With the spring season set in motion, no time is better for some introspective work. Let sounds by West Coast rapper Navy Blue, Brooklyn songstress Nia Sultana and U.K. singer/songwriter Yazmin Lacey be your guide, while also letting loose to energizing cuts by FLO and Big Boss Vette.
Freshest Find: FLO feat. Missy Elliott, “Fly Girl”
U.K. R&B trio FLO are setting the standards for what it means to be a fly girl. “If you a fly girl, get your nails done, get a pedicure, get your hair did/ See, you telling me I’m pretty but it’s obvious/ I don’t need a man to tell me where the party is,” they harmonize on their Missy Elliott-assisted new single. Billboard’s March R&B/Hip-Hop Rookie of the Month, the girl group is channeling ‘90s and ‘00s R&B, and with “Fly Girl,” they arguably have song of the summer contender on their hands.
Navy Blue, “The One”
Rapper Navy Blue melds together jazzy influences, west coast sonics and introspective words into a noteworthy major label debut. On his new album Ways of Knowing, Navy Blue taps into his spirit, peeling back the layers of trauma and hurt to uncover inner consciousness throughout the joyous and the mundane, namely on “The One.” “I want to make something that makes people smile out of joy, rather than smile in grief,” he says in a press release.
Yazmin Lacey, “Fool’s Gold”
Press play on Voice Notes and simply close your eyes, Yazmin Lacey will do the rest. On her debut album, the U.K. songstress’s soulful voice is transportive, atop a bed of neo-soul perfection. Lacey says that “Fool’s Gold” was born from a jam session and inspired by a conversation with a stranger on the bus. As hand drums pulsate around her dancing melodies, the East Londoner sings of someone on a dead-end mission.
Montell Fish, “2 seater”
Shape-shifting singer/songwriter/producer Montell Fish is back with another unexpected-yet-welcomed single, “2 seater.” Fish’s rap-like cadence coupled with gentle guitar and piano melodies are offset by abrasive synths, making for a pleasing marriage of hard and soft, a worthy symbol of the multifaceted artist himself.
“Where’s your love when I need it?” It’s a fair question that many of us have left unspoken, but Amaria isn’t shy to say exactly what’s on her mind. With a tone that can only be described as silky, the 22-year-old Tampa crooner repeats the mantra, “secrets never help,” as a bass guitar and Rhodes piano dance hand-in-hand in the background.
Big Boss Vette, “Problem”
St. Louis newcomer Big Boss Vette is wasting no time. After the TikTok-assisted success of “Pretty Girls Walk,” the hard-hitting rapper is back with “Problem.” Donning a charming-yet-deceiving smile on her face, Vette warns, “B—h, I’m a problem/ quick to tell a h-e to come solve it.”
Rimon feat. Rini, “I Choose U”
Rimon and Rini’s “I Choose U” is the ultimate love song. As its title suggests, the ballad reflects the thrill of choosing and feeling chosen by one’s lover. The accompanying video captures innocent moments of Rimon and her person and various other couples, as they stroll around NYC showing each other affection.
Victoria Monét feat. Lucky Daye, “Smoke”
Victoria Monét season is upon us. The singer teamed up with Lucky Daye for “Smoke,” the hazy and soulful first single off of her upcoming new project Jaguar II. In the visual, the smoke references are abundant, along with a reprise featuring Monét pole-dancing at the end.
Nia Sultana, “Some Feelings Never Go Away”
Nia Sultana is elevating her songwriting and incorporating women empowerment in her love songs. With “Some Feelings Never Go Away,” the Brooklyn singer-songwriter is acknowledging her emotions, but also choosing herself first and moving on from her past lover.
Destin Conrad, “Switch”
With its sensual vocals and rhythmic drum kicks, Destin Conrad’s “Switch” will likely be the soundtrack to summer parties. At a little under two minutes long, the song is the perfect length for a quick dance with your lover or one-time fling. Elite waistlines only.