Night Only," which was first featured on Soulection Radio earlier in September. Staying true to R&B and mixing his own sex appeal, Faiyaz is the guilty pleasure, but only needs her for one night. “And I don’t give a damn 'bout your boyfriend / He can have you when I go,” Faiyaz sang with reassurance.
Faiyaz let the rest of the group take center stage to showcase their talent on the instrumental "Baldwin Park." After showcasing one of their hit songs "Lovely," the trio gave the audience a treat by singing some of their favorite R&B influences and songs. The covers started with a tribute to Brandy’s "I Dedicate," and continued with a rendition of Jodeci’s hit song "Feenin,"
and Prince’s 1982 "Do Me Baby." Faiyez engaged with the females in the crowd as they
screamed for him. An encore began with their fan favorite "Too Fast" and ended with Faiyez walking away abruptly after singing "You're too good at walking away," and letting the guitarist end the show with a slaying guitar solo.
Sonder is doing justice for the 90s kids who are still in love with the old school R&B, and with a promising future their sets will only get better in time. For now the fans can look forward to Faiyez's debut album Sonder Son, which will be released Oct. 13, to get them through the fall and winter.