On his full-length debut Connection (Jacobs Ink/Empire), Jacob Latimore delivers a soulful yet hook-heavy style of R&B that honors his deep musical roots. “As an artist the most important thing to me is connecting with my audience, especially the people who’ve been with me since I was a kid and first started making records,” says the 20-year-old Atlanta-based singer. “I wanted to give them something new and different and but still connect back to that core, which is where the album title comes from.” On tracks like his powerfully catchy single “The Real,” Jacob reveals a new dimension of talent to those who best know him through his acting work—a thriving career that includes co-starring alongside Will Smith in Oscar-winner David Frankel’s Collateral Beauty. He’ll also star in a yet-to be named crime drama from Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow and her “Zero Dark Thirty” and “The Hurt Locker” screenwriter Mark Boal. The film chronicles a police raid in Detroit in 1967 which resulted in one of the largest citizen uprisings in the United States’ history. Also coming up is the film “Krystal,” with Latimore joining William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, Kathy Bates and Rosario Dawson in a dramatic comedy marking the directorial debut of actor William H. Macy. A triple-threat who’s also made dancing central to his live show, Jacob created Connection with such producers as Mel & Mus (Chris Brown, Justin Bieber) and Christopher “Deep” Henderson (Jamie Foxx, Trey Songz). The album also showcases his carefree but impassioned vocal performance in the previously released singles “Remember Me” and “Climb,” which together have amassed nearly 7 million streams. Checkout our latest and exclusive interview with Jacob Latimore.
This magical city gave birth to jazz music, and its streets breed inspiration like no other. After traveling the world as a successful solo artist and keyboardist for pop powerhouse Maroon 5, GRAMMY® Award- and Dove® Award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist PJ Morton gained a new perspective on his old stomping grounds that would inform his 2017 solo offering and debut for his own Morton Records, the aptly titled Gumbo.
By the time he moved back in 2016, Morton had built an unbelievable career. In addition to boasting collaborations with Adam Levine, Lil Wayne, and Busta Rhymes, his critically acclaimed 2013 offering, New Orleans, earned a 2014 GRAMMY® Award nomination in the category of “Best R&B Song” for “Only One” [feat. Stevie Wonder]. Pitchfork called it, “a smooth and soulful pop/R&B hybrid,” and the record dramatically expanded his influence. In addition to figuring prominently on Maroon 5’s multiplatinum Overexposed and V, Morton has written and produced for everybody from BJ The Chicago Kid, Jermaine Dupri, and Jazmine Sullivan to Monica and India.Arie, winning a GRAMMY® for collaborating with the latter in 2008. His music has also popped up in films such as Couples Retreat and more. Among many other accolades, he has received Dove® and Stellar® Awards, published his literary debut Why Can’t I Sing About Love? in 2009, and become music director for Solange following the release of her critically acclaimed opus A Seat At The Table. Relocating from Los Angeles, he returned home with a pronounced fire and hunger.
PJ holed up in the Parlor Recording Studio, stirring up what would become Gumbo as he personally composed on vintage keyboards, Moog bass, and more. Evoking heroes such as Stevie, Marvin Gaye, and Al Green, he enlisted a rotating musical cast of longtime friends and collaborators to join him such as Mutemath’s Darren King [drums], Keyon Harrold [trumpet], Chris Payton [guitar], DJ Raymond [bass], Brian Cockerham [bass], Matt Jones [arranger], and Big Ed Clark [drums]. With a dash of R&B groove, hip-hop bounce, and a whole lot of his signature soul, the ten tracks immediately simmer. The handclap shuffle of “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” [feat. BJ The Chicago Kid & The Hamiltones builds into one of the album’s most powerful hooks, nodding to Marvin’s “What’s Going On.” For PJ, Gumbo spans the entire spectrum—from his soulful remake of the classic Bee Gees’ song “How Deep Is Your Love” to the ponderous “Religion.” It represents the musical diversity at his core and a larger mission statement. Ultimately, it’s also a new beginning for PJ. Checkout our latest and exclusive interview with PJ Morton.
Ashly Williams is the soul. Gabby Carreiro is the free spirit. Shyann Roberts brings the youthful sass. Brienna DeVlugt is the go-getter. And Kristal Lyndriette is the heart. Together, they make up R&B vocal group June’s Diary. Formed while competing on BET Network’s “Chasing Destiny,” the five women were picked by Kelly Rowland and director/choreographer Frank Gaston to shape a dynamic quintet. Hearkening back to the beloved era when TLC, En Vogue, Spice Girls and Destiny’s Child reigned supreme, June’s Diary embodies the revival of sisterhood in a time when girl groups are scarce. The limelight is ablaze with solo artists, but the women of June’s Diary believe in camaraderie. They revive the luring and fun qualities of the ‘90s and early ‘00’s R&B while also creating the new wave of the genre. Finding inspiration in everything from gospel to hip-hop and trap, June’s Diary pay homage to genres they love while making each track their own. Checkout our latest and exclusive interview with June’s Diary.
