Thanks to Drake and The Weeknd, this new contemporary/alternative R&B wave has hit Toronto hard. While many of the artists that have made a name for themselves are men, it’s important not to forget the women who are also making an impact on the scene in a big way.
With the confidence of someone who has made music decades, Allie released her debut EP last November. Strange Creature is a four track EP that showcases tight production and Allie’s sultry, melodic voice. The first track, “Cross My Mind”, blends elements of jazz along with her contemporary r&b style. With the layered, detailed vocal harmonies and the pulsing beat, the song is sensual and pensive. Another standout track is “Just Like That” because of Allie’s play with timing and space; the syncopated beats and vocal musings add to the thoughtful feeling of the song. Allie has incredible control over her voice, knowing when to swell and when to simmer at just the right moments.
This young singer-rapper duo is comprised of Charli Champ and Dollar Paris who have been making music together since middle school. Drawing large musical and aesthetic inspiration from Erykah Badu, bizZarh have carved out a genre of their own, a self-proclaimed “spacewave” movement that makes their style cosmic and endless. One of their released songs, “Pangaea”, is meditative and expansive in its creation of a new world, something that’s a mixture of the past and future. The track opens with some near-chanting of words like the beginning of a spell; the instrumentals will put listeners in a trance as both Charli and Dollar lead them into another universe. To hear more of their melodious side, check out “Moments”, which is more conventionally r&b with sweeping, suspending instrumentals and relaxed vocals. Either way, this duo is making music that will take you to the stars.
With two EPs out, comparisons to Drake, and collaborations with PARTYNEXTDOOR and Illangelo, Rochelle Jordan is steadily making a name for herself, consistent in her songwriting and singing. Her passion for music shows through her work and while most of songs are very laid-back with chill vibes, there’s a level of intensity that subtly shines through. Her first EP, ROJO, was released in 2011 and solidifies her sound and direction as a musician. Spacious sounds, atmospheric rhythms, and airy vocals mark her style. Listen to “Feel the Same Way feat. Wingate” to hear her pick up the rhythm and seductive vocals or if you just want to vibe out, listen to “All I Know” and feel like you’re suspended in warm water, just breathing and floating gently.