La’Porsha Renae was introduced to the world via the stage of the 15th and final season of American Idol. Although American Idol is the medium that introduced La’Porsha to the world, she has been signing since the tender age of six. She vividly recalls singing “Fallin'” by Alicia Keys in her mother’s beauty shop. La’Porsha grew up singing for her mother’s clients but had no idea that she would one day share her talent with the world and become the runner up on one of the most popular talent discovery shows of all time. Since American Idol, La’Porsha has been signed to 19 Recordings/Motown Records. La’Porsha’s single “Battles” was tapped as the theme song for the gold medal-winning U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. La‘Porsha shares her highly anticipated debut album Already All Ready via Motown Records. Since the release of “Good Woman,” La’Porsha has made appearances on shows such as The Harry Show, Good Day LA, Good Day NY where she also gave heart-pouring performances, increasing the profile of the single which currently sits at #7 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart. The album features production from mega-talented producers Ne-Yo, Harmony “H-Money” Samuels, Edgar “JV” Etienne, and more. Already All Ready showcases La’Porsha’s powerhouse and multi-faceted vocals through genre-blending tracks that shows La’Porsha’s versatility as an innovative star that is definitely here to stay. Checkout our new & latest interview with La’Porsha Renae.
Sevyn Streeter cemented herself as a rising singer/songwriter with the success of her solo EP “Call Me Crazy, But…” which debuted at #5 on Billboards’ Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. “It Won’t Stop,” the lead single from the EP, topped Billboard’s “Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay” chart for nine consecutive weeks, while climbing both Billboard’s “Hot 100” and “R&B/Hip Hop Songs” chart. In addition, the “It Won’t Stop” companion video – directed by and co-starring GRAMMY® Award-winner Chris Brown, with a special guest appearance by Portland Trail Blazers forward Dorrell Wright – earned more than 43 million views thus far at her official YouTube channel. In addition to making her mark as a solo artist, Streeter is also a GRAMMY Award Winning songwriter, having written six songs from Chris Brown’s GRAMMY winning album, “Fame” as well as two songs from Alicia Keys’ GRAMMY winning album, “Girl on Fire”. Her songwriting credits include Chris Brown’s “Fine China,” Tamar Braxton’s “All The Way Home,” Alicia Keys’ “New Day,” and Ariana Grande’s chart-topping hit, “The Way.” Streeter is also a three-time ASCAP award winning songwriter who has been called upon by a roster of top studio superstars, including Diplo, Polow Da Don, Swizz Beats, Babyface, and many others, with Streeter’s co-writing credits on albums by Chris Brown, Alicia Keys, Jessie J., Fantasia, and Estelle. Checkout our new & latest interview with Sevyn Streeter !
Selling out shows across the country and achieving multiplatinum success by paving a path of his own, SoMo has quietly emerged as R&B’s most successful underground superstar. Now, it’s time for the world to properly meet the Dallas, TX singer and songwriter born Joseph Somers-Morales on his second full-length album, The Answers [Republic Records].
It’s been nothing short of a whirlwind for the artist since the 2014 release of his self-titled debut, SoMo. The record clinched #1 on iTunes Overall Top Albums Chart, and the hit single “Ride” earned an RIAA double-platinum certification. Between sold out headline tours and collaborations with everyone from Jeremih, Ty Dolla $ign, The-Dream, and Trey Songz to Kirko Bangz, Vigiland, Rebel, and Tricky Stewart, SoMo put impressive numbers on the board, selling 393K albums and counting and 4 million singles in addition to amassing 290 million streams. His 2015 mixtape, My Life II, went Top 10 on Billboard’s Top R&B albums chart as he appeared on VH-1’s Big Morning Buzz, The Arsenio Hall Show, and BET’s 106 & Park. Along the way, he carefully assembled what would become The Answers, recording in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Texas, Toronto, and Florida. SoMo found new influences that encouraged him to embrace his core.
Shortly after the end of her gold-selling R&B act Floetry, singer, songwriter, and producer Marsha Ambrosius — whose biggest claim to fame as a writer is Michael Jackson’s Top 20 hit “Butterflies” — signed with Dr. Dre’s Aftermath label. Nothing came from the short-lived alliance. While in creative limbo, Ambrosius — a Liverpool, England native who moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — was nonetheless active, issuing a handful of mixtapes and collaborating with Alicia Keys (“Go Ahead’), Mario (“Why”), Jazmine Sullivan (“Music [All I Need]”), Jamie Foxx (“Freak’in Me”), and Wale (“Diary”). Ambrosius eventually signed with J Records, where she finally released her first official solo album, Late Nights & Early Mornings, in 2011. The set debuted at number two on the Billboard 200, while the Top Five R&B single “Far Away” was nominated for Grammy awards in the categories of Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance. J closed shop, and Ambrosius was shifted to RCA, where she released her follow-up, Friends & Lovers, in 2014. One of the album’s most notable singles was “Stronger,” on which she was joined by Dr. Dre. Checkout our latest and new interview with Marsha.